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Why Everyone is so Obsessed With Microdosing Skin Care?

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Microdosing hallucinogens is a term you may be already familiar with. It has been appearing in many skin care tutorials over the past few months. What’s the deal? Clear, glowing skin is not possible without consuming a lot of hyped ingredients and promising products. Problem is that many people are driven by the desire to have radiant skin. This can lead to hypersensitive skin, which manifests itself in rashes, redness and peeling.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop experimenting with performance-driven substances, or give up on your tried-and-trues like vitamin C and retinol. This is where the new skin care microdosing concept comes in. The primary goal of this approach to skin care microdosing is to let the skin reap the benefits of the most popular skin care ingredients without causing irritation. The concept, which is still relatively new, is helping beauty enthusiasts to achieve their skin care goals in a much more manageable manner (especially considering the continued popularity of acid-based skin products).

Want to know more? We interviewed skin care professionals to find out all about microdosing. This includes which skin types can benefit, how it is done, and what ingredients would be best suited to this type of use.

What is Skin Care Microdosing?

Simply put, skin care microdosing is not a way to overcomplicate your routine by using too many active ingredients. This doesn’t mean you should stop using exfoliating and active acids. It just means that you use a smaller amount to not irritate your skin. Geneva Stockdale-Shaw is an esthetician and founder at The OC Esthetician. She says that overuse of products has led to an increase in skin problems.

You might be thinking that ingredients such as AHAs, BHAs and retinol have been widely recommended by skin professionals. So why should one use them in low dosages? Stockdale-Shaw explains that the skin naturally exfoliates as new cells are pushed closer together. Yes, active ingredients can speed up this process. But here’s the problem: too many acids can cause skin to stop producing new cells at the same time. The skin’s moisture barrier, the outermost layer of the skin responsible for keeping out bad stuff out and sealing in good things, is also at risk. Too many products in too high a concentration can cause skin to become sensitive and dry.

Stockdale-Shaw says that in addition to the short-term side effects, prolonged skin irritation can have long-term consequences. This can include skin irritations such as dermatitis exacerbating, causing, or dehydrating skin. It can also increase skin sensitivity to sunlight exposure. All of these can contribute to premature aging. Although skin care microdosing does not diminish the effectiveness of these ingredients, it simply means that active skin care ingredients are used in a lower dosage to avoid damaging the skin. Renee Rouleau, celebrity esthetician, says this involves using gentler forms and products with retinol as well as lower levels of acid exfoliators.

Skin Care Microdosing: The Benefits

Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist, says that skin care microdosing can gradually give your skin the benefits of active ingredients. It also minimizes irritation and reduces the risk of compromising your skin’s barrier. Consider retinol as an example. There are many ways to get retinol, but some are more powerful than others. It is known for its ability to renew and smoothen the skin. However, it can also increase skin sensitivity for all skin types. Rouleau says that microdosing with retinol at a lower amount makes it more tolerable. This is particularly beneficial for people with thin skin.

Microdosing is a gentle way to exfoliate acids like AHAs or BHAs. It doesn’t cause any peeling or flaking and still provides the benefits of greater cell turnover and smoother, more radiant skin. This works well for people with sensitive skin, such as those who have rosacea or eczema.

Stockdale-Shaw states that skin care microdosing allows your skin to heal and accept the ingredient while minimizing irritation and sensitivity.

How to Use Microdose Skin Care

There are two main options when it comes to skin care microdosing. You can either buy products with lower actives or you can use products with higher actives but less than the recommended dosage. Stockdale-Shaw and Dr. King recommend the latter, since using the product in lower doses can cause skin irritation. When it comes to the potency of the product, more is not always better. Dr. King recommends that salicylic acid products be formulated with 0.5% to 1% and glycolic acid with 2%. Vitamin C is most effective when it is in 10 to 20 percent concentrations. However, if you feel a tingling sensation, or irritation, Rouleau suggests that you look for products that don’t solely rely on ascorbic acids as the main source of vitamin C.

Dr. King suggests starting retinol with 0.25 to 0.5%, increasing to 1% or 2.2% after one month, if it is well tolerated. Rouleau informs that while a lower amount of retinol will result in less skin dryness and sensitivity, it will take longer for the skin to respond. It doesn’t matter what percentage of retinol you use, consistency is important. However, it’s important that you do what’s best for your skin type. Start with a lower amount of active ingredients and see how it reacts. Then, increase the dose as needed (but not to the point where irritation occurs).

Are you ready to give microdosing skin a try? Here are five products that have the right potencies and quality to reduce skin irritation.

  • Keys Soulcare Be luminous powder exfoliator

You want the skin-glowing benefits without stripping your skin? You can choose lactic acid, an AHA that is loved for its gentle, hydrating qualities. This exfoliator contains lactic acid, an AHA, and antioxidant-rich hojicha, which activates when combined with water.

  • Peace out Acne Dots

Although 0.5% salicylic acid is the star of these acne patches, when combined with aloe verde leaf extract, it provides a more soothing way to get rid of breakouts.

  • Night Watch Gentle Retinol Drops

Supercharged retinol that won’t irritate skin Night Watch’s gentle retinol drops offer all the benefits of retinol (think stimulating collagen and balancing the oil production), but they don’t irritate the skin.

  • Renee Rouleau Vitamin C & E Treatment

It is a powerful brightening tool you didn’t know you needed. The serum contains both water-soluble and lipid vitamin C, vitamin E, licorice root, and lifts pigmentation from acne scars.

  • Hppy Skin Clarity Mask

It can be challenging to treat acne-prone skin because this skin type is more susceptible to irritation. Hppy Skin’s mask is a great solution. It stays cool on contact, meaning it doesn’t cause any irritation to your skin.

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