Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Making Sense of Skin Care Ingredients - Part 1 - Acids

With so many skin care systems and different ingredients on the market today, it can be challenging to decide where to invest your skincare dollars to achieve the maximum desired results.  Much will depend on your age and skin care goals.  To help wade through the waters of acids, vitamins, and other ingredients, my next few blog posts will give you a basic overview in terms easy to understand.

Your skin is constantly in a process of renewal.  While new cells are created in lower layers, dead skin cells emerge at the surface and need to be sloughed off.  These cells will slough off slowly, on their own, or we can aid the process using mechanical or chemical exfoliators.  Mechanical exfoliators can come in the form of granules or micro beads in your skin care products or by way of microdermabrasion - but that's a whole other topic.  Chemical exfoliators can come in the form of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids used in skin care products.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

Glycolic Acid - an exfoliator used to speed up skin cell renewal.  By increasing collagen formation and epidermal thickness, it helps to improve the appearance of fine wrinkles and rough skin texture.

Lactic Acid - an exfoliator that has been found to increase ceramide levels.  This is a benefit because ceramides compose the bulk of the lipid layer of the skin and help hold the skin cells together in a smooth firm structure.

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA)

Salicylic Acid - an exfoliator often used in acne treatments and oily skin products because it penetrates deep into the hair follicles to clear compacted or un-sloughed skin cells that clog follicles and cause blemishes and breakouts.

Cell renewal is important to the overall health of your skin so it just makes sense to aid in the process by sloughing off dead skin cells.  Make exfoliating a part of your regular skin care routine!!

Next time, in Part 2, I will review the vitamins often found in skin care products.

Sources: Skin Care Science, Marty Glenn; The Esthetic Institute, Betty-Ann Newton

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