No, that's not a typo! My evening skin-brightening regimen breaks the rules for major impact. Read more about the standbys I've revisited, and the drugstore balm I seriously can't stop talking about.
Winter complexions tend to be a bit like winter itself in the Northeast - dull. I almost shelved my peeling regimen for the season, but quickly came to my senses. Instead, I put the oils I've been experimenting with on the back burner, and went back to these basics:
A - is for Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA), specifically in the form of a glycolic cleanser. My absolute favorite is DermaDoctor Wrinkle Revenge 2. (I had replaced it with Dr. Jeffrey Dover's glycolic wash from CVS a while back, but alas, that was discontinued.) If you're wearing makeup, start off with a cleansing oil before applying to dry skin. The glycolic can't do it's exfoliating work if it's fighting through your foundation! Reap extra benefits by leaving the cleanser on for a few minutes. Enjoy the tingle and take note of the immediate glow!
C - is for...you guessed it - Vitamin C! You can spend upwards of $100 on a Vitamin C serum, or grab this one for under $20. It features L-Ascorbic acid, the form of Vitamin C widely known to stimulate collagen synthesis and provide antioxidant protection. Now, here's where we're breaking some rules: some dermatologists might eschew the idea of applying ascorbic acid-containing products after using AHAs (or BHAs). My understanding is that there is risk for irritation due to the glycolic lowering the pH of the skin. That's what toner is for! You should already be using one as part of your cleansing ritual. For these purposes, use a mild, non-astringent, non-acidic toner. I've been using this one by Clarins for years. Using Vitamin C in the evening is also bending the rules a bit: since it acts as an antioxidant and therefor provides protection against sun damage, common wisdom is to use it during the day. Using it at night, however, will allow your skin to build up an arsenal of antioxidant defense, and help repair existing damage over time. Rules were meant to be broken!
B - OK, I'm a little late to this party, but OH MY GOD - La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5...where do I begin? You know how Beyonce supposedly slathers her entire body in Creme de la Mer? That's what I dream of doing with this balm. And if it weren't $14.99 for a measly 1.35 oz., I'd be doing just that - twice a day.
Widely regarded as a HG product for dehydrated and acne-prone skin, Cicaplast Baume B5 is also used post-peel for its soothing benefits. I initially used it for that purpose, on its own, but now it's the crowning glory of my nighttime routine. Normally when I peel, my skin takes a day or two to look its best. With this, the results are visible the next morning, and telltale redness is INVISIBLE. The soothing comes courtesy of the B5 (panthenol) itself. You may have seen B multivitamins touted for their hair and skin benefits, but you probably don't need one! B5 in particular is widely available in a variety of foods - save your money for balm.