I’m often asked questions like "How much acid is in your product?" or "How many oils are in that serum?" While I am happy to give the percentages, this is much more complicated than just giving you a simple number. Telling you the percentages might make you feel like a scientist but you won’t actually understand what those percentages mean. The better question is "What will this do for my skin?"
Being an esthetician for what feels like forever…I have thousands of hours of experience with all skin types - I’ve seen it all! So, when I formulate, the crucial question I ask myself is "What kind of result will this have on the skin?” Sometimes I’d like strong exfoliation but equal hydrating power and sometimes I’d like the formula to be effective on acneic skin but also have detoxifying properties. In the case of acne + detoxification it could look like 1% salicylic + Ougon oil. If I wanted to focus on acne and redness it could look like 0.05% salicylic + ferulic acid.
It’s not just acids, I have overheard beauty retail buyers say "but this formula has 21 oils and this one has 18," it took everything in me not to laugh out loud! 😂
Were the 21 oils formulated to complement one another? The reparative drops that I’m formulating have 13 oils but are packed with anti-aging ingredients rarely seen mixed with oils. In case of wanting to have just a single ingredient added to your routine let's say for example that you add CBD oil, then you’d want the highest possible amount available which is approximately 1,000 mg.
With acids, you need to be cautious when it comes to certain ingredients since you might end up peeling for days or causing redness and sensitivity. So sure, you can go ahead and use 40% Mandelic acid, but why? Also, all ingredients have an optimal level for the final formulation where more doesn’t increase the results and less won’t produce desired results. And I'm not even getting started on acids pH!
The only way to judge a product is by its efficacy and what it will do once it's on your skin. My motto is to have the best and most active ingredients formulated for your skin to benefit and see results in the quickest way possible.
So, it's much less significant if a product has 3% Lactic or 20%. The bigger question is "What results do I want and do other products I use work in synergy?"