Tag Archives: Alpha Hydroxy Acid

Boost Your AHA

Woman getting a cleansing treatment

Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of several types of acids which naturally occur in foods, including but not limited to citric acid from citrus fruits, glycolic acid from sugar cane, lactic acid from milk, malic acid from apples, and tartaric acid from grapes. But why should you care? Well, interestingly enough, there’s a fair bit of evidence indicating that alpha-hydroxy acids could help even out and firm up your skin when applied topically. While more study is necessary to say for certain, alpha-hydroxy acids seem to be able to remove the top layers of dead skin cells, making them a powerful exfoliant, and cause deeper, living layers of skin to thicken, which may promote firmness, acting as a potential anti-aging ingredient.

So let’s go over a few of the ways you can use alpha-hydroxy acids to better your skin.

Commercial Creams
You can get commercially available creams that contain various alpha-hydroxy acids in moisturizers, peels, etc. For something you’re going to leave on long-term, you don’t want anything stronger than a 8% concentration for most alpha-hydroxys, and 14% for products using the alpha-hydroxy acid acid gluconalactone. Leave-on creams with this concentration are effective for treating sun-damaged and aging skin to help firm it up.

For exfoliation to get softer, smoother skin and/or help reduce the appearance of acne scars, glycolic acid is a good bet. You should use glycolic acid peels once every two weeks, starting with a 20% concentration and then building to 35%, 50%, and finally 70%, leaving the peel on for 2 minutes the first time, and adding a minute every time until you hit 4-5 minutes.

Homemade Treatments
Remember how we said that alhpa-hydroxy acids are found in foods? You can take advantage of this fact by using fresh fruits right at home. You can apply lemon juice to your face (though you might want to water it down slightly, try one part lemon juice to one part water) and rinse after leaving it there for a few minutes. You can also used crushed papaya, tomato seed pulp (the juicy, seedy center of the tomato), plain yogurt (which contains lactic acid), or blended pineapple meat as an anti-aging mask. It might be a little messy and sticky, but the leftovers from your project mean you get an anti-aging treatment and a snack at the same time!

Talk to Your Dermatologist and Listen to Your Body
With all alpha-hydroxy acids (and, for that matter, beauty products in general) listen to your body, and immediately stop and rinse off the product or homemade treatment if it starts to cause uncomfortable pain, tingling, or burning (low-levels of tingling that do not cause discomfort are okay).

Finally, make sure you discuss your skincare with a dermatologist, and don’t forget to detail all aspects of your home care! And with potentially harmful acids (alpha-hydroxy acids are considered generally safe in the right concentrations and when used correctly, but they are still acid, and can quite literally burn you if misused), you should check with your dermatologist before beginning any homemade treatments. Tell them exactly what you intend to try and get the all clear first. It may sound like a pain, but “better safe than sorry” definitely applies here!

Top Summer Skin Care Ingredients – Vine Vera Reviews

Summer is seriously just around the corner and it is time to start re-evaluating your skin care routine. Sure, you may need some of the same products you use year-round, but summer skin does have a certain set of needs to be aware of. Here are a few of the most beneficial summer skin care ingredients to be on the lookout for.

Woman applying sunscreen.

Sun Protection
You knew we were going to say something about sun protection and sunscreen. And, you also know that you should be applying sun protection to both your face and body no matter what season it is. However, if you don’t follow the rule of year-round sun care, it is especially important to look for ingredients aimed at sun protection during the summer. The sun is out more frequently, the days last longer and you have more skin exposed in warmer weather, all of which add up to the fact that sun protection is an absolute necessity. Two of the most common skin care ingredients to watch for include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Oranges rolling out of a medicine bottle. Vitamin C Concept.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another skin care ingredient that is majorly beneficial during the entire year, but especially so during the summer. Vitamin C, when applied topically, aids in collagen formation and growth which helps keep your skin supple and radiant. Additionally, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study online that states vitamin C also helps prevent the formation of sunburn cells. Still, these are not the only benefits in using a skin care formulation that includes vitamin C: other benefits include improved skin elasticity, reduction of fine lines and visible improvements against photo-damaged skin (discolored skin).

Hot coffee in a cup with coffee beans scattered on the table. q

Caffeine
You may have noticed that caffeine is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient when it comes to skin care. There are a few reasons for this and the most relevant reason with regards to summer skin care includes the fact that caffeine has a sunscreen effect when applied topically. While caffeine mimics sunscreen and provide a bit of added protection, it is not a substitute for traditional sun protection. In addition, recent studies have found that when used on cells that had UV damage, caffeine was able to destroy the damaged cells without any harm to the surrounding healthy cells.

BHA representation.

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHAs)
Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids are beneficial chemical exfoliants, but when summer rolls around it is usually advised to stick with a beta hydroxy acid exfoliant than AHAs. This is because many AHAs, such as glycolic or lactic acids, increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and BHAs do not. Using a BHA is helpful during summer because the warmer weather tends to lead to increased sebum (oil) production and a BHA exfoliant helps to clear pores of sebum and other debris such as dead skin cells.

Another important thing to remember during summer when it comes to skin care is to drink plenty of liquids. Not only does water help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated, it also helps keep your skin hydrated as well.

