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Your Guide To Acids And Delivery Systems. AHA's, BHA's and Hyaluronic Acid.

Skincare acids have become increasingly popular in recent years, touted for their ability to address a variety of skin concerns ranging from acne and hyperpigmentation to dullness and fine lines. However, with so many different types of acids available, it can be overwhelming to navigate the world of skincare.

Today I wanted to talk about the different types of acids commonly used in skincare, including alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), and hyaluronic acid. I'll also discuss the importance of effective delivery systems (the ways to get the product into the skin) to maximise the benefits of these acids and minimise potential irritation.

Below are the most popular types of 'acids' on the market at the moment...

1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs):

- Glycolic Acid: Derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid is one of the most well-known AHAs. It works by exfoliating the skin's surface layers, promoting cell turnover, and improving texture and tone. Glycolic acid is effective for addressing concerns such as dullness, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.

- Lactic Acid: Naturally found in milk, lactic acid is a gentler AHA that provides similar exfoliating benefits to glycolic acid. It helps to hydrate the skin while also promoting cell turnover, making it suitable for sensitive or dry skin types.

- Citric Acid: Derived from citrus fruits, citric acid is another AHA that exfoliates the skin and helps to brighten and even out skin tone. It also has antioxidant properties, making it beneficial for protecting the skin against environmental damage.

With regards to AHA's, one of my favourite brands for these has to be Nimue Skin Technology. They have their own triple AHA blend which is made up of the above AHA's to really change the functioning and appearance of the skin. They are great to help the skin look rejuvenated and they also work incredibly with acne and acne prone skin types.

SkinBetter Science is another incredible brand which has the extremely popular AlphaRet product range. Although this is a retinoid, it is blended with AHA's to help improve the rejuvenation of the skin, create a slow release of the retinoid to minimise a retinoid reaction and improve the overall complexion of the skin.

Best place to start: Nimue Cleansing Gel

2. Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs):

- Salicylic Acid: Unlike AHAs, which are water-soluble, salicylic acid is oil-soluble, allowing it to penetrate deep into the pores and dissolve excess oil and sebum. This makes it particularly effective for treating acne, blackheads, and congestion. Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

I think it's important to remember that although salicylic acid is great to help treat acne prone skin types, buying it on it's own in serum form doesn't mean that it will clear your acne. I like to think of it like baking a cake, flour is pretty much imperative in cake baking, but flour by itself won't bake a cake. We also need eggs and sugar too! Similarly with salicylic acid, it works better when it's formulated with other ingredients to help clear the pores and break down the acne.

I love the Nimue Y:Skin Active Blemish Control for this. It contains SA to help clear the pores and dry out the spots along with other actives to heal the skin and take down any inflammation.

3. Hyaluronic Acid:

- Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that occurs naturally in the skin, where it helps to retain moisture and keep the skin hydrated and plump. In skincare products, hyaluronic acid attracts water molecules from the environment and binds them to the skin, providing intense hydration and improving the skin's moisture barrier. It is suitable for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin.

What we need to remember with HA is that it can be a huge molecule and so almost impossible to get into the skin. This is where Forlle'd comes in. They have created a patented molecule called Hyalogy that is so teeny tiny it can actually fit in between the skin cells! In fact, it is so small that it doesn't even need a delivery system as it's practically one in itself! If you are looking to hydrate your skin, then nothing can come close to the Forlle'd range.

Best place to start: Forlle'd Refining Lotion

Importance of Effective Delivery Systems:

While the type of acid used in a skincare product is important, the delivery system used to deliver the acid to the skin is equally crucial. A poorly formulated product with an ineffective delivery system may not deliver the desired results and can even lead to irritation or sensitivity. For example, if someone is sensitive to glycolic acid, it may be because the product they used in the past did not have an effective delivery system, causing the acid to remain on the surface of the skin instead of penetrating within - therefore leading to irritation on the surface. Look for products with advanced delivery systems that ensure optimal absorption of the active ingredients for the best efficacy and minimal irritation.

Usually, over the counter cosmetics do not have delivery systems like medical grade cosmeceuticals do.

Different acids can be powerful tools for addressing various skin concerns, but it's important to understand the different types of acids and their benefits before incorporating them into your routine. Whether you're looking to exfoliate, hydrate, or treat acne, there's likely an acid that can help. However, remember that effective delivery systems are so important to get the full potential of these acids and achieve the best results for your skin.

Always patch test new products and maybe book an online consultation with me here if you have any concerns about incorporating acids into your skincare routine.

I hope you've found this helpful,

Thank you so much for reading,



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