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My sister has been complaining that her skin is looking dull, grey and washed out. It's a problem I'm familiar with. Luckily, I've found a fantastic solution and it's one I use throughout the long winter months when I'm not bothered about having a suntan.
This miracle solution for dull looking skin hails from the Australian skincare company, Skin Doctors and its name is 'Gamma Hydroxy'. I first came across this product a few years ago when I purchased a set of mini pots containing several different products from Skin Doctors and was impressed with the results.
~~~What is It?~~~
It comes packaged in quite a heavy, chunky, clear glass pot with a silver screw top lid. When you open the lid it smells slightly of some sort of chemical that's not at all unpleasant. The Gamma Hydroxy cream is smooth and white. You use it daily instead of, or underneath your regular moisturiser. Its primary function is to gently resurface your skin and it works like an exfoliator throughout the day and night. It can help with reducing the appearance of acne scarring and skin blemishes as well as smoothing wrinkles and reducing signs of aging and pore size.
~~~Who Can Use this Product~~~
Because this cream is quite strong, it's recommended a patch test is undertaken on a small section of the skin you want to treat and wait 24 hours. If you have any allergic reaction or if any irritation occurs, you must stop using it. You are also warned against using the cream if you have skin that's broken, inflamed or sun burnt.
~~~How to Use Gamma Hydroxy~~~
After cleansing your skin you gently massage a small amount of the cream over the skin you're treating, in my case, face and neck. Unlike exfoliators, you don't wash it off. Instead you leave it on all day, then in the evening you cleanse your face again and reapply for the night.
You can carry on using it for as long as you wish. However I generally only use it during the winter months when I'm not planning on spending any time in the sun.
If you notice a slight flaking or peeling of your skin, you don't need to worry as it's just your dead skin cells rejuvenating at a faster rate than normal. Just apply moisturiser over the top. If the peeling is excessive, use Gamma Hydroxy less often.
I use Gamma Hydroxy both morning and night. When I apply it to my face I can feel a slight tingling sensation. I find this quite reassuring as I feel this shows that it's having some effect on my skin.
The main reason I don't use the cream in the summer months is because it can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun due to its inclusion of AHA's. For those with more sensitive skin, you could even end up with sunburn. The instructions recommend you limit your exposure to the sun while using the cream. Particularly, when you're out in the sun, always wear a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 as Gamma Hydroxy doesn't contain an SPF.
A couple of years ago when I began using Gamma Hydroxy, I must admit I didn't read all the instructions. It was February and I was winter white and due to fly out to New Zealand for a 2 week visit to see relatives. Not wanting to scare the suntanned NZ'ers with my pallor, I decided to prepare my skin by undergoing a few sunbed sessions. Don't tell me, I've read all the warnings. I know how bad they are for your skin. I don't overdo it though and rarely even use them nowadays. What I did find, however, was that my face became incredibly brown right away. It was far browner than the rest of my skin and I realised that it was because I was using the Gamma Hydroxy which had obviously heightened my skin's sensitivity to the sunbed's rays. I was lucky in that I didn't burn and would certainly not repeat that process again.
Overall, I've found it's a great product for giving my skin a nice glowing and fresh look and gets rid of that dull greyness that can often occur during winter. I find the pot of cream lasts me around 4-5 months so it's pretty good value.
Gamma Hydroxy can be purchased directly from Skin Doctors online (http://www.skindoctors.co.uk/) or it's available in larger Boots stores and some other drugstores and pharmacies. It varies in price depending on where you buy it, but generally prices range between £32 and £39 for a 50ml pot.
Glycolic Acid: This is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). It has a small molecular structure allowing it to penetrate the surface of the skin more readily.
Lactic Acid: This is a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which increases the water-holding ability of the corneum layer of the skin, allowing for an improvement in fine lines.
Salicylic Acid: This is a type of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) which encourages the sloughing of dead skin cells and has the ability to penetrate into the pore.
Skin resurfacing cream that aids in the improvement of fine lines and healthy cell regeneration /