Glycolic Acid

Alpha H Liquid Gold Series

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Hellooo everyone, seems like I’m back to blogging after an unexpected and unintentional hiatus. Anyway so here I am, back from a visit down under i.e. Australia aka my home. On my random walk into Sephora I discovered Alpha H Liquid Gold (LG) Rose, without thinking and within a blink of an eye it made its way to the checkout counter.

I posted about it on IG and had a few questions, mainly around how is it different to original liquid gold in terms of performance and formulation. Widely known fact, I’m obsessed and addicted to Liquid Gold for a while now. Many moons ago, Ruth Crilly – A Model Recommends had me hooked me on this liquid gold (pun intended).

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Before we dive in, quick capture on the original LG for the virgins: basically an overnight  glycolic acid treatment, to be used every alternate night and the results show a visible difference in skin tone, texture, scarring, pigmentation, sun damage and signs of aging.

Moving on with comparisons of original LG and Rose LG. First up, Formulation & Ingredient focus.

Original Liquid Gold

Rose Liquid Gold

Aqua, Alcohol Denat, Glycolic Acid (5%), Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract (licorice extract)

Aqua, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Butylene Glycol, Maris Sal (dead sea salt), Sodium Carrageenan (sodium salt of seaweed), Potassium Hydroxide, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract (sacred lotus flower extract), Orchis Morio Flower Extract (orchid flower extract), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Phenoxyethanol, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil (geranium Oil), Caprylyl Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract), Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool

Original LG is known for its intense, punchy formulation which is certainly not for everybody, definitely not for sensitive skins. The Rose LG is simmered down with addition of some hydrators and botanical extracts. Ingredients in red font are additions to the new limited edition formula. None of the ingredients from original LG are eliminated, so the soul of the product remains intact. The added ingredients are intended to help the product be gentle on skin and hydrate & plump the skin while it does its regular job (minus the intensity of original LG).

So you ask, how does the newer formulation impact the classic LG tingle factor and performance? Safe to say, it does have an impact on performance. Thankfully a positive impact, where it could open its doors to a larger audience with various skin types. To validate this, I did my own pH test on both exfoliators. We already know the original LG is famous for its very low pH (3.5) delivery system, giving it that tingle factor and making it a fabulous performer. So the new Rose LG, had pH rating slightly higher at 5.5 than original, which still means great execution with addition of new ingredients. The feel and effects on skin are more subtle, delicate, caressing, hydrating on the skin.

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Some more points to note about Rose LG is it smells a whole lot more appealing, not as much of a tingle factor on skin, and followed by rose water is an absolute delight (even though Alpha H recommend finishing up with night cream or leave as a standalone treatment). Typically I use both LG’s after cleansing, soak cotton pad with product and dab on skin, note here – not swipe. I always dab acid products on skin. Alpha H recommends leaving it here for an intense treatment however I prefer to follow on with hydrating toner, serum, moisturizer or an oil.

In terms of benefits for skin, LG helps to clarify and brighten the complexion, improve appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation. However Rose LG goes one step further where it hydrates and plumps the skin due to the addition of botanical extracts in the formulation. Furthermore it is also anti inflammatory and helps with redness.

Some comparison points summarized:

 

Original Liquid Gold

Rose Liquid Gold

Skin Type

Mature, sun damaged, prematurely ageing and acne-scarred skin

Normal to dry skin, and mature skin. I wouldn’t recommend for very sensitive skins.

Recommended Application Frequency

Each alternate evening.

Each alternate night however in recent Lady CH video they say its ok for morning & night.

pH Delivery

Low pH delivery system – 3.5 Perfect pH – 5.5

Tingle Factor

6-8 / 10 4-5 / 10

Size Available

50ml, 100ml, 200ml 100ml – limited edition

My love for Liquid Gold isn’t slowing down any time soon, Rose LG or not, I’ll still be a regular user of LG. I would love for Rose LG to be a part of permanent line but I’m not fussed about it. For me the original LG, is still the one. This is beginning to sound like an undying love story, but it stands true for me. If you tried either of these, share your experience, I’d love to know your thoughts.

HHW.com

xx

Acids 101: AHA, BHA, PHA

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We’ve all heard catch phrases and marketing spills from various brands that echo in our heads something along these lines, “using AHA, BHA …. product will give your skin glow from sun……………… blah blah blah!”

This post is intended to provide you further information on source of these acids, their purpose in life, how it would benefit the skin and some product suggestions.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHA’s)

Operation Mode

AHA’s are water soluble which basically means it reacts with upper layer of epidermis and dissolves all dead skin cells on surface of skin. AHA’s operate at pH level of 3 – 5 (it’s the level of acidity, when compared to water at pH level 7 which is neutral).

Suitable Candidate or Skin Concerns

People experiencing sun damaged skin, aging, pigmentation, brown spots, wrinkles, rosacea, acne spots, congested skin.

Where should it be on the Ingredient list?

Products containing higher concentration of AHA’s would usually be listed 2nd – 3rd – 4th – 5th in the ingredient list (but these do not necessarily interpret effective result it may mean faster results).

