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July 07, 2021
Understanding how PLLA (poly-l-lactic acid) works is important to knowing if it is something you want to include in your skincare routine. If you've been following me for any length of time, you know I'm not a "fad" follower. I research the science and investigate first hand to know what works and what doesn't.
Let's look at a brief history of PLLA, how it works and what a PLLA skincare routine looks like, before we explore who would, or would not, use PLLA.
The FDA approved a poly-L-lactic acid-based injectable as a medical device for restoration and correction of the signs of facial fat loss (lipoatrophy) in people with HIV in 2004. The injectable form of PLLA has proven to be effective for restoring volume as the microparticles initiate the build-up of collagen over time creating volume.
PLLA is absorbed by the body and this is when it signals the body to produce collagen. We see this process in dissolvable sutures as they help heal the incision site. PLLA is proven to be safe and effective.
The topical version of PLLA has since been developed and can increase volume in the skin as PLLA settles in and is absorbed through the hair follicle. This is a more natural process and doesn't require any needles. Over time this process increases the production of collagen which thickens skin, smooths fine lines, and helps plump up wrinkles.
It is not a quick fix but with continued use (average of 28 days) the results I see are magnificent. The increase isn't as dramatic as the injectable form, but it is noticeable and the results build with continued use.
If you're incorporating the use of PLLA products, you will begin with your normal steps of cleansing. You'd use the layering tips found here to incorporate PLLA products. PLLA products will be applied according to steps 4 and 5 as they categorized as serums.
One final tip for a PLLA application is using the CaviPLLA Multi-Serum at night as a sleeping mask. This is a practice of using a heavy application over the entire face to wake up in the morning to super supple skin. When using Cavi as a sleeping mask, apply it after you apply other nighttime products and spritz lightly with Stem Cell Mist. Face may feel a bit tacky. You can top off with a favorite moisturizer and you're good to go. In the morning, face will feel more supple. Cleanse in the morning as usual and follow your regular skincare routine. You can still use Cavi during the daytime too. (Note: If you have skin sensitive's, this will "work" the skin so you may experience a skin purging if you have skin sensitivities. This means you will need to go slower and allow your skin to adjust.)
You should consider adding a PLLA product(s) to your skincare routine, if you're fighting fine lines, deep wrinkles, crepey skin, or loss of volume around the fat pad areas of the face. You can spot treat or use it over your entire face, neck, and décolletage.
If your skin is healthy, firm, and has few wrinkles, PLLA would be overkill for your skincare routine. Using more preventative products such as those found in the CBE Botanicals Collection or NeoGenesis Collection would be more appropriate.
If you have sensitive skin or any skin disorder, please consult a medical professional before using PLLA or making any major changes to your skincare.
If you have sensitive skin, when you begin using PLLA, please go slow. Instead of using it twice daily, begin by using a little bit of product once a day for the first week. Work up to twice daily and ease into using more product to allow your skin time to adjust and to avoid the white bumps associated with a skin purge.
Poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) is truly one of my favorite Korean powerhouses in skincare.
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