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To Retinol or Not To Retinol, That Is The Question…

It seems retinol is making headlines everywhere and is being placed in every product imaginable.  Retinols used to be in night creams and serums only, but lately you can get your fill of retinol in everything from cleansers to sunscreens.  However there is a problem and that is that retinol should never be used during the day, a fact which cosmetics companies are ignoring to catch a ride on the ever fast Anti-Aging train. All retinoids should be used at night because they break down when exposed to sunlight and lose their efficacy. Vitamin A derivatives, including retinol, rapidly break down when exposed to the sun and air.

Retinol is a milder form of topical Vitamin A and the over the counter version of the prescription vitamin A derivative, tretinoin, also known as Retin-A.   Both are effective in reversing sun damage and the signs of aging. Both tretinoin and retinol aid in reducing the appearance of fine lines, evening out skin color, and increasing the production of collagen. Both also improve skin texture and tighten pores. However, many people cannot tolerate tretinoin because it can be highly irritating and drying. Retinol is milder; while the results may not be as dramatic people tolerate it better.

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What is Glycolic ACID and what does it do for My Skin?

Glycolic acid is a natural product derived mostly from sugar cane and is fantastic for exfoliation and moisturizing the skin. It is the smallest alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and is both colorless and odorless and has the reputation of being the safest form of alpha-hydroxy acid. Almost all skin types can benefit from glycolic acid; it is one of the most commonly recognized chemical peel solutions.

Glycolic acid peels come in different strengths starting from 20% up to and including 70%.  The lighter 20% – 40% peels are basically for first-time clients with light sun damage, in need of quick cell turn over and are best for more sensitive skin. The medium 50% peels are for clients who have experienced prior peels,  or who have more mature skin with definite sun damage and uneven skin tones. The 60% – 70% peels are much deeper strengths for a much more mature and sun damaged skin with uneven tones also in need of deep rejuvenation.

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