Which acid is most effective? Which acid penetrates deepest in layers of skin?

It simply depends on the relevant acid’s Molecular size….Not all of the acids work in same way. Smaller molecules penetrate deeper in the skin for best results. But they are also the ones that give the skin tingling sensation or irritate very sensitive skins.

The following acids are in the order from . The following table shows the types of AHA’s, in the order of Smallest (deepest penetration in skin) to Largest molecule (more skin surface exfoliation), Source they are derived from, their Purpose in life and Product suggestions:

Type Source Derived from Function

Product Suggestions

Glycolic Acid

(Smallest Molecule)

Sugar Cane Degreasing and controlling production of sebum, and stimulate collagen production in skin. Alpha Hydrox range (12-14% Glycolic Acid)

Peter Roth Thomas Glycolic Range

Kate Somerville Glycolic & Retinol Peel

Alpha H Liquid Gold Range

Bravura London Glycolic Peel (10%) & Moisturizer (15%)

Lactic Acid Milk, Yoghurt, Sour Butter Milk or fermented fruit Antimicrobial, hydrating and adjusts ph level, skin softener, keeps skin moist Priori Gentle Facial Cleanser (13% Lactic Acid Complex)

Bravura London Lactic Acid Peel

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Malic Acid Apples, Cherry, Pears Hydrating, soothing and increases tissue respiration, increases oxygen supply to skin Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Packs

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel

Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser & Enzyme Exfoliant

Tartaric Acid Grapes, Berries, Currants, Passionfruit, Red Wine Antioxidant Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Mask
Citric Acid Tomatoes, Oranges, Lemons (citrus fruits) Brightens skin, anti aging properties Mario Badescu Orange Tonic Mask

Ole Henriksen Truth Collagen Serum

Mandelic Acid Bitter Almonds Helps age spots, discoloration

Vivant Skincare Mandelic Serum

Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Brightening Solution

BETA HYDROXY ACID (BHA)

Operation Mode

BHA’s are lipid (oil) soluble, which basically means it can break down the oils on surface of skin and penetrate deeper in layers of skin. Due to the ability of BHA’s going deeper in skin, they aid in acting against sebum congestion under the skin’s surface. They have anti-inflammatory properties too. Like AHA’s, these operate at pH level of 3 – 5. BHA products may result in dryness and dehydration to the skin.

Suitable Candidate or Skin Concerns

BHA products are suitable for congested skin, blackheads, whiteheads, acne, wrinkles, and ingrown hair.

Where should it be on the Ingredient list?

Unlike AHA products, the products containing Salicylic acid would usually be listed towards end of the ingredient listing. BHA is far stronger and therefore effective on skin.

Type Source Derived from Function Product Suggestions

Salicylic Acid

(Molecule smaller than Glycolic Acid)

Salicylic Acid derived from White Willow Bark. Aspirin is also derived from White Willow Bark and its active ingredient is Salicylic acid. You may have heard Aspirin masks for acne prone skin. Unclog pores, helps with underlying congestion, ingrown hair.

NO impact on sebum production or killing bacteria.

Bravura London Salicylic Acid Peel 2%

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (French Version)

Skinceuticals LHA Solution (also has Lipo Hydroxy and Glycolic Acids)

Dr Dennis Gross Purifying Booster

Perfect Image Skincare – TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid) 15% Gel Peel Enhanced with Salicylic Acid

Body scrubs that contain Salicylic acid are brilliant for ingrown hair

Categories/Types of products that contain AHA’s and BHA’s

Cleanser, Toners, Exfoliators, Eye Creams, Serums, Moisturizers, Chemical Peels. Below I have summarized some of the products that contain AHA, BHA, or a combination of two. 

AHA & BHA General Knowledge

1) Most important thing to bear in mind is AHA and BHA do cause skin sensitivities especially to sun exposure. Basically all hard work done with skin care products, can be reversed with unprotected sun exposure or inadequate sun protection.

2)  Skin regeneration is turnover of new skin cells that is critical for healthy, radiant and clear skin. Whilst AHA’s, BHA’s and PHA’s are brilliant for chemical exfoliation which continually “promote” growth of collagen in skin, it should be noted that AHA, BHA, PHA don’t generate new collagen. These are a great prep point for repairing products that have specific ingredients aimed at repair and nourish various skin concerns.

3)  There are number of companies and products that have a combination of AHA and BHA (Salicylic Acid). As for AHA’s you will need to read the ingredient list to ensure which type of acid is included in the product. Some companies also used synthetically sourced AHA and BHA, which is not naturally sourced. Think of it as, Vanilla extract (in a bottle with alcohol) as against using natural vanilla pod! Similarly some companies use AHA concentrate rather than extracts from natural fruit or vegetable. 

POLY HYDROXY ACID (PHA)

For sensitive skins, that are irritated with deep penetration of Glycolic Acid or cannot handle the tingly sensation from AHA’s, the Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHA’s) come to their rescue.

