The Monogram Letters
A - Accelerate
The right kind of acid(s)
Slow cell turnover, build up of dead skin either all over or certain areas of the face. Dry, rough, uneven texture. Can be accompanied by blackheads, white heads, or ingrown hairs.
Accelerate & speed up cell turnover.
Regular exfoliation using the appropriate acid or enzyme.
Not exfoliating enough. Using the wrong kind of exfoliation (abrasive and ineffective scrubs).
B - Balance
Skin reset, so to speak
Acne on the chin, jawline, and/or neck- likely hormonal. White heads on the chin, sometimes deeper cystic acne on the jawline. May have bumpiness from closed comedones. Can feel oily where breakout occurs and dry elsewhere. Can be cyclical or around all the time.
Balance & regulate oil production.
Regulate oil production using ingredients like niacinamide and retinol. Regular exfoliation using an AHA or enzyme exfoliant. Spot-treat problematic areas with ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree oil.
Self extraction. Confusion with how to treat both breakout and dry skin resulting in overuse or underuse of active ingredients and moisturizers.
C - Clarify
Go deep into the purge
Congested skin, acne, persistent breakouts- white heads, cystic acne, black heads, closed comedones (little white bumps under the skin). Can be dehydrated and/or oily. Sometimes accompanied by redness or indented scarring. All over or specific areas of the face like forehead, cheeks, chin, jawline.
Clarify Congested Skin.
For Dehydrated and oily- gentle exfoliation, water hydration, calm inflammation, balance oil production. For excessively oily- decongest, remove excess dead skin, regulate oil production, resurface/ exfoliate, and hydrate.
Not understanding how to use products/ ingredients targeting acne (salicylic acid, retinols, etc.). Not moisturizing after cleansing. Self extracting.
E - Ease
Irritation-everyone gets it
Inflamed, irritated, reactive, sensitive or sensitized skin- with or without breakout. Could be reactive to many products. Sensitivity could be from an inflammatory condition like Eczema, Rosacea, or Psoriasis or sensitized from misuse or overuse of certain products.
Ease & calm inflammation.
Simplify your routine and focus on balancing skin and strengthening the barrier. Avoid harsh ingredients and some essential oils.
Misuse of retinol, acids, harsh cleansers, or scrubs. Extracting small whiteheads within the problem area. Trying to get rid of flakiness or what may look like small red breakout by exfoliating. Not using any product because you are afraid of irritation.
F - Fortify
Dry dehydrated skin. Lack of oil production and water hydration within the skin. Dull, dry, possibly rough texture from lack of cell turnover.
Fortify & nourish your skin.
Rebuild the moisture level with hydrating serums and fortify the skin barrier with nourishing oils, and moisturizers. Encourage regular cell turnover and feed the skin essential nutrients for optimal health.
Not using products for both oil and water hydration. Not incorporating “extras” in your routine- serums and creams high in vitamins and nutrients to replenish your skin.
I - Intercept
Smart product use > issues
Your skin is in good condition though you may be starting to see the first signs of aging (fine lines, dehydration, light hyperpigmentation).
Intercept free radicals.
A good consistent routine that includes regular cleansing, exfoliation, moisturizer, antioxidants, and spf.
Not avoiding the sun or using sun protection. Not having a regular routine because everything is good right now.
M - Mend
Rebuilding your “walls”
Intermittent or constant redness- could be from irritation, broken capillaries, and/ or Rosacea. Likely on the cheeks and nose and may include white heads in those areas. Possible weakened barrier- likely dry and dehydrated.
Mend and repair compromised skin.
Calm inflammation. Repair the skin barrier with strengthening and hydrating products. Avoid irritating ingredients like most essential oils and some acids. Treat breakout gently. Rebuild the moisture level. Protect with a zinc based SPF30+.
Worsening condition with harsh products or not using any product. Not being aware of things that can increase redness: sun, heat, cold, warm beverages, certain foods, alcohol.
P - Protect
Sunscreen X 3
Skin conditions worsened by sun exposure (hyperpigmentation, melasma) or a history of skin cancer.
Protect & prevent further sun damage.
The number one thing your skin needs is protection from the sun which will exacerbate discoloration issues or possibly cause further incidence of skin cancer. Include antioxidants in your routine to help protect against oxidative stress caused by UV rays.
Not using SPF30+ all the time and not reapplying when necessary.
S - Support
Promoting water retention - for once
Dehydrated skin lacking water. Dullness, flaky, sometimes red and irritated with or without breakout. Increased visibility of fine lines and decreased product absorption.
Support your skin with hydration.
Reparative ingredients like niacinamide for a compromised skin barrier. Mists, serums, and moisturizers that contain moisture binding ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Promote healthy cell turnover with proper exfoliation.
Overuse of active products, underuse of hydrating products, and/or under-exfoliation.
R - Refine
Hyperpigmentation from the sun (brown spots) or acne scarring (deep red/ purple discoloration). Could also be melasma which is a pattern of pigmentation caused by hormonal changes- often on the cheeks, forehead or upper lip.
Refine & reduce hyperpigmentation.
Protection from UV rays is key. Calm inflammation, use brightening/ lightening ingredients, and regular exfoliation. Treat melasma more gently and avoid activities and treatments that heat up the skin.
Not using or reapplying SPF30+, including for afternoon commutes. For acne discoloration: self-extraction, not exfoliating properly with AHA’s and/or enzymes. Not being aware of things that can cause or worsen Melasma: hormonal contraception, HRT, pregnancy, heat as well as sun.
V - Vitalize
Skin processes slow down as we age and the skin becomes thinner resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, loss of volume, loss of collagen, lack of oil production. If acneic or previously acneic, could have indented acne scarring from loss of collagen
Re-energize your skin.
Stimulate collagen production and increase cell turnover. Energize and support the skin using active ingredients, antioxidants, and nourishing oils and creams.
Underuse of active ingredients to help support skin processes and speed up collagen production. Under moisturizing, under exfoliation, and not protecting the skin with SPF30+ and antioxidants.