Cousins alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA, also known as salicylic acid), can't be beat for a duo to have in your skincare routine. Whether used as the key ingredient in a powerful once-a-week, overnight peel or as an adjunct to make a great self-tan work even better, AHAs and BHA are powerfully effective compounds that fit easily into a clean and nontoxic skin-care regimen for noticeable results.
Glycolic, lactic, citric, and malic acids all fall under the exfoliating AHA category and work by gently removing the top layer of dead skin cells (along with pollution, grime, makeup, and anything else that might potentially clog pores) through a natural chemical exfoliation. Salicylic acid works in a similar manner. The advantage of chemical exfoliation is that it’s extremely even, unlike a physical exfoliation, with a gritty scrub or the rough surface of a washcloth, which can cause microtears in skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluable only, while beta hydroxy acids are oil soluble. That means that BHA's can penetrate into your pore and exfoliate the dead skin cells that build up inside the pore. AHA's are derived from fruit and peptide sugars and cause the cells of the epidermis to become "unglued," allowing the dead skin cells to slough off and make room for new skin cell growth. Waaalaaahh...skin cell regeneration!!! The essence of fabulous skin!! The results are the reason AHAs are so beloved by so many different skin types: They can help unclog pores, soften the appearance of wrinkles, and minimize the visibility of dark spots, and they can even help increase moisture in skin. After a good exfoliation with AHAs, your skin should be soft and smooth and just radiantly glow!
Like all exfoliants, AHAs and salicylic acid facilitate the absorption of any treatment that follows. Different types of acids yield different benefits, so it’s often useful to combine them in skin treatments. Glycolic, for instance, is the smallest molecule among the alpha hydroxy acids, so it can go deeper into the layers of the skin; it was initially developed for the treatment of extremely dry skin. Salicylic acid (which is the same compound as aspirin) has soothing properties, so it can be helpful for breakout-prone skin. When they come together...POW! Watch out! Your skin will thank you for it!!
The concentrations of a particular acid within a formula can make a big difference in results: At lower concentrations, AHAs can be gentle enough for even sensitive skin. At higher concentrations, like the glycolic acid in the new Flashback Instant Brightening Peel, from Willing Beauty, they can work powerfully to retexturize, smooth, clarify, and refine. It has the perfect pH blend as well to keep your effectiveness at it's utmost potential!
Whether you’re dealing with dryness, sun damage, blemishes,dullness or you just want your beautiful skin to continue to be beautiful as you age, AHAs and BHA are a brilliant way to improve your skin in both the short and long term, without potentially toxic ingredients. The formula below is infused with alpha and beta hydroxy acids; let me help you pick the best regimen for your skin’s needs (if you have sensitive skin, err on the side of caution when you’re using any exfoliating acids), then stick with it, and you should see a major difference in your skin. Here are the items we recommend:
This at-home peel is genius for refreshing and resurfacing skin and cost a fraction of what an in-office treatment goes for. I got 16 uses out of this little jar and my skin has never looked better!!
Pair it with Born to Glow for protective, healing moisture after you peel. What I love about this duo is that there is no downtime. Just use it at night and be ready to face the world in your SPF glow in the morning!