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Everyone wants soft, smooth skin. But when the exact opposite result happens, people are often left grasping for answers about why their skincare routine isn’t working.
If you’ve ever experienced uneven texture, dryness, flakes, bumps, or dullness, then a skin-smoothing skincare regimen may be the answer you’re searching for. Today, we’ll tackle the basics you must know about smoothing skincare and teach you how certain ingredients can kickstart the process of getting soft, uniform skin. Let’s dive in!
The Benefits of Skin Smoothing
Rough skin can happen from a variety of factors. So to get smooth skin, you need to eliminate the causes of rough skin texture. Luckily, skin-smoothing skincare tackles a whole host of skin woes so finding a solution is easy. Here are the main benefits:
- Even out texture: Rough skin typically has dullness, dryness, bumps, or flakes, with uneven texture being the main complaint. Uneven texture can happen from acne scarring or excess dead skin cells that build up on the surface. Smoothing skincare uses exfoliation and nutrients to help heal the skin and slough off the rough layers.
- Unclog pores: Clogged pores, excess oil production, and environmental damage (often caused by too much sun exposure) can dehydrate the skin and lead to inflammation which often appears as acne or small bumps on the skin. Smoothing skincare uses anti-inflammatory ingredients such as bentonite, BHAs and more to unclog pores and battle breakouts.
- Hydrate and tighten: Dehydrated skin can lead to less collagen and elastin production, two key elements for firm, plump skin. If you suffer from sagging skin and/or fine lines and wrinkles, skin-smoothing products often combine hydrating and anti-aging ingredients that can help provide that youthful complexion.
Types of Skin Smoothing Routines
While it’s perfectly normal to covet the physical beauty associated with soft, smooth skin, the benefit of skin smoothing is all about making sure your skin is getting the nutrients and care it needs to be as healthy as possible.
As we mentioned that rough skin can appear for a variety of reasons (acne, dry skin, sagging skin, etc), following a consistent routine every morning and night — and protecting your skin from environmental stressors — is key to both smooth skin and healthy skin.
While consistency may sound like a no-brainer, many people skimp out or totally skip their routines quite often. Let’s break down the steps to create or find a skin-smoothing regimen that’s perfect for your needs.
Arguably the most important step is, quite fittingly, the first step in the routine. Cleansers pave the way to creating a clean slate for all the other steps, allowing all those lovely ingredients to follow to be properly absorbed and penetrate deeper into the skin.
When you wash your face, you are removing make-up (if applicable), grime and debris from the day, sebum production (which increases overnight, making an AM rinse equally important as a nighttime wash), and dead skin cell build-up.
In addition, ridding your skin of pollution build-up (especially important for big-city dwellers) helps minimize free radical damage — which is associated with premature aging. So, it’s safe to say that sloughing off the day helps expose healthier, more radiant skin every day.
Much like cleansers, exfoliating encourages the skin renewal process and makes way for new healthy cells to shine through–in fact, that’s its one and only job! There are two main categories of exfoliation 1) mechanical, in which dead cells are buffed away using physical products such as scrubs or dry brushes, and 2) chemical .
Chemical exfoliations are created using a number of ingredients, like acids or enzymes such as glycolic acid, AHAs, and BHAs (more on that later), that assist with pore-clearing and help dissolve the skin cells hanging around on the surface.
As beads and physical scrubs can be harsh on the skin, we recommend the more gentle experience of chemical exfoliation. However, some physical exfoliators are skin-friendly–like volcanic sand, diatomaceous earth, and dead sea salt.
Moisture is a key element to smooth, great-looking skin. Healthy skin naturally has moisturizing elements that allow it to hold in moisture and exfoliate on its own. Unfortunately, this is not the case for dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by hot showers, harsh soaps, dry climates, or environmental stressors.
Thankfully, moisturizers can come to the rescue and help replenish what your skin has lost or what was lacking. Effective moisturizers use humectants to pull in moisture, emollients to smooth the surface, and an occlusive to lock the moisture in–which all leads to smoother, plumper skin.
Serums are one of the least understood (and therefore, most overlooked!) steps in a skincare routine, but they are actually a key part of any smoothing skincare regimen. Serums are water-based liquids that you simply spread on your skin right after cleansing and exfoliating, right when your skin is primed and ready to absorb the hero ingredients.
They tend to be formulated with small molecular weights so that they can deliver the ingredients deep into your skin and do their magic. Since serums can deliver such targeted results, you’ll often find their formulations are designed with one solution in mind, such as just ultra hydration or just fading hyperpigmentation. In the case of smoothing skincare, you can look for serums with peptides and growth factors to repair your skin while you sleep and/or a vitamin C serum to protect your skin from free radicals and pollutants during the day.
Think of facial oils (and even body oils) as supporting players rather than the leading role in a complete skincare routine. That said, you can combine facial oils with other skincare products to get enhanced effects, such as with your serums (to further treat) or moisturizer (to lock in more hydration). You can also use oils to spot-treat dry areas—rather than applying all over the face—to reduce the appearance of scars.
