Acids In Cosmetics: What Types Exist And How To Use Them

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Video: Acids In Cosmetics: What Types Exist And How To Use Them

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Video: Acids in Skincare: All About Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and More! | Beauty with Susan Yara 2023, February
Acids In Cosmetics: What Types Exist And How To Use Them
Acids In Cosmetics: What Types Exist And How To Use Them
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A wide variety of acids can be found in cosmetics. They can be used both as active ingredients to improve the condition of the skin and as a mass stabilizer for cosmetic products. Galina Ryazanova, chief technologist of the laboratory of modern cosmetics MIXIT, tells about the difference between different types of acids and how to choose the right one for your skin.

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For the most part, all acids used in cosmetics complement each other. In the article, we will touch on the main groups of acids in more detail, and also analyze what each of them is used for.

Alpha hydroxy acids

To date, the most studied are glycolic and lactic acids. The main biological effects from the use of products with these acids are exfoliation (renewal), moisturizing, whitening, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, improvement of skin microrelief (work with wrinkles).

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The rejuvenating or exfoliating effect, from the point of view of cosmetology, is the most attractive in these acids. The action of acids is very selective: they remove an extremely thin layer of dead cells without harming healthy ones.

Hydroxy acids enhance the penetrating ability of other antioxidants, therefore, even in a mixture with ordinary vitamin E, the overall activity of the complex increases.

Having an exfoliating effect, such acids enhance the effect of other whitening components, partially solve the problem of hyperpigmentation.

The effectiveness of this group of acids usually depends on the concentration and pH level. On average, they work well at a pH of 3 to 4.5 and at a concentration of 5% to 10% (for home remedies). It is very important to maintain the correct acidity as at pH 3.5 - 4, the irritating potential of acids is very low and allows virtually no trauma to the skin. Accordingly, in the list of components of acids of this group, it is better to look closer to the beginning, especially if an exfoliating effect is declared.

Beta hydroxy acids

Speaking of these acids, they almost always mean salicylic acid. It is an antiseptic (first isolated from willow bark), dissolves and exfoliates the excess stratum corneum of the skin, is used as an effective preservative against fungi in acidic environments. Salicylic acid is considered potentially toxic, its introduction into cosmetic mixtures is small compared to other acids - no more than 3%.

When combined with vitamin A, salicylic acid is often found in acne and blackhead treatments. All salicylates dry out the skin very strongly, so in order not to destroy the hydro-lipid balance, they should not be abused.

Polyhydroxy acids

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All these acids (one of which is lactobionic) have approximately the same properties as alpha-hydroxy acids, however, they are much softer and more gentle in action, better moisturize the skin, enhancing the barrier function of the stratum corneum. They are also able to "slow down" the destruction of collagen and elastin, improving the biomechanical properties of the skin, incl. very dry.

These acids are widely used in medicinal (for example, relieving the condition of hereditary skin disease ichthyosis) and ethnic cosmetics (preventing photoaging among African Americans).

Polycarboxylic acids

Polycarboxylic hydroxy acids are mostly known as fruit acids and have virtually all of the basic properties of alpha hydroxy acids, and are often combined with and mutually reinforcing. They may contain additional alcohol groups (for example, apple, lemon, wine) or not (for example, amber) - depending on this, their properties differ. For example, citric acid removes pigmentation and freckles, fights inflammation and blackheads.

Succinic acid activates cellular metabolism, helps to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, works to reduce puffiness, evens out the complexion and prevents premature skin aging.

Polysaccharides

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In this group, hyaluronic acid is the undoubted queen (read more about hyaluronic acid here). Depending on the molecular weight, there are low molecular weight acid (a deeply moisturizing agent capable of aggregating large amounts of water) and high molecular weight (forms viscous gels and is used mainly for lifting and working on the skin surface).

Hyaluronic acid is produced by our body, and the degree of hydration of our skin depends on its amount. With age, its synthesis slows down, so the deficit should be replenished in a timely manner with the help of funds containing this component.

Are there any contraindications for using acids?

As with any effective agent when using alpha, beta and polycarboxylic acids, there are certain contraindications.

First of all, it is individual intolerance, pregnancy, radiation therapy and surgery less than a month ago. You should not use acids if there is a violation of the integrity of the skin (small scratches, wounds, dermatitis, etc.), sunburn and severe rosacea. Read here what else to do with problem skin.

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Acids should not be applied to moles and similar skin formations, keloid scars should be avoided so as not to provoke their growth. After using acidic products, prolonged exposure to the sun or tanning in a solarium is not recommended. Young girls should think about whether they really need products with acids, because up to 23-25 ​​years old, the skin itself is able to actively recover, it usually does not need additional stimulation.

Contraindications for hyaluronic acid mainly go in the direction of injections, with a superficial application, only individual intolerance is possible.

How to use acids correctly? How to combine foods with different acids?

With any combination of products with acids, it should be remembered that they reinforce each other's action. Usually, with each acidic agent there is an abstract or a large section on methods of application, where it is very clearly described how many times a week and for what specific time this agent can be applied.

In no case do not neglect this information: it is not for nothing that manufacturers have tested products for a long time in order to describe under what conditions the effect of it will be maximum.

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Use fruit acids with extreme caution during the spring and summer period: they make the skin sensitive and quite susceptible to UV rays. Day creams with acids must have an SPF of at least 15.

If the expected effect does not occur, do not rush and reapply the product or exceed the recommended dosage - when it comes to home care, then absolutely all acids act gradually.

In case there was an unforeseen "overdose", it is better to consult a cosmetologist.

With very sensitive skin, it is imperative to do a preliminary test on a small area, and also remember that it is better to increase the concentration of fruit acids gradually, starting from a low percentage.

When carrying out fruit peels or other procedures on the body with fruit acids, it is not recommended to carry out scrubs in advance (to avoid micro-trauma to the skin), and it is also not worth doing epilation.

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