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Why Glycolic Acid is Good for Most Skin

Posted February 10, 2008 under Topical Ingredients - No comments

There are over 13,500 ingredients available within various cosmetic products. Out of the 13,500 items, there are only 6 that actually have medical proof that they work. When I am referring to medical proof, I am referring to legitimate medical studies performed by physicians and not sponsored by the manufacturers of the products. Glycolic Acid is one of the few ingredients that have proven to be valuable in skin care. To learn why, keep reading!

Dr. Sinclair's Response

Why Glycolic Acid is Good for Most Skin

There are over 13,500 ingredients available within various cosmetic products. Out of the 13,500 items, there are only 6 that actually have medical proof that they work. When I am referring to medical proof, I am referring to legitimate medical studies performed by physicians and not sponsored by the manufacturers of the products. Glycolic Acid is one of the few ingredients that have proven to be valuable in skin care.

Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid are chemicals included in the family of compounds called Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Hundreds of years ago Cleopatra had her body bathed in milk to improve the appearance of her skin. Her hope was that white milk might make her skin white (at that time white skin was considered attractive). The milk probably improved the appearance of her skin because of the lactic acid in the milk. Today most authorities believe that Glycolic Acid is more effective than lactic acid for skin rejuvenation because Glycolic Acid penetrates into the skin better than Lactic Acid. Glycolic Acid molecules are about two thirds the size of Lactic Acid molecule and smaller molecules tend to have better skin penetration.

Using Glycolic Acid on the skin can be a little tricky. Glycolic Acid products can be made with a certain level of acidity. When Glycolic Acid products with high acidity are applied to the skin they cause the skin to exfoliate or peel. Peeling may be acceptable under certain circumstances (such as during a Glycolic Acid Peel) but that is not good for daily skin care. When Glycolic Acid products with less acidity are applied to the skin, they cause the skin to produce another chemical called Glycoaminoglycans. Glycoamnioglycans cause the skin to absorb moisture from the blood supply. This method of moisturizing the skin is highly desirable because it helps prevent wrinkles and skin aging. Most children have relatively high amounts of Glycoaminoglycans within their skin which is part of the reason that their skin looks soft and smooth.

There is one more secret about Glycolic Acid products that you should know. Studies have shown that Glycolic Acid products must have a concentration of at least 8% Glycolic Acid in order to be effective. Many products that claim to have 10% Glycolic Acid actually only have 7% Glycolic Acid. The reason these products are able to claim they have 10% is because of the manufacturing process. Most Glycolic Acid products use a stock solution of 70% Glycolic Acid to create their products (70% is the maximum available concentration for Glycolic Acid stock solutions). By using 10% of the 70% stock solution the manufactures can claim to have a 10% Glycolic Acid product. In reality, a 10% solution of a 70% solution produces a product with only 7% Glycolic Acid. A 7% Glycolic Acid product is unlikely to have any beneficial effects.

Aging, sun exposure, harsh chemicals and cigarettes all contribute to declining amounts of Glycoaminoglycans within the skin. Most of the effect of applying Glycolic Acid to the skin is achieved within the first two minutes. At Epilution Med Spa, our Step 2 Wash has a true 10% concentration of Glycolic Acid. Furthermore, our Step 2 Wash has been buffered to have just the right amount of acidity to allow the Glycolic Acid to act as a moisturizer (not a peel). By using our Step 2 Wash for 2 minutes once or twice per day, you can have dramatic improvement of your skin.

 

 

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