In this 5 part series, I’m sharing what the common beauty product ingredients are and what effect they have on our bodies. Alpha Hydroxy Acids Top 5 Benefits of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid: 1. Improvement in skin
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Top 5 Benefits of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid:
1. Improvement in skin pigmentation.
2. Decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Dry-skin exfoliation.
4. Increased sunscreen absorption.
5. Improved appearance of sun-damaged skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids Side Effects & Safety
Alpha hydroxy acids at a concentration of 10% or less as a lotion or cream are LIKELY SAFE for most people when applied to the skin appropriately and as directed. In some people, alpha hydroxy acids can make the skin extra sensitive to sunlight. Be sure to use a sunscreen while using alpha hydroxy acid products.
Alpha hydroxy acids can also cause mild skin irritation, redness, swelling, itching, and skin discoloration.
Facial peels, lotions, and creams with a concentration greater than 10% should only be used under the supervision of a dermatologist. Facial peels can cause moderate to severe skin irritation, redness, and burning. Facial peels left on the skin for periods longer than recommended can cause severe burns to the skin.
When taken by mouth, the alpha hydroxy acid called malic acid is POSSIBLY SAFE when used short-term. Some people can have side effects including diarrhea, nausea, and general stomach discomfort.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Alpha hydroxy creams at a concentration of 10% or less are LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. But don’t take malic acid (the form of alpha hydroxy acids that is generally taken by mouth). Not enough is known about the safety of malic acid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
Sensitive skin: Alpha hydroxy acids can worsen skin conditions by causing skin irritation and removal of the top layer of skin cells.
Because of concerns over the side effects of alpha hydroxy acids, the FDA in 1997 announced that alpha hydroxy acids are safe for use by consumers with the following guidelines:
* The AHA concentration is 10 percent or less
* The final product has a pH of 3.5 or higher
* The final product must have an effective sunscreen in the formulation or warn people to use sunscreen products
There are many brands and forms of salicylic acid available. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic (peeling agent) and causes shedding of the outer layer of skin. Salicylic acid topical (for the skin) is used in the treatment of acne, dandruff, seborrhea, or psoriasis, and to remove corns, calluses, and warts.
Topical salicylic acid may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
* skin irritation
* stinging in the area where you applied topical salicylic acid
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms call your doctor immediately:
* extreme tiredness or weakness
* fast breathing
* ringing or buzzing in the ears
* hearing loss
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using salicylic acid and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical help:
* throat tightness
* difficulty breathing
* feeling faint
* swelling of the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
Topical salicylic acid may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
Humectants (or moisturizers) are important cosmetic ingredients allowing to prevent loss of moisture thereby retaining the skin’s natural moisture. Some compounds also have the ability to actively attract moisture. Humectants are key ingredients in most skin care products but are also often used in hair care products to volumize the hair by attracting moisture which expands the hair shaft. There is a large variety of very different compounds providing moisturzing effects including proteins, acids, polysaccharides, and various small molecules.
3 Common Humectants are listed below.
Glycerine is a clear, viscous liquid, which dissolves completely in water. It occurs widely in nature, and was traditionally obtained from animal fat or tallow as a by-product of soap making. Finding a non-tallow source of glycerine has been a challenge. The glycerine found in our products is made with entirely vegetable-based.
When a caustic, or highly alkaline, material is added to animal fats or vegetable oils (such as olive, coconut or palm) glycerine is formed along with a fatty fraction, which is actually soap.
Glycerine is a traditional cosmetic material and has been used for many years because it is so safe and effective. It is also used in foods and pharmaceuticals.
Glycerine is a humectant, absorbing water-based materials into its structure. In a cosmetic product, glycerine will carry effective ingredients, such as aloe gel or fruit juices, into the skin where their beneficial effects can be utilized. It is very mild and will not irritate in any way.
Trendy ingredients in the world of skincare come and go and many should have never showed up in the first place. Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients that is neither trendy nor undeserved. It is one whose fame is well-earned. It offers multiple benefits for any skin type and comes packed with anti-aging, youth-enhancing properties.
So just how does this superstar ingredient do its work to deliver supple, healthy-looking skin? The answer is really remarkable.
How Does Hyaluronic Acid Benefit Skin?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural element of skin, present throughout the human body. The magic of this ingredient lies in its ability to retain moisture, a lot of moisture—in fact, one gram (.03 ounces) of hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to six liters (1 quart) of water! Now that really is mind-blowing.
This attribute of hyaluronic acid is stunningly important with regard to skin aging because one of the qualities of youthful skin is its ability to hold water and retain a balanced amount of moisture. We can’t stress enough how important this is because as we age, our skin doesn’t maintain moisture as well as it once did, resulting in a loss of firmness, pliancy, and suppleness.
Hyaluronic acid can help enhance moisture content beyond compare and at the same time revitalize skin’s outer layer to look and feel softer, smoother, and especially appear plumper!
But, hyaluronic acid is not a one note song, there are many additional benefits beyond just a more youthful hydrated appearance (though from our perspective, that would be plenty but we love the fact there’s even more benefits).
Everything from unprotected sun exposure (daily SPF is a must!) to harsh skincare ingredients and environmental assault can weaken the surface of skin. Hyaluronic acid’s replenishing properties go a long way toward minimizing those issues.
Lecithin, originally isolated by Theodore Nicolas Gobley from egg yolk, is a term now frequently used to describe any of a number of fatty substances with health benefits that occur naturally in a number of plants and animals.
* An emulsifying agent that penetrates the skin
Lecithin is a natural emulsifying agent and one of the most important components of cells. It is a naturally occuring mixture of the diglycerides of stearic, palmitic and oleic acids, linked to the choline ester of phosphoric acid and plays an important role in a cell’s metabolism, especially regarding membrane penetration and has been used as a surfactant in cosmetics. Lecithin’s use in cosmetics was previously limited because of its oxidation and instability against heat, however, Hydrogenated Lecithin (Lecithin with the addition of hydrogen) has all the good qualities of natural lecithin, yet its stability is greatly improved. Lecithin improves the homeostatasis of the skin (Dermaxime.com).
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
Although Hydrogenated Lecithin has been given the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) rating by the FDA, there are some concerns over its carcinogenic properties and its ability to penetrate the skin. Although this ability allows it to be an effective product ingredient, it needs to be used with caution concerning the other ingredients in the product. It has the ability to deposit harmful chemicals below the skin if used in high concentrations. Therefore, Hydrogenated Lecithin is considered safe in concentrations up to 15% (National Institutes of Health).
Recommended Products w/ Hydrogenated Lecithin:
Kronos Phyx Overnight Repair Masque, Shiseido Bio Performance Super Restoring Cream, Artistry Time Defiance Day Protect Crème with SPF 15, Vinita Rejuvenating Elixir with Bhasma of Gold, Diamond and Pearl, Azures Hydropeptide Cellular Transformation Growth Serum
Overstock – Top 5 Benefits of Alpha-Hydroxy Acid
WebMD – Alpha Hydroxy Acids Side Effects & Safety
verywell – FDA Guidelines on Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Drugs.com – What is salicylic acid topical?
MedlinePlus – Precautions
Making Cosmetics – Humectants
Lush USA – Glycerine
Paula’s Choice – Hyaluronic Acid
Herb Wisdom – Lecithin
Truth in Aging – Hydrogenated Lecithin