The Beauty Pie ABC+SPF Challenge
Written by Jess Beech
1 Sep 2023
Everything you need to know...
Whether you jetted off to sunnier climes or stayed put and enjoyed a staycation, we hope summer has worked its magic and you’re approaching the new season feeling happy and zen. But now it's September, which can only mean ONE THING (apart from back to school, browsing winter boots and choosing new, cosier scented candles): it’s ABC SPF Challenge Time.
If your post-summer skin is drab, dry and/or damaged, there is good news, this will get you back on track. Try it for 6 weeks and you’ll be obsessed - just like everyone who started the program last year.
What is the Beauty Pie ABC SPF Challenge?
Starting on 1st September (but begin whenever you like), the Beauty Pie ABC SPF Challenge is the skincare equivalent of pressing reset on your complexion. It’s not complicated, and simply involves using our ABC+SPF Skincare Kit and routine for 6 weeks. We’ve got consultant dermatologist Dr. Markey involved too, and he will be sharing his advice on addressing sun damage and the kind of results you can expect by the end of the challenge (spoiler: they’re impressive).
In the top layer of the skin termed the epidermis, it takes skin cells 6 weeks to travel up from the basal (bottom) layer to the topDr. Andrew Markey
Why is it 6 weeks long? “In the top layer of the skin termed the epidermis, it takes skin cells 6 weeks to travel up from the basal (bottom) layer to the top,” explains Dr. Markey. “This 6-week period is termed the ‘skin cycle’ and represents the minimum time that dermatologists wait to judge early results of topical treatments.” That doesn’t mean you won’t see results before your 6 weeks are up though. “Of course, when starting active skin care you may well notice significant improvements within a few days as the skin is hydrated and the barrier function and smoothness shines through early on.”
Why is ABC SPF so great?
For great skin all year round, our Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Andrew Markey recommends that your routine includes what he refers to as the three ‘master molecules’ which are A (Retinol, also known as Vitamin A), B (Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3) and C (Vitamin C, always known as Vitamin C), plus SPF. This is in addition to a good cleanser and a good moisturiser, and you can incorporate other serums too.
“ABC SPF is an approach to skincare designed to optimise your skin health at any stage in life” says Dr. Markey. “It works on every level of your skin to improve the appearance of sun damage through stabilization, improvement of skin texture, smoothening in skin texture and fine lines, repair of the skin barrier, and hydration. Each individual component of the system, ABC and SPF, work synergistically to deliver great skin health.”
To give you a rundown of each element, let’s start off with Retinol, which is a derivative of Vitamin A. Retinol is a brilliant, potent ingredient that really comes into its own after the summer months. UV rays can bring hyperpigmentation to the surface and melt away the skin-plumping proteins Collagen and elastin, but Retinol has a solution for both. First, it speeds up cell turnover, helping to fade darker areas of skin, and second, it kick-starts Collagen and elastin production, in order to replace what’s been lost. In this post-summer instance, it’s essentially a clean-up operation, but it is just as crucial all year round to keep skin functioning efficiently.
Next up, is Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3. As far as skincare ingredients go, Niacinamide is something of an overachiever. Working to strengthen the skin barrier, it’s great at restoring harmony to skin that’s stressed, compromised, and generally having a mare post-summer. If it’s congestion and blemishes that are your complexion bugbear, then Niacinamide will help here too. It does a good job of balancing oil flow so there’s less excess sebum, making pores look smaller and your skin less shiny. Plus, it reduces redness in angry spots. There are anti-aging pros too, as Niacinamide also promotes spring in the skin and dials up glow.
Now for Vitamin C. Its key benefit is that it’s an antioxidant, which means that it works like a shield to protect skin from environmental aggressors like UV rays, pollution, and blue light. All of these can lead to premature aging, so you want those defenses to be as high and water-tight as possible. With continued use of Vitamin C, you’ll notice that your skin is brighter, your complexion more even in tone, and that existing hyperpigmentation is no longer quite so visible. Vitamin C is also an important component in the formation of collagen, so adding more into the mix means the skin can make more of this firming, plumping protein.
Last, but by no means least is SPF. Prevention is always better than cure, which means this is arguably the most important part of your entire routine. Especially when you consider that around 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun. The role of sunscreen is to create a barrier between your skin and UV rays so that they can’t cause any damage. We tend to be much more proactive about sunscreen when it’s summer and the sun is shining, but remember that UVA rays are present all year round and can even penetrate through clouds. If you’re in the UK, you’ll receive our Ultralight UVA/UVB SPF25 as part of your kit, and if you’re in the US, it will be our Traceless Mineral SPF30.
Incorporating these key elements into your skincare routine will not only restore your skin post-summer but ensure you’re enjoying your best possible complexion all year round.
Incorporating these key elements into your skincare routine will not only restore your skin post-summer but ensure you’re enjoying your best possible complexion all year round. “Consistency is key in active skin care, and the longer you persist with the program, the greater the results you will notice,” advises Dr. Markey. “It improves skin smoothness, firmness, evenness of pigmentation, texture, pore optics, and the appearance of fine lines improve. The all-important ‘glow’ of healthy skin will be your reward for sticking with the program. As I always say ‘healthy skin is fabulous-looking skin’.”
Why should I take part?
Still on the fence about whether to join the ABC SPF Challenge? If the idea of refreshing, renewing, and repairing your skin post-summer, or getting into the habit of embracing a highly effective skincare routine isn’t enough to twist your arm, then maybe this will. From those who share their ‘before and afters’ on social, we will select three winners at random to receive a bag of Beauty Pie skincare bestsellers.
Sounds great, how can I get involved?
Taking part is simple. All you need to do is purchase our ABC+SPF Skincare Kit & Routine and start using it on the 1st of September. Don’t worry if you think you’ll forget the kick-off date, as we’ll be sharing reminders on social and email for all our members. Use the kit every day as recommended, and remember, as with all skincare, it’s give and take, so if you’re not consistent, you won’t see results. After 6 weeks, share your before and after results on social, and you’ll be in with a chance of winning a bag of skincare goodies. You could say, it’s as easy as ABC.