Our beautiful skin is composed of many complex layers and it’s up to us and the knowledge of our most trustworthy estheticians and dermatologists to find the best formulation that makes our skin well behaved. Unfortunately, sometimes our skin likes to act out and not accept hydrating and nourishing ingredients. If your routine is lacking in the exfoliating step, hope is not lost and I’m here to guide you. Check out my instagram @beautytraducida to see my skincare journey, scroll down to the bottom to see how congested and unhappy my acne-prone skin was. I now know what works and what doesn’t and I’m here to share that wisdom with you. Here are three ingredients and respective products that work for my skin.

What is congested skin?Before we jump ahead to my product and their respective ingredient recommendations, let’s understand more about what causes congested skin. According to The Dermal Institute, “The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, consists of a 10-micron thick Stratum Corneum layer, which accounts for about 10% of the epidermis.

Image source: Hop & Cotton

The Stratum Corneum is comprised of layers of keratin-rich corneocyte cells that are embedded in a glue-like matrix, which is shed naturally in a complex process called desquamation.” Overtime, the exfoliation speed of the Stratum Corneum layer slows down and the accumulation of dead skin cell buildup and lack of lymphatic drainage results in a rough and dull appearance and texture. 

Here’s what I like in order of  product preference


Product: Glo Pro 5 Liquid Exfoliant

Ingredients: Mandelic, lactic,gluconic,malic, and tartaric

Superpower: This product has a blend of everything that is beautiful and kind in the exfoliating skincare category, 5 alpha and poly hydroxy acids at a 10% concentration. These ingredients exfoliate, decongest, and brighten 

Product link: Get it here

Why it’s so great: This product is a great all-in-one formulation to target all of your exfoliating and brightening needs, it is comparable to the quality of products you might find in a spa and is a great addition to your routine in between professional appointments


Product: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Ingredient: Salycilic or BHA acid

Superpower: Treating acne blemishes, decongesting pores

Product link: Find it  here

Why it’s so great: This $10 toning lotion is fantastic at breaking up the glue-like matric of corneocytes that may be giving your skin a rough and dull appearance. As long as the ingredients of a product are formulated correctly, there is no need to pay more.


Product: Biologique Recherche P50W

Ingredients: Lactic acid, gluconolactone, salicylic acid, and sulfur

Superpower: This toner is fantastic. It contains a strategic combination of exfoliating ingredients to lighten dark spots, exfoliate rough skin, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and improve the appearance of premature wrinkles. Upon application, it tingles for a few seconds but the product is less intense when used with a wet cotton round

Product link: Buy it here 

Why it’s so great: This product has been called a “facial in a bottle” and “the best beauty product in the world” and has been around since the 1970’s. I love it for smoothing out rough texture and before using my serums at night after cleansing, it’s also great to ensure you removed every bit of sunscreen from your day. It’s a spa-professional product that is only available from licensed retailers, I’ve ordered it from both Rescue Spa and Flawless by Melissa Fox in Miami. They offer a variety of strengths for skin types and any Biologique Recherche trained esthetician can help you select the right formula for your skin needs. 


Product: SkinMedica AHA/BHA Cleanser

Ingredient: Malic acid

Superpower:  Malic is a great option to fade discoloration and/or achieve more radiant skin, it’s a great option for those of you with acne-prone skin 

Product link: Find it here

Why it’s so great: As an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from apples, it’s one of the gentler acids available. This is my favorite type of AHA for its brightening effects. Keep in mind malic acid is a larger molecule than other alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic or lactic acid which makes it the most gentle option in my opinion. 

I hope that these recommendations were helpful, for more daily skincare tips and treatment recommendations remember to follow me on social media @beautytraducida.  Let me know in the comments below which ingredient you will try first. 

Categories: Beauty


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