Fruit acids are a really good way to gently exfoliate the skin; and you can find plenty of them in your fridge. Lemon contains AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids), which naturally remove dead skin cells and stimulate collagen synthesis. To use, cut a thin slice and smooth it across your face, before rinsing off. If your skin is particularly sensitive, dilute just a drop of fresh lemon juice in water or rosewater before applying and rinsing. An added bonus, lemon is also naturally antibacterial, which is great for helping to bust spot-causing bacteria. Equally, kiwi is rich in antioxidants and will treat the skin while exfoliating it. Mix with a tablespoon of natural yogurt and apply like a face mask before rinsing off. Papaya is both an antioxidant and rich in vitamins and contains beta-carotene to boost skin healing. Run a slice over skin and give it five minutes to go to work before removing with a damp flannel. The acids can increase sun sensitivity so never expose skin to bright sun immediately after applying these fruits.
Thinking of a more hard-working skin peel? Glycolic acid (diluted between 20% and 70%), is ideal on skin that's acne-prone to provide a deeper, exfoliating cleanse. After treatment, expect a more even tone with smoother skin and fewer blemishes. Please note that you should seek out an experienced dermatologist if you plan on using it as this strength, and be sure to start off at a milder concentration and work your way up. There are many glycolic acid products that you can use at home, daily, which have a much milder concentration of the acid (usually somewhere between 2 and 10%). These often come in the form of 'exfoliating toners' or soaked face pads, which are wiped over the skin so the acids can get to work at dissolving those dead cells.
Kojic acid, salicylic acid and retinol all work a treat on uneven skin that's a result of over-exposure to the sun; but don't expect immediate results; it can take several months for the results to become visible. After sustained use, old and new dark patches should be reduced. You can find these ingredients in low concentrations in face creams, so the ingredients can get to work while you go about your day (or sleep!).
Trichloroacetic acid (or TCA), diluted between 15% and 30%, is a great treatment for wrinkles as it stimulates dermal proteins that in turn boost cell renewal, therefore allowing collagen production to go in to full swing, eventually resulting in smoother, plumper skin. Again, please seek the advice of a dermatologist before using acid to this strength.
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