What are retinol/retinoids and Glycolic Acids/AHA’s/BHA’s? We’re hearing so much about retinol/retinoids and the like, as well as Glycolic Acids/AHA’s/BHA’s now, and they do deserve a place in your cabinet as they can make for your best skin ever by day, but what are they, and are they worth it? Arbonne has just launched some great new products, one of which is a retinol essence, which got me thinking about the differences between these highly active, powerhouse skincare ingredients. First of all, they are all chemical exfoliants, breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, so they can be removed from the surface of the skin, so they all help to maintain glowing skin.
First up: Retinol or Retinoids
Retinol or retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives, and they can speed up cell turnover, act as an exfoliant, removing dead skin cells, and unclogging pores. In addition to these benefits, these powerhouse ingredients also stimulate collagen production, helping to maintain skin elasticity, and firmness, hence, their great reputation as anti-ageing ingredients. Retinol and retinoid products in higher concentrations are prescription products though, but you can buy some over the counter products, such as the new product from Arbonne.
So what are these ingredients? First up, AHA and BHA refer to Alpha Hydroxy Acid, and Beta Hydroxy Acid. All three of these ingredients are mild acids, meaning they have a low pH. They all function to help remove dead skin cells. These type of acids are often milder than a retinol type product, and are often derived from natural sources, such as fruits. Arbonne has a great product with these type of ingredients in the form of one of its masques. They are sometimes found in serums, but I’ve more frequently seen them in masques. These types of acids are typically a bit less drying than retinol type products as well. These ingredients also don’t have the collagen boosting effects of the retinol products, so they are often recommended for younger skins.
Because of the collagen boosting effects, retinol/retinoid type products are often recommended for more mature complexions, once natural collagen production has started to slow. Retinol is often found in peels, and serums, and glycolic/AHA/BHA’s compounds are found in masques and serums. Both act as chemical exfoliants.
Finally, it isn’t really recommended to layer products with these two groups of ingredients, as they can interfere with each other, and the compounded effects can cause the skin to become sensitive, and potentially dry.
Wanting to find out about what type of products may be best suited to your skin type? Contact us to find out more, or check out our facials, if you’d like to experience a facial with some of these products.