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What is Glycolic Acid?
Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid acid (AHA) which chemically exfoliates the skin. AHA’s are a group of naturally occurring fruit acids that can be found in food and Glycolic Acid is a derivative of sugar cane. It is the most researched AHA and studies show that Glycolic Acid demonstrates the most impressive results for all ages and skin types. It has a small molecular structure which means when applied to the skin it can readily penetrate the follicles to help clear debris and reduce comedones (blackheads), enlarged pores and breakout problems.
What are the benefits of using it?
Glycolic acid is an effective and versatile ingredient in skin care science. It works by dissolving the glue-like bond between the surface skin cells of the Stratum Corneum which have reached the end of their cycle. Removing the build up of dead skin cells reveals newer, healthier skin cells and smooths the skin surface and texture softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Studies show that the range of cell proliferation and collagen production increase significantly when using Glycolic Acid. By promoting cell renewal it also improves the moisture binding capabilities of the epidermis. This makes the skin appear plumper and firmer by the increased hydration.
Glyoclic Acid is beneficial for acne-prone skin as it helps to keep pores clear of excess cell build up to normalise the skin. Finally, in case you weren’t already convinced, when used in concentrations of 5% and upwards Glycolic Acid can lessen the signs of sun damage and pigmentation by removing melanin-infused skin cells and improving skin tone.
What should you look for in a Home Care product?
A good AHA product will contain a total of 7-10% acids which may be a combination of other AHA’s or Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA). For real improvements you must commit to using your product routinely. It’s best to use AHA’s under the direction your skin care professional. After all we have lots of experience using these products and can give advice on their safe and effective use.
If you do search for your own it’s best to look for a product with a pH no lower than 3.5 - products with a lower pH value than 3.5 may cause irritation or inflammation. It’s important to use a broad-spectrum SPF (as you should at all times anyway) as AHA’s may make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Remember to always use the product according to the manufacturer directions.
You can always email me at Sarah@enlivenskincare.co.uk for a complimentary skin health analysis and product recommendations