Dive Deeper into AHA’s
As mentioned above, AHAs are deep diving exfoliants that can address all sorts of skin concerns other than just removing dead skin. In the treatment room, I first use enzymes with stream, then once removed, and often after extractions, I’ll apply an AHA. Layering exfoliants allows for deeper exfoliation, addresses a host of other skin concerns, and helps neutralize anything left in the pore post-extraction. Here’s an overview of a few AHAs:
My favorite type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid is Lactic Acid. Originally derived from sour milk, lactic acid is a gentle yet effective exfoliant and an amazing multitasker! The magic word you all know, I love a good multitasker. Because it dives deep, in addition to exfoliating, it brightens pigmentation, neutralizes breakouts, minimizes fine lines, and adds tons of hydration to the skin. I find it gentler than other AHAs. My clients comment more on the sensation from pumpkin enzymes than they do on higher strength Lactic peels.
Aside from my favorite Luzern Au Vin peel pads that I use in my OE Signature Facial (which are 10% Lactic, 1% Salicylic and include a Resveratrol rich grape extract), Sircuit Skin makes some great lactic masks as well. Their Mocha Loca has 4% Lactic Acid and additional ingredients that soothe and protect dry skin, while their 5% Lactic Double Trouble packed with antioxidants that refine oilier skin types. For congested breakout-prone skin, check out EmerginC’s Organic Peel Clarifying Kit. Step one exfoliates with fruit and Lactic acid. Step two treats breakouts with the Beta Hydroxy Acid, Willow Bark (the natural form of salicylic).
Another great AHA is Malic Acid. Derived from apples, Malic Acid is a fantastic skin brightener. It promotes cell turnover, exfoliates dead cells, and unclogs pores.
Juice Beauty uses a blend of Malic and fruit acids in their Green Apple Peel. This peel comes in Sensitive and Full Strength, making it a great brightening option for all skin types.
Lastly, there’s Glycolic Acid. Derived from sugar, this AHA acts very similar to Lactic Acid as it dives deep and addresses a multitude of concerns. It might even be more effective. Because its molecular size is smaller than lactic, making it more bioavailable, it’s able to dive deeper than most other AHAs. Just keep in mind that more active can also mean more stimulation (i.e., SPICY) and is why I opt for Lactic but to each their own.
Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask offers a gentle Glycolic paired with enzymes for two types of exfoliation in one.