You see a lot of language on skin care packaging that sounds important but you’re unsure of what it means. Things like Vitamin C and Aloe are straightforward enough. But when the word “acid” figures into it, we can’t blame you for taking a pause.
Products like face peels, cleansers, serums, masks and moisturizers often contain varying levels of acids. We’ve talked to guys who think using one of these will force them into hiding for a day or two to recover.
Fear not, these aren’t the in-your-face Russian spy in a dark alley kind of acids. There are acids for evil, but plenty for good — and in skin care, you’ll find a lot of products that contain alpha hydroxyl acids, or AHAs. One of them is glycolic, which is naturally occurring and typically found in things like sugar cane, pineapple and beets.
So why are we putting fruit acids into your skin care products? For starters, glycolic is the Holy Grail for exfoliation. It gets rid of the top layer of dead skin cells on your face and boosts collagen production which keeps your skin looking firm and smooth.
When you apply it to your skin, there’s a reaction at the top layer that breaks down the oil and dirt – and an unimaginable amount of dust — that bind the dead skin cells together. Besides being gross, the effect of this sitting on the surface of your skin is that it looks dull, tired and less clear.
The glycolic penetrates the skin deeply and quickly, to wage war with fine lines, acne and blackheads. When it rinses off, the dead skin cells are stripped away and your skin looks brighter. When you’re using an acid to exfoliate, that’s called chemical exfoliation. (Still sounds scary, right?) When you use a scrub, it’s called manual exfoliation.
There are different levels of glycolic. For a more direct hit, try the Glycolic Exfoliating and Resurfacing Wipes. They’re a great back up system to keep in your desk drawer or gym bag to use on the go. It’s also ideal to use at night, before you go to bed.
The Glycolic Facial Cleanser contains a lower amount of acid and can be used once or twice daily.
And if you’re really serious about keeping your skin looking youthful, the High Performance Anti-Wrinkle Glycolic Peptide Serum is made for you. Apply to clean skin and then add moisturizer, which will lock it in and allow it to penetrate more deeply to work its magic.
And don’t worry — there’s no down time and we promise it won’t hurt.
If you have any questions about the ingredients in our products or how to use them, tweet us at @anthonyskincare and use the hashtag #askanthony.
PHOTO BY JENS LINDER