Alpha-Hydroxy Acids and MEEE(h)

Adventures in being a skincare guinea pig, Reflections, Skincare

So literally one day into my pre-testing of my ‘Plan B’ skincare routine I (once again) turned into a hass avocado.


I have had this experience before. I purchased TWO bottles of a much raved about serum from the in-flight duty free catalogue on a flight from Addis to Doha. I was stoked. I finally found it. I couldn’t find it in the UK and quite frankly, I thought that I had hacked the system. My frequent travels were finally paying off!

Until I incorporated this lovely serum into my night-time routine. I developed the literal skin texture of a prickly pear and my combination skin was dry and peeling. I blamed the serum. I blamed the airline. I didn’t realise that my problem was AHAs.

Weeks went by and whilst in London I ordered a collection of otherwise excellent products. (Review on the way. Patience my lovelies. All five of you reading this <3)  I didn’t test out the Alpha-Hydroxy acid serum until I was in Lausanne – after a lovely mask and general attempt at self care. It happened again. Not immediately. It took about a day or a few hours more. But this time I didn’t know what it was. I attended my dermatologist and tried to convince him that I was in the midst of an emergency. He laughed. I love my dermatologist.

He prescribed me a mild hydrocortisone formulation that I didn’t have a chance to pick up in Geneva or back in London. Thus, about a fortnight elapsed before, this morning in Lausanne, skin already restored by the sheer forces of nature, I was able to obtain the formulation. I didn’t need it. What I needed was to hold off the AHAs. I didn’t know my problem was AHAs.

I ACTUALLY THOUGHT MY PROBLEM WAS AGEING !!!! This happened approximately three days before my birthday just as a kind induction to the mid twenties. Cheers and thanks. My dermatologist laughed.

Skincare is a personal thing. And it’s all about learning. Thus, as much as I knew the benefits of the occasional use of an AHA serum, particularly as I am dealing with a new issue of only very slightly enlarged pores, this particular compound is simply not for me.

Many people – like myself – will detail their skincare routines. This includes those with a scientific inclination such as myself, as well as many others who are varied experts in their own rite. Like me, however, each person needs to learn the distinct personality of their own skin. Don’t stick to something if it isn’t serving you. And don’t presume that what works for one will work for another. This is clearly not an informative piece about AHAs. However, due to their growing popularity I might write one soon – either here or on my healthcare blog.

This is more about you. And you knowing you and loving as well as nurturing every part of you appropriately, including your skin, for what it is. Take it all with a pinch of salt. All of us out here on the internet writing about skin are like my many aestheticians. Sometimes we directly contradict one another. Sometimes what we know for certain doesn’t work for you for reasons we don’t know. We may just be a girl behind a computer with a good deal of experience but who simply doesn’t know you, medication you take, the climate you live in, your diet and your genetics.  My skin is recovering – but this, coupled with the changing weather, was an experience for me. And so again, take me, and all of us, with a pinch of salt.


“No voice should speak louder than the voice of your own skin.” – Yes I’m quoting myself.

Cheers, peace and love,