The cooling temperatures and lowered sun exposure means that chemical peel season is upon us! Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or AHA’s, can be incredibly beneficial for our skin, speeding up cell turnover, boosting collagen formation, and assisting in cell hydration. The results are a firmer, plumper appearance of skin with diminished fine lines and wrinkles, and a more even skin tone and texture. AHA’s can be used to treat dry skin, acne, hyperpigmentation, and aging and sun damaged skin.
AHA’s assist the skin in shedding dead skin cells by diminishing the bonds between skin cells in the lower levels of the stratum corneum (the top most layer of the skin). AHA’s work to remove cells in clusters rather than in sheets, which is why you won’t see the typical “peeling” with AHA peels that you do with other peels. The result is a more compact and better formed stratum corneum. Studies have shown that continued use of a 12% lactic will increase overall skin firmness, as well as epidermal and dermal thickness.
AHA’s also stimulate the production of important elements for hydration in the skin, such as hyaluronic acid. This accounts for the increase in hydration in the skin, as well as the plumping caused by it’s increase in the lower levels of the skin layers.
Because AHA’s can cause sun sensitivity, it’s important to wear SPF every day, especially the days following your professional treatment. If you are using a homecare product with AHA’s in them, you also need to wear SPF to reduce sun sensitivity. Sun protection is important even if you aren’t using a chemical exfoliator, as UV damage is the #1 cause of skin aging!
For AHA’s really do their best work, you must include a great homecare regimen with your professional treatments. You see your skin therapist twice a month, but you wash your face 60 times a month! Make sure you’re getting the best results from your professional treatments by utilizing professional products recommended by your esthetician at home.