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All About Acids

Posted November 6th, 2019

Fall is in full force and winter is coming. There is no better time to think about your skin and what you can do to prepare it for the upcoming harsh conditions. Today we are going to talk about ACIDS, specifically AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids), BHA’s (beta hydroxy acids) and PHA’s (polyhydroxy acids).

What Is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the process by which your skin ‘sheds’ itself of dead or dying cells. This happens naturally.

Often, the cells accumulate on the face, not actually falling off. The accumulation of dead skin cells results in dull-looking skin, exacerbating wrinkles and dark spots.

This is why regular exfoliation of the skin with chemicals such as the acids we are talking about today, or physical exfoliants, is an essential part of a good skincare routine. 

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What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

AHA’s are plant and animal-derived acids that are used in skincare products and treatments such as chemical peels.

There are seven types of AHA’s, the most common ones being glycolic acid and lactic acid.

AHA’s are mostly used to exfoliate the skin, but depending on their quality and concentration, they can also work on collagen production, improving pigmentation spots, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

At Profile Medical, our chemical peels contain the highest possible concentration of acid allowed by Health Canada, thus making them extremely effective. 

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Photo Credit: Punica Makeup

What Are Beta Hydroxy Acids?

BHA’s are from a single source: salicylic acid.

You may recognize this acne-fighting powerhouse, but this is not all it does.

BHA’s are unique in that they act as fat-soluble agents, meaning that they can penetrate into the pores, not just the surface of the skin.

If you have sensitive skin, exfoliating with a BHA might be a good idea to start. 

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Photo Credit: Lea Eigard

What Are PolyHydroxy Acids?

PHA’s are newer agents. They are cousins to AHA’s.

Like AHA’s, they work primarily on the surface of the skin and provide exfoliation.

PHA’s include gluconolactone, galactose, and lactobionic acids.

What makes PHA’s unique is that its molecular structure is quite large, meaning that it cannot penetrate the skin as easily. This makes it less harsh than other acids while still being very effective at exfoliating.

They are a good option for more sensitive skin.

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Photo Credit: Cosmo PH

If you are looking for a treatment that contains all of the above acids, I encourage you to consider one of our chemical peels.

These peels will help your skin look radiant throughout the winter.

Contact us for any further questions.

The best foundation you can wear is healthy, glowing skin.

— Unknown