If you think that the beautician during the exfoliation treatment will use the same acid on your oily skin she has applied on the dry skin of your best friend, you are wrong. The category of the applied exfoliating preparation is important: both for the safety of the skin, and the effectiveness of operation. We explain why this happens.
There are three groups of hydroxyl acids:
- AHA – alpha hydroxyl acids
- BHA – beta hydroxyl acids
- PHA – poly hydroxyl acids.
The need for the individual selection of the hydroxyl acid to the type of skin results from the properties of particular groups of these acids. And so:
For dry skin – the beautician will use the acids from the AHA group. You can choose the glycolic, lactic, malic, wine, citric or almond acid, that is one of these which commonly appear in nature. Their usefulness in the dry skin care results from the fact that they affect only the epidermis. Acids from this group dissolve in water, but they don’t have the abilities to penetrate the sebum layer, and thus – to penetrate deeper layers of skin and cleaning pores. But beware: those, whose complexion is troubled with acne, will be subjected to treatments using the almond acid – because this substance has strong antibacterial properties. Exfoliation with AHA acids is also recommended to people who have thickened or destroyed skin by sunbathing. It is interesting that depending on the pH, in which the acids will be used, their mode of operation changes: if the pH of the environment is acidic, substances from the AHA group are excellent exfoliation components. In case of higher pH they moisturise more than they exfoliate.
For oily skin, with acne, pimples and for treatments on the T line with mixed skin – we recommend measures containing the BHA acids. These substances, contrary to the AHA group, have the ability to penetrate the sebum and deeply clean the skin pores, eliminate blackheads and stimulate skin renewal. What is more: these acids can also penetrate deep into hair follicles. These properties result from the fact that all acids from the BHA group dissolve in fats. In cosmetics mostly the salicylic acid from the BHA group is used – it is a chemical component of many anti-acne preparations tested by generations. It has a career in cosmetics also thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties (because it is related to acetylsalicylic acid, that is the main component of many flu drugs).
We will also mention the interesting derivative of the salicylic acid: LHS – lipohydroxyl acid, which is one of the newer “inventions” used in cosmetic preparations. Due to its molecular structure, in lower concentrations it is more gentle than salicylic acid, and when applied during exfoliation – it guarantees exfoliation of the skin in a manner strikingly similar to the natural process of removing dead cells.
For sensitive skin, with psoriasis, rosacea – acids from the PHA group will be perfect, because thanks to a larger molecule and the consequent slower penetration they act more leniently than the AHA series, and thus have almost the same properties as the acids from this group. Plus much more – because they operate at the level of the epidermis (removing it) and the dermis (stimulating the regeneration processes):
- perfectly moisturise, soothe irritations and strengthen the lipid barrier of the skin;
- valuable antioxidants;
- reduce dilated blood vessels and redness;
- do not sensitise to the UV rays.
From this groups the following acids are used:
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