I haven’t done a skin question in a loooooooong time. So here we go. Good question for all skin types, all ages.
Why do we need to use products that contain alpha hydroxy acid in them? And what is alpha hydroxy acid?
Alpha hydroxy acid sums up all the different types of fruit acids. Whether it comes from sugar cane (glycolic), apple (malic), etc., they all are in the same category as alpha hydroxy acid. The different types of acids have different properties. Glycolic is the most common because it has the smallest molecule therefore can penetrate the skin best.
Now the question, why do we need them?
Well, ideally our skin exfoliates and sheds the dead skin cells every 28 days. That’s what it used to do when we were kids and our skin was gorgeous. But as we age our body does not keep up that process and it slows. So instead of shedding on it’s own every 28 days, it takes longer and longer the older we get. That’s where alpha hydroxy acids come into action. They exfoliate our skin and give it the boost that we need to get rid of the dead skin that accumulates on the surface of the skin. There are a ton of products out there claiming to have these acids in them. But making sure it’s in a product in itself is not good enough. All acids come in not only strengths (percentages), but have different pH levels. A lot of people are under the misconception that the higher the percentage the stronger the peel. Nope. You can have a very high percentage peel, but if the pH is not that different from your own skin, then it won’t have a dramatic effect. That’s why it’s great to occasionally get an alpha hydroxy peel done regularly during facials. We have at our disposal stronger products that can only be administered in a professional setting. Another bonus is they even out skin tone. They help with pigmentation from the sun, aging, etc. Overall it helps refresh and smooth out your skin. I recommend an alpha hydroxy peel regularly.
I mentioned earlier that our skin used to exfoliate on it’s own every 28 days, thus you often hear estheticians recommend to people with good skin a facial once a month. Problem or acneic skin should come more often than that until the breakouts are under control. And it’s bonus if you’re using an alpha hydroxy serum at home a few nights a week. Your skin will be able to absorb moisture much better if you exfoliate regularly at home. Otherwise it’s a waste to spend money on moisturizers if it’s going to just sit on the surface of your skin and not be able to penetrate because of a layer of dead skin blocking it’s way.
Summary of why I need them?
They take over the exfoliation that our body used to handle on it’s own when we were younger. It can help our moisturizers, and all our products from working the way they were intended instead of meeting a roadblock. Helps fight pigmentation, evens skin tone, and smoothes out the epidermis.
Hope this was helpful. If you have any other questions feel free to email me and I can help answer them through email or on the blog. Happy exfoliating!