Have you ever been confused by the alphabet soup on the labels in the skin cream department? Then this guest post is for you. I'm glad to have some of the jargon finally clear in my head.
One of the best ways to prevent the onset of smile lines is to keep your skin healthy using exfoliants. Exfoliants help to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. This can make your skin look smoother and give it a nice healthy glow. There are two main types of exfoliants that are used today, Alpha hydroxyl acids and Beta Hydroxyl Acids. This article will explain the difference between the two and help you decide which is best for your skin.
Alpha vs. Beta
Beta hydroxyl acids are found in most anti-wrinkle creams because they remove the dry and dead top layer of skin. One of the most commonly used "BHA"'s is Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can help remove aging skin cells and can even kill the bacteria that causes acne. It removes skin cells by reducing the adhesiveness of the skin's outmost layer. The main benefit of BHA's is that they work on oily skin. Alpha hydroxy acids on the other hand, aren't oil soluble and wouldn't be able to get rid of the dead skin cells inside the pores.
The functions of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (or AHA's) and BHA's are pretty much the same: they both help to remove aging skin cells. But, alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble. This makes them ineffective on skin that is overly oily. One of the most common types of AHA is called glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is used in exfoliating creams and anti-acne medication. It can also be used in higher strengths by a dermatologist as a chemical peel. Chemical peels penetrate the skin much deeper and will remove the top layers of skin to keep it smooth and supple.
Sensitive Skin + Sunscreen
BHA's and AHA's can help improve the appearance of skin wrinkles, but they can also increases the sensitivity of the skin to the sun. This means that your skin is at a greater risk of sunburn or sun damage after you use these products. Sunscreen is a must if you use BHA's or AHA's! One more draw back to these exfoliants is that they can make the skin thinner. Your skin may be more likely to bruise or be injured. If you use higher strength acids to exfoliate or peel, you should have this done at a doctor's office. There is a risk of chemical burns if they aren't used properly!
Your skin might also become drier than normal. A good moisturizer is important to keep from peeling. Be sure and talk to a dermatologist about exfoliants that can help you reduce wrinkles, before they start. A good maintenance program can keep your skin smooth and healthy, and stop any damage before those smile lines are noticeable!
Terry Chapman is a full time mom, writer, and health blogger. She focuses on subjects like skin care and anti-aging.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Shared by Jennifer at 7/26/2011 04:43:00 PM
Labels: My Guest Bloggers
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