Acid Skin Care might sound like something you’d see in a Sci-Fi film, but it’s actually a popular skin care methodology, due to it’s efficacy. Whether you’re looking to turn back the hands of time (by erasing fine lines and wrinkles), or you want to abolish acne (and those unsightly dark scars) once and for all, acid skin care treatments are fast-acting, long-lasting, and effective methods to employ. Featured here are the ABC’s of Acid Skin Care, explaining the differences between each treatment, and how they can improve the appearance and texture of your skin.
The ABC’s of Acid Skin Care
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA):
“AHAs are well known for their use in the cosmetics industry. (Alpha hydroxy acids) are often found in products claiming to reduce wrinkles or the signs of aging, and improve the overall look and feel of the skin. They are also used as chemical peels available in a dermatologist’s office, beauty and health spas and home kits, which usually contain a lower concentration of around 4%.” [Source: Wikipedia] If you’re looking to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, add an AHA product to your skin care regime.
Beta Hydroxy Acid:
“Beta hydroxy acid peels are similar to Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels, but they contain salicylic acid to treat acne-prone and oily skin. Since beta hydroxy acid is oil-soluble, it penetrates deeper to clean out clogged pores and regulate serum.” [Source: New Beauty, Vol. 5, Issue 3] This is what makes beta hydroxy acid a great skin care treatment for acne.
When you visit a Dermatologist office or Spa, one of the skin care treatments you’ll often times see on their menu of procedures is a Chemical Peel. This treatment is administered by an experienced skin care professional (whether it be an esthetician or Dermatologist), as the chemical peel works by temporarily damaging the skin (in a good way), to encourage it to regenerate skin cells, by shedding the top layer of dead skin cells. After the skin heals itself, fresh skin cells are revealed, making your skin look healthy and radiant.
Known for boosting your body’s ability to produce collagen (the key to youthful-looking skin), minimizing acne scars and discoloration, glycolic acid peels can also help improve your skin’s texture as well. This type of acid peel requires a number of treatments, so don’t expect to see miraculous changes overnight. Rather, if used on a regular basis, you will see positive improvements over time.
Frequently used in injectable wrinkle fillers (like Restylane and Juvederm), Hyaluronic acid is also “a popular ingredient in topical beauty products, such as moisturizers and makeup… One of the substance’s features is that it draws moisture from the air and is said to hold up to 1, 000 times its weight in water.” [Source: Los AngelesTimes] Since it helps your skin retain moisture, it helps to create a smooth, softer skin texture, and minimize the on-set of wrinkles.
“Derived from sour or fermented milk, lactic acid is a popular beauty aid for those seeking to improve their skin’s texture and hydration level.” [Source: Discovery Fit & Health] “As such, it improves skin’s overall texture by moisturizing, sloughing off dead surface cells and promoting collagen growth. Consequently, lactic acid often works well as a wrinkle and line reducer and helps to even out skin tone and diminish acne scars [Source: Skincare News].
Known as the superhero skin care treatment for fighting acne and breakouts, salicylic acid is fantastic for treating clogged pores, blackheads, and whiteheads. It works by “causing the cells of the epidermis to shed more readily, opening clogged pores and neutralizing bacteria within, preventing pores from clogging up again by constricting pore diameter, and allowing room for new cell growth.” [Source: Wikipedia]