We often turn to heavy moisturizers as a solution to dry skin. However, if we are not effectively exfoliating and shedding dead skin cells, it’s impossible to deeply hydrate as moisturizer won’t be able to penetrate the skin effectively, leaving you in a cycle of frustration when rough patches of skin or blemishes persist.
Human skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis is the outermost layer, which renews thousands of times throughout our lifetime; it’s estimated that these cells turnover every 28 days to be replaced by new ones. However, these cells can build up on the surface of the skin, blocking pores and preventing your skincare from properly penetrating the skin which can then lead to blemishes.
One of the best ways to restore brightness to skin is through exfoliation as it helps to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin, revealing the new ones underneath. Exfoliants can be either physical or chemical, with physical types polishing away dead skin and chemical variants dissolving and loosening the cells. While both used together can be beneficial if balanced, some exfoliants can be too abrasive, causing microtears in the skin which can weaken the skin’s barrier and cause irritation and sensitivity.
THE PILL works as a chemical exfoliant, alongside its hydrating and tightening skin benefits. Using a complex of plant-derived alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) extracted from pineapple, bilberry, sugarcane, citrus and passion fruit, the topical supplement helps to gently brighten, exfoliate and resurface skin, allowing its other ingredients to penetrate the skin more effectively.
Alpha hydroxy acids are one of two main classes of hydroxy acids, with the other being beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)—salicylic acid being a well-known example. These chemical compounds can either be naturally occurring or synthetic and work primarily to dissolve the bonds between skin cells to allow for their removal. Many are derived from organic sugars, with glycolic acid (from sugar cane) and lactic acid being the most easily recognized and also best researched. Studies have shown that although “initially used for treatment of hyperkeratosis and other skin conditions affecting subcutaneous turnover, AHAs were found to promote softer, smoother skin, faded wrinkles, lightened age spots, and decreased blemishes.”
THE PILL uses six different AHAs derived from organic sugars to brighten, gently exfoliate and resurface the skin: glycolic, lactic, mandelic, malic, tartaric and citric. Each works in a slightly different way on the skin, from imparting its antioxidant benefits to having a soothing effect. The complex of AHAs used in THE PILL is shown to increase cellular renewal by up to 24% when compared to an untreated biological control.
Although we balance our formula with nutrients from the earth for a gentle yet effective exfoliating effect that doesn’t cause irritation, we would recommend doing a patch test if you have particularly reactive skin.
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