Oils are best used at night because a) they can increase your skin’s sensitivity to light, and b) thicker oils might leave your complexion with a greasy residue you won’t appreciate during the daytime.
1. Hyaluronic Acid
As we mentioned, lack of hydration–due to environmental stressors or skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis–can make the skin dry and rough. Hyaluronic Acid (also commonly known as simple “HA”) is naturally occurring in the human body. HA acts as a magnet for moisture, pulling it into the skin and helping your cells retain as much of it as possible.
Even if dry skin isn’t your pressing issue, HA levels naturally drop over time due to the natural aging process and can be sped up from exposure to environmental factors like UV radiation from the sun, further dehydrating the skin as years go on. HA has the super-smart ability to regulate that moisture within the cells, making it great for all skin types.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is not just a welcomed nutrient from juicy fruits we love; it’s actually a powerhouse ingredient with anti-aging benefits. It not only helps repair existing skin damage (for brighter, smoother skin), but it also helps defend the skin against damage before it happens. It does so by neutralizing free radicals–unstable molecules that attack healthy cells–caused by environmental stressors such as UV radiation. So if uneven texture and hyperpigmentation are the cause of concern, reach for this hero ingredient.
Because a consistent smoothing skincare routine is paramount to the skin you desire, sunscreen must be mentioned. As mentioned above, free radicals are generated from UV rays and pollution throughout the day, triggering premature skin aging (e.g., fine lines and wrinkles), hyperpigmentation, and sagging skin (due to loss of elastin). Adding an SPF 30 or higher to your early morning regimen on a daily basis is the simplest way to combat these skin woes.
4. Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) & Salicylic Acid (BHA)
Exfoliation has been mentioned as one of the necessary steps to smooth skin. Hero ingredients alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and salicylic acid (aka beta hydroxy acid, aka BHA) are chemical exfoliants that can help trigger the skin’s natural renewal process, revealing new younger skin cells. AHA may also help reduce hyperpigmentation, while BHA is a pore-refining ingredient best for oily skin types.
Bentonite is a mineral-rich clay made of weathered volcanic ash–yeah, you read that right. It’s actually been used for medicinal purposes and skincare for centuries. The term “bentonite” is actually a nod to Fort Benton, WY, where the largest source of clay is today. But enough history–this clay is naturally an anti-inflammatory and can help battle breakouts and reduce inflammatory acne. You’ll often find it in cleansers or as a clay mask; however, it may be too harsh to dry or sensitive skin types.
6. Aloe Vera
Besides being a staple in everyone’s medicine cabinet to treat sunburned skin, aloe vera is actually an amazing skincare ingredient for smooth skin. Much like bentonite, it’s been used for centuries. Made from a cactus plant that grows in arid climates, the leaves of the aloe plant created a clear gel that houses more than 75 different active compounds, including vitamins, minerals, salicylic acids (remember this one?), and more. In skincare, it leaves the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed and can also help make other ingredients more tolerable in formulations.
Peptides are strings of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins in your body--and without these proteins, our skin is prone to wrinkles. (P.S: we also need them for strong nails and healthy hair!). Thus, peptides boast a slew of anti-aging benefits for the skin, predominately with reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Peptides perform their best in a serum which allows the ingredient to sink into the skin. Peptides play nice with other skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, making these ingredients easy to incorporate many different ways into a smoothing skincare routine that works.
Another vitamin is stepping up to the plate. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is water-soluble, which means it’s not stored in the body and is important to replenish. This ingredient works to brighten and smooth the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and calm inflammation.
Not only is niacinamide uniquely compatible with any of the products in your skincare routine (including the aforementioned hyaluronic acid, AHAs, BHA, vitamin C, and all types of antioxidants), but you can also use multiple niacinamide-containing products. This B vitamin is well tolerated by all skin types, including sensitive or rosacea-prone skin.
Tips for Formulating Skin Smoothing Products
When it comes to creating a routine for yourself or from scratch (e.g., formulating your own products), many of these ingredients work well and even complement one another. They all have the aim to create healthy skin that’s bright, clear, well-hydrated, and well-protected.
Finding the root problem of rough, textured skin may be difficult–but thankfully, finding a solution is easy; it just takes some trial and error.
To recap, we need to:
- Be consistent: A strategic skin smoothing routine leads to healthy skin
- Exfoliate: Removing dead skin cell build-ups reveals smooth skin underneath
- Hydrate: Dry skin is a sneaky cause of rough texture as well as fine lines and wrinkles
- Try new ingredients: Pamper rough, bumpy areas with serums and spot treat with facial oils
Formulate Skin Smoothing Products With Us
For most of us, developing a new skincare product or product line is exciting, scary, and full of blanks in our knowledge bank. Few of us know everything about bringing a skincare product to market and working with all the suppliers, vendors, and partners you need to be successful. That’s where BeautyIngredients.com comes in. Whether you want to create a gentle salicylic acid cleanser, a peptide-packed serum, or an eco-friendly, ethical facial oil, Beauty Ingredients is here for you.
