Monthly Archives: May 2013

A little help with hydroxy acids

Alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids—it can be kind of confusing. Where do they come from, what do they do, and how do you know which one is right for you?

Alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are derived from fruits and botanicals (although they can be produced synthetically). These are broken down into several acid sub-categoties: glycolic (often from sugarcane), lactic (milk), citric (citrus fruit), malic (often from unripe apples), and tartaric (from grapes and bananas).

Citric, malic and tartaric acids are generally mild and can often be found in over-the-counter skincare products. Most people can tolerate them, unless you have an allergy to any of the fruits they come from.

Lactic acid is mild enough to be done as a peel on almost anyone—unless, again, if you have a milk allergy. It is an excellent choice for dehydrated skin, as lactic acid is a humectant. Because it removes the stratum corneum layer of the skin, it will help with hyperpigmentation. Another benefit is that there is rarely any downtime.

Glycolic acid can be found in various strenghts and pH levels (often found in “professional strength” when used as a chemical peel, but also in over-the-counter strength in daily products). This particular acid is great for stubborn breakouts, congested skin, mild sun damage, and premature aging.

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid derived from wintergreen, willow bark or meadowsweet, and is virtually identical to the main ingredient in aspirin. BHAs have a smaller molecular make-up, so these acids can penetrate much deeper into the skin’s layers, often providing stronger results but requiring more downtime for healing, as there tends to be more peeling than with glycolic peels.

Salicylic acid, over time, will help lift hyperpigmentation, clear up more severe cases of acne, smooth rough skin texture, and reverse some signs of sun damage.

Forehead It’s one of the first areas to show the signs of aging

Forehead  It’s one of the first areas to show the signs of aging, mostly due to facial expressions and the fact that it’s a rather large blank slate of skin uninterrupted by other facial features. So when the lines start marching across your forehead, you’ll want to take a multi-pronged approach to keep them at bay. Here’s what you’ll need for a tight, smooth forehead:  Consider starting earlier. More women in their early to mid-30s are getting preventative injections from muscle-freezing products like Botox and Dysport. These injections can keep lines from forming earlier than they normally would, but keep in mind: You’ll need repeated injections for upkeep.  Add hyaluronic acid. It comes in supplement, topical or injection form, and adding it back to your skin (when your skin naturally starts to lose it with aging) will help add volume because it binds to and absorbs water, giving a fullness to the skin. Injections in droopy brows can immediately improve the look of your forehead andeyes.  Lessen lines with a peel. This is a treatment for your entire face, but a chemical peel addresses many issues that creep up above your brows: acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and rough texture. You’ll need a few days to heal, but your new skin will be glowing and smooth.  Add some bangs. When all else fails, ask your hairdresser to chop you some fringe. Bangs will hide any lines and letting them hang a bit longer and swept to the side is a superhot, of-the-moment look.