Ingredient Spotlight: Malic Acid

Rectangle composition with apples Today Vine Vera brings you an ingredient spotlight on malic acid. Malic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is commonly found in green apples and sour fruits like rhubarb. This acid is responsible for the weird taste of green apples. Malic acid is considered to be an excellent ingredient for your skin and it is particularly beneficial for people with sensitive skin. If you’re not sure about using AHAs on your sensitive skin, products that contain malic acid can prove to be the perfect start.

Malic acid is also known to play a vital role for a number of body functions. It improves the muscle performance and mental clarity, reverses muscle fatigue after exercise and increases the energy levels in the body. Being an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Malic Acid works by removing the dead skin cells from the outermost layers of your skin, promoting skin firmness and increasing the thickness of its deeper layers.

Vine Vera reviews a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Centre tried to determine the usefulness of malic acid for people suffering from fibromyalgia. Half of the patients in this study were offered with placebo, while the other half were given active treatments with malic acid. The study determined that patients who were treated with malic acid showcased tremendous improvements such as reduced muscle stiffness, a positive approach and lesser pain. The American Journal of Enology and Viticulture also featured a report which stated that unlike other AHAs, malic acid has also shown to offer the body with some amount of anti-microbial activity.

Another study that was published in the Journal of Dermatology discovered that combining glycolic acid with malic acid can help in increasing the functional activation of fibroblasts and cell proliferation. This clearly indicated that malic acid was highly useful in stimulating the production of collagen in the body.

Apart from affecting your muscle recovery and energy levels, malic acid is also known to work in clearing toxic metals from your bloodstream. This is particularly important because these metals have usually been linked to a variety of liver diseases and serious disorders like the Alzheimer’s Disease. Malic acid might not be as widely used as glycolic acid, but it can offer your skin with similar benefits without causing the same amount of irritation. This makes the ingredient useful for people prone to issues like hyperpigmentation and people with darker skin.

Now that you’ve understood the various intricacies of Malic Acid, let’s try to determine exactly what benefits this acid has to offer to your skin.

Helping with acne – Malic acid is considered to be very useful for people suffering from acne. It can also help you to get rid of acne scars when used topically.

Reducing the amount of tenderness and pain in fibromyalgia cases – Studies have already shown that malic acid is highly beneficial for patients suffering from fibromyalgia when it is used in combination with magnesium.

Improving skin condition – Malic Acid works by exfoliating your skin and helping you to get rid of the dry skin cells that accumulate on the outermost layers of your skin. This allows you to enjoy younger, firmer and smoother looking skin.

Improving oral hygiene – Malic acid can be commonly found in mouthwashes and toothpastes because of its anti-septic properties. It helps to reduce bacteria in the mouth and stimulates the production of saliva. This allows you to enjoy healthier gums and teeth as well as a better oral hygiene.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Kojic Acid

Young lady with pigmented skin Kojic Acid is a relatively new ingredient in the cosmetics and skin care industry. In fact, it was literally unheard off when skin lightening products were quite new in the markets. Today, Kojic Acid has become a household name and is commonly used in cosmetic and skin care products because it is not known to have any major side effects like many other chemicals. Kojic Acid is a natural compound that has been derived from fungi. This makes Kojic Acid completely natural and not something that was created by scientists and dermatologists.

Kojic Acid was discovered in the year 1989 and is known to have a similar effect as Hydroquinone. Studies conducted on the effectiveness of Kojic Acid have shown it to be a lightening agent as it helps to inhibit the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of the skin. Kojic Acid is also known to be extremely effective in skin care products dealing with age spots and hyperpigmentation.

According to a study conducted by Baumann, Kojic Acid was associated with contact allergy and it was classified with high sensitizing potential. Therefore, it was only used in concentrations of about 1%. Reports then spring up about sensitization to the 1% product as well. This was finally cleared by the studies conducted by Bordock that proved Kojic Acid to be safe when consumed as a food additive or used with a topical ointment. The study showed that Kojic Acid was sensitizing only if it was injected into the skin.

However, like all other skin brighteners, Kojic Acid will end up making your skin more sensitive to the sun because it stops your skin from producing melanin, the natural sun barrier for your skin. Therefore, you need to make sure that you always use a sunscreen with SPF 30 on a daily basis when using products with Kojic Acid.

Now that you know what Kojic Acid is, would you like to know how it works? Here are some of the ways in which Kojoc acid works on your skin.

Inhibit the production of melanin – Kojic Acid inhibits the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of the skin. This makes it an extremely effective skin lightening agent and also makes it a wonderful ingredient for those suffering from hyper-pigmentation and age spots. Kojic Acid can also give the body an overall lighter appearance when used with topical treatments. Kojic Acid counters the antioxidant properties of the tyrosinase enzyme. This leads to a reduction in the production of melanin and ultimately ends up lightening your skin tone.

Longer Shelf Life – Kojic Acid has a very long shelf life because it resists spoilage and oxidation. Therefore, it always makes sense to buy a skin lightening product that contains Kojic Acid.

Freckles – Melanocytes are the melanin producing cells in the skin. These cells get damaged over time because of exposure to the sun. As a result of the damage, excessive melanin is fed into the dermis. This leads to brownish spots known as freckles. Kojic Acid helps to counter freckles by countering the melanin and whitening the skin.