Our constant quest to achieve smooth, even-toned, and radiant skin, would never become a reality, if it wasn’t for the use of acids in skin care. Our skin loves and needs active ingredients to treat, prevent and stimulate the skin. As we age, our production of plumping agents, like collagen and elastin slow down. Our skin isn’t shedding it’s dead cells as frequently and our oil production can vary. From non existent to excessive – causing all sorts of dramas with pores, fine lines and wrinkles.
To some, the thought of applying acids to the skin can be a little daunting. In reality, the acids in cosmeceutical products are what we call stable, meaning their delivery systems penetrate directly to the deeper layers of the skin and shouldn’t cause irritation to the surface when applied correctly. An exception of this, is using acids in a purposeful manner, ie. Peels, to shed the surface layer of the skin.
Some acids are so mild you may even have them in the cleanser you’re currently using and not even realise! Acids like AHA and BHA’s are commonly used in cleansers, and help with dryness, exfoliation and oil control. Stronger, more potent acids can be found in serum form, such as Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic acid), Vitamin A (retinol), Hyaluronic Acid and Ferulic acid being the more commonly used.
Guide to Acids in Skin Care
We’ve quickly broken down the acids for you, so you can all understand exactly what you’re popping in that shopping cart and using on your skin!
Alpha hydroxy acids are often derived from fruit or dairy. They work in different ways depending on the acid, but in general, they exfoliate and smooth the skin, and can help reduce fine lines and hyperpigmentation. The most commonly used is Lactic Acid which helps reduce inflammation, uneven skin tones and textures, and the second being Glycolic Acid.
Helps to remove dead skin cells and is wonderful at treating pigmentation, age spots and blemish marks. It’s able to transfer water molecules into the skin, leaving your skin feeling plump and hydrated. It’s also shown to boost Collagen, the holy grail of anti-ageing. So yes, you’ll love your Glycolic Acid and likely find it in many of you skin care items already.
Another branch of AHA’s, Mandelic Acid is the gentle version. Like the other AHA’s, it’s able to break the bonds between dead and live skin cells, allowing them to be gently washed away. As it’s more gentle, it doesn’t penetrate as deeply as it’s counterparts, but still does a great job! It’s also known for it’s Collagen boosting properties, strengthening the support system of your skin.
Beta hydroxy acids penetrate deeply into pores and oil glands and help with Acne and oily skin. Salicylic Acid is one of the most common types of BHA, and is used as an acne treatment. It gets into the pore lining to helps prevent the pore from getting clogged, which would have otherwise lead to a breakout.
Found naturally in our bodies, Hyaluronic Acid is used to plump the skin by retaining water. This dramatically helps with hydration and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll find it get’s added to many serums and cosmetics at the moment as it’s the “in thing,” but don’t let this fool you. It really is as good as it seems. Hydrated skin is able to function better in every way!
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals, stimulate collagen production, brighten the skin and minimise wrinkles. It works wonderfully with Ferulic acid which is also a potent antioxidant, helping with sun damage and wrinkles.
Vitamin A stimulates collagen production and assists with cell turnover. If you were to wear this serum to bed of an evening, you’ll wake to find resurfaced skin, unclogged pores and your fine lines and wrinkles will slowly but surely minimise! All skin can benefit from the use of Vitamin A, even the highly sensitive, impaired barrier type. Ensure you’re using a quality cosmeceutical product with correct delivery systems (Retinaldehyde is great example of this) and you shouldn’t see any irritation at all.
You can now see the importance of Acids In Skin Care, and how much help our skin actually needs to be glowingly fabulous. To see real change in your skin, acids really must be present. Whether this is adding an active cleanser or using an array of products, care must be taken, and each product added slowly to ensure no reaction. You will notice a difference in your skin tone and texture, and you will definitely LOVE your newly glowing skin!
Still not sure?
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