Shop Ingredients for Skin Smoothing Products
Our ingredients deliver an array of textures, aesthetics, and formulation chassis possibilities so you can create the perfect skin smoothing regimen from scratch. Shop our selection of skincare ingredients to elevate your current range or jump-start a new idea.
Contact Us for Formulation Support
Our brand’s concierge team is here to help provide the latest in innovative and sustainable ingredient solutions to help indie brands grow. Whether you’re looking for specific specialty ingredients, have a formulation or technical challenge, or need application testing, we can help.
Is it better to go to a car wash or wash at home?
The car wash market has seen steady growth over the past 20 years. International Carwash Association (ICA) research indicates that in 1996, 52.4% of consumers preferred at-home washing rather than going to a car wash. However, in 2014, that number reduced to 28.4%, with growth from 74.6% to over 71.6% of consumers favoring professional vehicle cleaning services. In 2019, it was estimated to be approximately 77%. Rather than washing at home, the benefits of going to a car wash include the following:
- Convenience – Professional car wash facilities, especially tunnel car washes, offer time-saving convenience, which customers value. This includes the frequent adoption of mobile apps for online reservation booking systems to skip waiting lines and mobile payment systems for easy, cashless transactions.
- Affordability – A tunnel car wash averages around $15, depending on the type of specialty services also provided. Basic car washes are just about the same as spending for washing at home when you factor in the cost of soaps, sponges, cloths, buckets, and other necessary materials. However, car washes can provide more thorough cleaning specialties for a relatively low additional expense. Popular add-ons include undercarriage and engine cleaning; adding wax coats; tire cleaning; and interior deodorizing and sanitation. Many tunnel car wash operations offer customers loyalty benefits, including free washes and services for repeat visits.
- Investment protection – Beyond vehicle hygiene, car washes can help sustain a car's value over time. This is especially vital when consumers look to sell or trade in an automobile, and the condition receives appraisal. Regular professional washes and add-on services like clear-coat protection can help guard a vehicle against UV rays, moisture, and various environmental impacts. Other typical road adversities, such as mud, grass clippings, bird droppings, and numerous corrosive types of debris that cause rust and paint fading can also impact the vehicle's overall value.
- Improved fuel efficiency and maintenance – Believe it or not, regularly washed cars help to improve a vehicle's fuel economy. Layers of dirt and grime can potentially decrease airflow across the surface, making it less aerodynamic and increasing drag, which boosts the vehicle's fuel usage. Regular car washes can help save gas and prolong the vehicle's life to keep it on the road longer.
- Easier winter washing – The busiest time for car washes is during the winter when 32% of consumers opt to wash their vehicles (mainly because of the road salt on icy roads). Tunnel car washes provide a quicker, more convenient way to clean the car rather than washing it at home by hand in less than favorable, oft-rigid winter weather conditions.
- Sustainability – It can be more environmentally conscious for consumers to take their vehicles to a tunnel car wash. Newer car wash facilities use water reclamation systems that reuse 90% of the water, so only 9 to 15 gallons of fresh water are used during the entire washing cycle. This is far less water than the estimated 40 to 140 gallons it can take to wash a car at home in a driveway. Additionally, at-home soap products and road debris are deposited directly into the city's water supply through storm drains. Car washes, however, have more wastewater regulation and are generally cleaned better. The sustainable approach is better for business, too. Tunnel washes currently optimizing water usage and green chemicals can reclaim and reuse water for eco-friendliness, and these operations can also turn cars faster on their conveyors.
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Carwash.com, Lessons in carwash tunnel layout: https://www.carwash.com/lessons-carwash-tunnel-layout/
Detail Pro POS, 20 Car Wash Statistics in 2021 That Will Surprise You: https://www.detailpropos.com/blog/car-wash-statistics/
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PSD Codax, Tunnel Car Wash Systems - A Beginner's Guide to Tunnel Car Wash Systems: https://www.psdcodax.com/tunnel-car-wash-systems-a-beginners-guide-to-tunnel-car-wash-systems/
Sunset North Car Wash, Here's What (Tunnel) Car Washes Are Really Doing to Your Car: https://sunsetnorthcarwash.com/2022/11/28/heres-what-tunnel-car-washes-are-really-doing-to-your-car/
Synchrony, 5 Reasons to Visit the Car Wash - and What to Watch Out For: https://www.mysynchrony.com/blog/automotive/5-reasons-to-visit-the-car-washand-what-to-watch-out-for.html
Thompson Sales Company, Wash Your Car Yourself or Take It Somewhere: https://www.thompsonsales.com/wash-your-car-yourself-or-take-it-somewhere/
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