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The "Super" Glow - With Skin Acids

Written by KD Gates

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Fight Acne, Dark Spots, and Wrinkles

Hearing “acid” causes me to think about the awful, burning liquid known to eat away anything it touches. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Acids, when it comes to the skin are topical leave-on treatments designed to smooth the skin's surface by removing thickened, dead skin cells. This process, called exfoliation, allows healthier, smoother skin cells to surface.

Exfoliants, unique in their own way, gives your skin that "super" glow you've always wanted. Working to diligently loosen the “glue-like” substance that holds the top layers of the skin together, exfoliation improves tone and texture, controls excessive oil buildup, minimizes acne, and with weekly use, helps eliminate dull-looking skin. However, depending on formulation, percentages, and pH, all skin acids don't work the same or offer the same benefits.

For instance, alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs are better for those with dry, thickened, or sun-damaged skin. Beta hydroxy acids or BHAs are fat-soluble and can exfoliate within the pore lining, making them a great choice for those with blemishes, blackheads, and oily skin. One fascinating property of BHAs is that they allow for deeper penetration within the pore and can be less irritating than AHAs, thus making them multi-functional and the primary choice for those with sensitive skin. Further, both AHAs and BHAs when compared to topical scrubs, are the cream of the crop and should never be substituted for pineapple enzymes, rice, beads, oat, or pumice-based scrubs. Thus leading me to clarify the different forms of AHAs and BHAs.

Lactic, citric, malic, tartaric, and glycolic acids with glycolic and lactic acids being the most widely used and the most effective are forms of alpha hydroxy acids. Beta hydroxy acids, on the other hand, come in the form of salicylic acid, a derivative of aspirin and is usually found in products designed to fight acne, blemishes, and boost collagen. According to Skin Inc., and research conducted at St. Louis University School of Medicine, beta hydroxy acids performed significantly better in the improvement of acne compared to that of alpha hydroxy acids. However, An AHA, such as our 6% Smoother Skin Smoothing Gel may be well-suited for those with photodamaged and or wrinkled skin.

Lastly, if you are one of the millions of women searching for bright, vibrant, younger-looking skin, then utilizing a skin acid is one of the best options for you. The hardest decision you may need to make is deciding which acid will work best. To make it easier, keep in mind your reasoning for buying a skin acid. Decide if you're interested in minimizing thickened skin, acne, wrinkles, or sun damage and begin your quest. I've created a chart below to help you get started.  Also, keep in mind that AHAs work best at levels between 5 and 10% while BHAs work great at levels between 1% and 2%. When it comes to pH, both AHAs and BHAs are effective at a pH of 3 to 4.

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) BHAs (beta hydroxy acids)
AHAs work to correct: wrinkles, photodamage / sun damage, uneven skin tone, thickened skin, dullness BHAs work to correct: acne, oiliness, sensitivity, thickness, roughness, uneven skin tone

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