Our skin naturally 'turns over' monthly, shedding the dull top layer of dead cells, to reveal newer healthy cells below. AHAs are water soluble molecules that work on the surface of the skin to loosen and release dead skin cells on the top layers of the skin. This increased rate of exfoliation of the skin surface and promotes cell turnover and improving the texture and clarity of skin boosting skin thickness and stimulating collagen production. These products are useful for rough or scaling skin and improving fine lines and pigmentation. These agents can be irritating and make your skin more photosensitive so it is vital that you add in a daily high factor SPF to protect your skin. People with darker skin tones should take extra care as excess peeling can cause hyperpigmentation.
Examples of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA): Glycolic acid- smallest of the AHA molecules; Lactic acid; Mandelic acid
BHAs are also effective chemical exfoliants which can loosen the upper layers of the skin to smooth texture. They are also oil soluble and able to penetrate into pores, taking this exfoliant activity to a deeper level. They are also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. These features make them fantastic for people with acne prone skin.
Examples of Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA): Salicylic acid (SA) and Lipohydroxy acid (LHA)
Ageing and skin texture
+ Glycolic 10 renew overnight SkinCeuticals
+ Alpha beta ultra gentle daily peel Dr Dennis Gross
Easy to use pads
+ Resurfacing glycolic pads Malin and Goetz
+ Revitalift bright reveal brightening peel pads L'Oreal
Acne prone skin
+ Efflaclar duo La roche Posay - Contains LHA a better tolerated derivative of SA. This is a fantastic pore un-blocker and really helps with commonly experienced 'under the skin' spots and comedones.
+ Sébium Bioderma
+ Even better clinical dark spot corrector Clinique