Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) revolutionized skin care in the 1980’s with the discovery of their ability to dramatically improve the appearance of aging skin.
Derived from foods, AHA’s are often overlooked in their role as antioxidants, but in addition to their own merits, they work synergistically with other antioxidants, enhancing their activity.AHA’s are now old news in the cosmetic world, but they are a skin care gift that keeps on giving.
Glycolic acid, one of the most popular alpha hydroxy acids, is derived from sugar cane. When applied to the skin, it exfoliates the outer layers of dead cells providing a younger appearance. Renewal of cells correlates to skin that is softer, smoother, with fewer wrinkles. The benefits of glycolic acid though are not confined just to exfoliation:
• Promotes collagen growth in the upper dermis, leading to up to 25% increase in skin thickness, which helps soften fine lines and wrinkles.
• Enhances circulation, stimulates cellular growth, and reduces pore size.
• Enhances the penetration of a variety of skin care actives, especially Vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid.
• Repairs sun damaged skin, reduces redness, and prevents free radical damage caused by UVA exposure.
• Reduces redness of rosacaea when used in low concentrations.
• Reduces hyperpigmentation, blotchy discoloration, and age spots.
• Helps relieve dry skin, dermatitis, and scaling skin disorders.
• Reduces razor bumps and ingrown hairs, alleviating shaving problems. Facial skin peels with high concentrations (20%-50%) are popular skin renewal professional procedures, which are expensive and often irritating.
Skin care products for home use are limited to 10% concentrations. Higher concentrations can lead to sun sensitivity and irritation. Our philosophy is that we value the benefits of alpha hydroxy acids in general and glycolic acid in particular.
We have found that routine use of lower concentrations (1-5 per cent) is as effective in promoting younger, brighter skin as an intense peel, without the expense or side effects. Yes, the process initially takes weeks instead of minutes, but the results are amazing.
Cleansers and toners are the vehicles we use to deliver daily doses of AHA. Results are noticed within the first week and maintained with no irritation and no discernible sun sensitivity for most. Twice daily applications of AHA toner provides the following results:
• Smoother skin texture with fewer fine lines.
• Dull skin will be renewed, fresher, and younger looking.
• Uneven skin tones will become more uniform.
• Redness will be reduced.
• As collagen levels increase, skin will become firmer, wrinkles will be reduced.
• Acne and blemish breakouts will subside, skin will become clearer, and acne scars and redness will fade. It is not unusual for blemishes to increase initially as the skin is cleaned of inflammatory agents, but the situation will continually improve.
Abbey St. Clare provides glycolic and AHA benefits in the following products:
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Yes. Yes, you do. But….. Caveat emptor.
When first asked to develop products for a local esthetician, I researched the history of cosmetic chemistry. I quickly learned that when it comes to beauty potions, it wasn’t always the chemistry of ingredients that sold products. It was lovely packaging, beautiful cosmetic counters, colorful smocks, and promises of clear and youthful complexions. Lots of promises.