Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why Some Acids Are Actually Good For Your Skin

I'm sure that if you're anything like me, when you first get into beauty products, the long list of ingredients on the back of skincare products appears a little confusing.

Sure the beauty experts tell you that these ingredients are great for your skin, giving it that youthful glow, helping to plump out any lines and even exfoliating any dead skin cells away but why do they work and what do they actually do?

I thought I could shed some light and introduce you to some of the key acids you'll no doubt find floating around your bathroom and some of my favourite products which feature them.  Whilst the term acid might induce a mild state of shock, these bad boys are often found in your body already or in foods which you consume on a daily basis.

Amino Acids
Everyone knows that collagen gives your skin it's elasticity. As you get older, your levels of collagen will deplete naturally, however products containing amino acids can help to give your skin back its plumpness. Amino Acids are made up of proteins which have the same PH as your skin and play an essential part in your skins structure.  Plus, Amino Acids also make up Keratin which keeps your hair healthy and happy.

My product of choice here is the Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner which you can pick up for £6.99 from Boots.  Not only does it smell wonderful, but if you have fine hair which is prone to breakage like me, this will help strengthen your hair.

Glycolic Acid
This is a natural exfoliator which helps to remove any dead cells that are stubbornly sticking to your skin.  It also helps to de-clog your pores therefore keeping your skin nice and dewy.

Glycolic Acid can be used to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of scarring left by blemishes.  At first the new skin may appear slightly red but this will fade quickly.  As this is an active ingredient, be sure to moisturise and apply an SPF after using any products which feature this in order to protect your skin.

My product of choice is the REN Micro Polish Cleanser (keep your eyes peeled for my post on this soon) which can be picked up for £20 from Marks & Spencer or SpaceNK.  The Glycolic Acid works with Papaya enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells and refines your skins texture.  I've used this a couple of times now and I've really noticed a difference.

Hyaluronic Acid
This seems to be the current buzz ingredient in the beauty world.  It is renowned for holding 1000 times it's own weight in water.  It is found naturally in your skin, however, as you get older this becomes harder to produce thus leaving your skin dehydrated (dry skin is something different entirely).

As such, products which feature Hyaluronic Acid will keep your skin hydrated and plump not to mention, if applied before your moisturiser, it'll help the water in your moisturiser to stay put.  Think of it as a pillow for your face.

My product of choice has to be the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex II which is £48 and can be picked up from any concession.  I've been using this for a few months now and it really does plump up your skin, as well as leaving it hydrated, glowing and refreshed.  This is one of my essentials!

Citric/Fruit Acids
I am sure this will require little explanation, it's often found in fruits high in vitamin C and helps to encourage skin turnover and collagen production as well as being an antioxidant.

I'm certain that you will know antioxidants are a good tool in the battle against free radicals which can contribute to the signs of ageing in your skin.  Much like Glycolic Acid they can be used to minimise the appearance of scars and is a natural exfoliant. 

My product of choice is the Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Toner which can be picked up for £25 from any concession.  I wouldn't use this as an everyday toner given the active ingredients, but is great for some extra exfoliation if you’re looking to help your skin regain its brightness.
Salicylic Acid
This helps to open clogged pores, remove excess oil and is even an exfoliator. This is normally used in blemish treatments as it helps to keep pores clear and neutralises bacteria without over drying the skin.

My product of choice is the Murad Time Release Blemish Cleanser which is available from the Murad website for £29. I've saved this product for last as you might notice that it contains Amino Acids, Hyaluronic Acid and Salicylic Acid so it has all of the benefits of the above with the added bonus of fighting any breakouts.  I use this 3/4 times a week and I love the fresh tingling feeling I get while using it, plus I'm safe in the knowledge that it's tackling my blemishes without leaving my skin dehydrated.
I hope you find this useful, let me know if you'd like to see more helpful guides!


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