Hi all and thanks so much for checking out today’s article/blog post! Today’s topic is the second segment in my series, “Best anti-aging ingredients for radiant and healthy skin”. If you missed last month’s article you can go back and read it here.
Let’s recap my top five anti-aging ingredients:
- Retinol – Read my post on retinol here:
- Hydroxy acids
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Vitamin C
As I mentioned in my last post, dull skin is caused by a reduction in cellular turnover which normally occurs about every 28 days. As we age, that process slows down, allowing dead skin cells to build up on the surface of the skin, preventing the skin from reflecting light and instead, scattering it in all different directions. Hydroxy acids are my “go to” ingredients when looking for products to promote a more radiant and healthy complexion. Here’s why:
What are they?
Hydroxy acids are active skin care ingredients that are derived from natural sources. There are two types of hydroxy acids: alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA).
What they do?
Hydroxy Acids help reduce discoloration, improve acne and the appearance of fine lines, and give the skin a healthy, radiant glow
Why I like them?
Hydroxy Acids are powerful exfoliators that break the bond between dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and the fresh, healthy skin that is below the surface. Hydroxy acids chemical exfoliation promotes skin renewal including improvement in the appearance of fine lines, hydration to this skin and reversal of the effects of photoaging. (to learn more about chemical exfoliation vs physical exfoliation, read my article entitled: Beauty tips to help you winterize your skin)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
AHA’s can significantly fade dark spots, minimize fine lines and wrinkles and improve elasticity and tone to the skin. AHA’s also function as humectants, aiding in the skin’s ability to retain moisture and attract moisture to the skin from the environment.
There are several types of AHA including:
- Glycolic Acid: derived from sugar cane (my preferred AHA)
- Lactic Acid: derived from milk
- Citric Acid: derived from citrus fruits
- Malic Acid: derived from apples
- Mandelic Acid: derived from bitter almonds
In skin care products, alpha hydroxy acids are effective for treating signs of skin aging. Studies show that alpha hydroxyl acids can also boost production of collagen, a protein that strengthens the skin’s ability to resist wrinkling and sagging.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
BHA’s are another class of compounds commonly used in skin care products. The most widely recognized BHA is salicylic acid, a common ingredient in products designed to heal or prevent blemishes. BHA’s are very effective at penetrating the pores hence their wide recommendation to those who are prone to blackheads or experience excessive oil on the surface of the skin.
Unlike retinols/tretinoin/Retin-A products that trigger cell turnover by inducing inflammation to the skin, hydroxy acids gently dissolve the upper layer of cells to initiate skin repair and renewal. For this reason, hydroxy acids are better options for exfoliation than harsh physical scrubs which can be too abrasive, especially people with sensitive skin. Hydroxy acids and in particular, glycolic acid can be as effective as using a retinol/vitamin A derivative however, it may take a little longer to see signs of cellular turnover (such as flakiness or leathered texture of the surface of the skin). This is especially true for those in the age range of 20-30 where prevention is typically the desired objective. This is not true for those desiring to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles as the only proven ingredient capable of this is retinol. (see my article on retinol here)
As with all your skin care purchases, look for products that list your preferred hydroxy acid in the front of the ingredient deck as ingredients are listed according to the percentage contained in the product.
For more beauty tips, news and trends, including which hydroxy acid products I recommend and why, visit my website and accompanying blog: Caterpillars and Butterflies or simply type the following web address into your browser www.spadelic.com