Increasing Your Skin Care Knowledge

Retinol

Retinol is the purest form of Vitamin A and one of nature’s most powerful anti-wrinkle ingredients. It works within the skin’s surface to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The prescription form of this product is called Retin-A or Renova.

Why Skin Ages

The sun is responsible for 90-98 percent of aging, causing wrinkles, lines, hyper-pigmentation, age spots, and loss of natural moisture and elasticity. Beta hydroxy acid, of which salicylic acid is one, can occur naturally in wintergreen leaves, sweet birch and selected plants. This acid can aid in improving the appearance and condition of the skin.

Cosmeceuticals

These are medical grade skin care products developed for physicians that provide pharmaceutical grade ingredients products and quality control. They have a proven record of cleansing, moisturizing, protecting and exfoliating the skin to reduce fine lines, restore glow and tone, protect against the harmful effects of solar radiation and pollution and generally slow the effects of aging on the skin.

Free Radicals

Free radicals are aggressive, unstable, oxygen-containing molecules. They have lost an electron and need to steal other electrons from other molecules, thereby damaging the cells from which they steal. Free-radical damage is part of the cause of aging. It is important to have antioxidants both internally through nutrition and externally, used topically through products.

Antioxidants in Skin Care Products?

Antioxidants are one of the most effective treatments for the skin. Antioxidants are vitamins, amino acids, and other natural substances that neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals.

Chemical Exfoliation

Exfoliation is a process that takes some time. The cleansing process scrubs your clogged pores that are embedded with dirt and dead skin cells. As the top layers are removed, this congestion inside the skin may emerge in the form of blemishes.

The entire process takes several weeks to purge the skin, but afterwards skin should be noticeably smoother and cleaner.¬†Typically within the first 3 weeks, the skin begins to show improved clarity with very few breakouts. Deep cleansing and exfoliation is a “process” which takes some time to work.

After the skin has cleared, it is  important to continue weekly treatments to keep the pores from becoming clogged. At first you will have thick skin, so you might be able to do a peel every other day, but as the layers of the epidermis are stripped away you will notice some sensitivity and will need to allow more time between treatments.

Remember do not over do it. You cannot remove skin faster than new skin can grow. We are trying to speed up the natural process through exfoliation.

How Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) Work

By dissolving the ionic bonds that hold the dead skin cells together. The cells are then able to very gently be sloughed off to allow new healthy cells to the surface. AHA’s break the bonds between weakened skin cells, making it easy to exfoliate them and encourage the production of new cells.

Using a glycolic treatment (containing at least 25% glycolic acid) will lead to a 25% increase in skin thickness, improved quality of elastic fibers and an increased density of collagen.

Buffering/Neutralization

Through the process of neutralizing, an effective and safe pH level is attained while maintaining the acid as the active. Plainly stated the lower the pH level the quicker and more aggressive the peel will be. If you are applying a peel in your home it needs to be at a safe, yet still effective level.

What “Buffered” Means

The buffered versus non-buffered debate is really a funny one. All Glycolic Acids for use on the skin are buffered, except for 100% Glycolic Acid.

Also, all Glycolic Acids for use on the skin are Pharmaceutical Grade, which is 99% pure. When it is a 40% Glycolic Acid solution (or any other strength solution besides 100%), that means that there is 40% Glycolic Acid and 60% other ingredients to slow down the acid delivery.

The Biggest Advance in Skin Care Recently

Over the past several years the availability of broad-spectrum sunscreens, along with the realization by people in our society of the importance of sunscreen, has been a huge advance.

Another is the accessibility of skin-care products that improve the appearance of the skin. In the past a moisturizer was just a moisturizer, now you can get ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid and soy, among many others included in the screen. And there is solid science behind these products that shows they can help with sun damage.