The Regimen

Ask the Esthy: Vivant’s In-House Esthetician Answers Your Questions

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Every week we invite questions from the Instagram community to be answered by our in-house esthetician. There’s such a wealth of great information that comes from these sessions. We like to share it so everyone can benefit. Here, in another installment of Ask the Esthy, we share some of the best of our recent Q&A forums. 



Q: I just switched from the 15% Mandelic Acid 3-In-1 Serum to the Exfol-A Forté, and I have noticed some breakouts. Is this normal?

A: Totally normal. Your skin is acclimating to a new product. While both mandelic acid and vitamin A exfoliate the skin, they do so at different rates and with varying intensity. Exfol-A Forté is level three of our vitamin A therapies and is a much stronger formulation than the Mandelic Acid serum. Exfol-A Forté brings everything to the surface during the first weeks of use as it rapidly accelerates cell turnover. Breakouts are not uncommon during this initial phase. You will likely notice some flaking as well. Once everything is brought to the surface, and your skin has acclimated, your skin will smooth and the flaking will stop.


Q: How long should I wait for serum (vitamin A for example) to soak in before I moisturize?

A: Ideally, ten minutes. If you’re in a hurry, at least wait until your skin feels dry to the touch before applying moisturizer or any other product. We recommend going easy on moisturizer while using vitamin A products, especially during the acclimation phase when skin is flaking. The aim is to promote cell turnover and adding moisturizer can cause cells to adhere to the surface of skin and block and create cellular buildup.  


Q: How long does it take for MaxiLip plumper to work and how long does it last?

A: You will start feeling a tingling sensation in a matter of seconds and the full plumping effect in about a minute. MaxiLip has a semi-permanent lip plumping effect meaning over time, with consistent use, your lips will appear fuller. The dramatic effects last a few hours.


Q: My 18-year-old son has terrible acne. I just ordered BP 10% Gel, Derm-A-Gel, and 3% BP Wash. Is this the best course for him?

A: For severe acne that is a great combo. Be aware that your son’s skin is going to become very dry initially as he acclimates to the products. Don’t worry. This is the clearing phase. Ice before applying the products, and start out using the BP for just ten minutes a night before rinsing off. Work up to an hour a night. To enhance product absorption and optimize results, he should use the Daily Repair Pads following the BP Wash.


Q: Should I use BP 10% Gel every day even after my acne has cleared?

A: If your acne has cleared, back off the BP 10% Gel but continue the antibacterial treatment with BP 3% Acne Wash or BP 3% Exfoliating Cleanser along with Mandelic Acid 15% or 8% Serum. For a great weekly booster, supercharge a Sulfur Clay Mask by applying a thin layer of BP 10% Gel underneath, then allow to dry and rinse as usual. If you find that you begin breaking out again, go back to BP 10% Gel.  


Q: Can I use Mandelic Acid with Benzoyl Peroxide?

A: Depending on your skin tone. Darker tones can experience temporary hyperpigmentation from benzoyl peroxide. Mandelic acid can be used the morning and BP at night, but you should not layer them.


Q: I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and acne scars. Which serum should I use?

A: When you have sensitive skin you must build up your skin tolerance to higher percentages or actives. The best way to do that is to start with the lowest levels. In this case, we would recommend 8% Mandelic Acid Serum in the mornings to kill acne bacteria, reduce inflammation, and fade acne scars; and Derm-A-Renew at night to mildly exfoliate and improve skin texture.


Q: How do I know I am doing my regimen correctly?

A: The simple answer is results. You will see and feel the difference in the tone and texture of your skin. We always recommend taking pictures when you first begin using the products, then taking follow-up photos every 15 to 30 days, so you see your progress. If you have specific questions about your progress and regimen, feel free to email your photos along with the details of your regimen, length of time you’ve been using it, and your questions, and we will be happy to provide insight and support. Contact us at



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