What effect does daily chemical exfoliation have on Aging Skin ?
Chemical exfoliation is the use of a product that dissolves or loosens dead skin cell build up. Mechanical exfoliation removes surface cells by physically bumping them off the skin. A scrub is an example of a mechanical exfoliator. Using a daily chemical exfoliant such as alpha hydroxy acid can make a huge difference in skin that already has aging symptoms, and it can actually help maintain younger looking skin. Mechanical exfoliators are good for helping make the skin look smoother and clearer but, does not have the same long range effects as daily use chemical exfoliants. Alpha Hydroxy Acids include glycolic, lactic, mandelic, malic, and tartaric acids. Beta Hydroxy Acids include salicylic acid and citric acid.
By loosening and removing dead surface cells chemical exfoliants accomplish the following :
- Removal of dead cell build up on the skin’s surface immediately causing a smoothing effect on the skin, reflecting light more evenly and making wrinkles look less deep.
- Fine lines are significantly lessened, often to the point where they are no longer visible.
- Daily use of AHAs speeds up the epidermal cell renewal, significantly improving hydration, helping to plump the skin surface cells, and improving smoothness and texture.
- With daily use of AHAs the barrier function is improved due to the acceleration of the cell renewal cycle.
- Routine use of daily AHAs stimulates the production of new collagen in the skin.
- It also removes stained or hyper-pigmented dead cells, improving the appearance of dark spots, sun related freckles, and splothchiness.
How do I know which type of Alpha Hydroxy home care product is right for my skin?
Alpha Hydroxy acid products are available in cream, lotion, serum, and gel forms. They are worn on the skin usually under a moisturizer or sunscreen. Creams are most often intended for dry skin and gels are best for oily or combination skin. Serums can often be used on several skin types. The percentage of alpha hydroxy acid content is important. Make sure the product contains 8-10% alpha hydroxy acid. Products with more than 10% AHA can cause inflammation and visible peeling of the skin, which is not necessary to see results with an AHA product. An AHA product should have a PH of about 3.5 and an AHA concentration of 8-10%. Products with a PH lower than 3.5 , when used daily can cause inflammation and irritation. Also, rinse off products do not have the same improvement effects on the skin as a product that is worn. Sunscreen use is imperative when using alpha hydroxy acid products. Because the skin is being routinely exfoliated, the skin must be protected from UV exposure.