Polyhydroxy acids enhance exfoliation of the outermost layer of the skin and normalize its thickness. Products containing PHA’s cause less irritation to sensitive skin due to their large molecular structures. Considering it has a larger molecular structure it doesn’t penetrate deep in layers of skin, however it has has been proven the efficacy is not impacted in anyway compared to any other AHA.

Generally, the two types of PHA’s available are Gluconolactone (from oxidized glucose – natural sugar found in human body) and Lactobionic acid (from oxidized lactose – milk sugar).

Some product suggestions with PHA’s:

Thanks for taking the time to read the post and hopefully it has answered some of your burning questions.

HHW.com

xx

My Thoughts: Bioderma White Objective Serum

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Browsing through the aisles of Pharmacia in Madrid, I purchased this serum on a whim. Quickly glanced at the ingredients and thought let’s try it. It sure has some pretty effective ingredients for brightening and exfoliating the skin.

The packaging was interesting, with 30ml bottle accompanied with a vial of Vitamin C powder. You need to empty the powder in 30ml bottle (travel friendly) and give it a good shake ensuring all ingredients have nicely incorporated.

I used this every night after toning and experienced slight tingling sensation (sensitive skins might not enjoy it) that dint last long. I noticed that the glycolic acid helped my skin when I was experiencing breakout. Next morning my skin felt brighter and spots shrinking . It certainly did wonders to my older acne scars, some pigmentation and dull areas. This serum doesn’t have any smell to it but over a period of time I noticed the color of serum changed not impacting its efficacy. I’m assuming it’s due to vitamin c which is not the most stable ingredients.

As with any glycolic acid and vitamin c product, I ensured I had adequate sun protection at all times.  My only gripe with this product would be I wish it had slightly lower alcohol content. Whilst I fully understand that alcohol is needed to stabilize glycolic acid, it’s just tad strong. In saying so, I would definitely buy it again!

Ingredients:

WATER (AQUA), ALCOHOL DENAT., GLYCOLIC ACID (Yay), SODIUM HY- DROXIDE, ASCORBYL GLUCOSIDE (Yay), BUTYLENE GLYCOL, NIACINAMIDE (Yay), LYSINE AZELATE, ANDROGRAPHIS PANICULATA LEAF EXTRACT, GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT (Yay), HEXAPEP-TIDE-2, RHAMNOSE, MANNITOL, XYLITOL, FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYL DIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, POLYSORBATE 20, SODIUM METABISULFITE.

$45 – Bioderma White Objective Serum

xx

HHW.com

Liquid Gold VS. Neostrata Oily Skin Solution

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So we have all heard the hype on Alpha-H Liquid Gold and Neostrata Oily Skin Solution. I will share my experiences and results with you.

Alpha H Liquid Gold – This product is raved endlessly in blogging world and I’m sure we would all have heard amodelrecommends rave about it. To be honest, Im not very far from giving it 5 stars either. Only reason I wouldn’t give 5 stars is for its availability (mainly online, Australian made brand).

In saying so, it has revolutionized the way I perceive gentle chemical exfoliation. I apply it with a cotton pad on my face and get a sheer kick out of how it picks up all impurities from my face. My skin is so accustomed to AHA’s & BHA’s that I don’t feel the tingly sensation anymore (weirdly enough I miss it because psychologically it made me feel product is working its magic!). It dries almost immediately without leaving a sticky feeling. Next morning, my skin feels softer and smoother. Over a period of time I have also noticed it has helped with uneven skintone, skin congestion and pigmentation. However I alternate the use with Alpha H Intensive Night Repair Serum (review coming soon).

The ingredients of this product are Aqua, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Hydrolysed Silk, Glycolic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract. I’m not exactly thrilled to see Alcohol Denat in the listing. This ingredient is used as preservative in skincare which may lead to dryness to skin (not that I have experienced any). Based on that, I’m assuming they would have used in this ingredient to preserve the effectiveness of Glycolic acid. The concentration of Glycolic acid is not mentioned on product packaging or website. On further research it was noted the Glycolic acid concentration was 5% (http://www.adorebeauty.com.au/alpha-h/alpha-h-liquid-gold.html)

Price point – 100ml $40 and 200ml $58 (http://www.beautybay.com/skincare/alphah/g/liquidgold/)

Neostrata Oily Skin Solution – This product on other hand is 8% Glycolic acid and does tingle my skin. The method of application and results are not hugely different to Liquid Gold. In saying so, the ingredients are a distinction point.

Key ingredients – Aqua (Water), Alcohol denat., Glycolic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Ammonium Hydroxide, Polyquaternium-10, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA.

Price point – 100ml $30 (http://www.neostrata.com/product/neostrata+oily+skin+solution.do)

CRUNCH DOWN COMPARISON – Neostrata is cheaper, easily available in US, Glycolic acid third ingredient listed (8%). Whilst Liquid Gold is steeper in price, available online and Glycolic acid is fifth ingredient listed (5%). The packaging, method of application and results are not hugely different. Perhaps for USA consumers Neostrata is a viable option. For starters, Liquid Gold may be good option as it may not be as strong on skin. However one would have to fork out more moolah! However if you are willing to take a leap of faith with stronger product at cheaper price your bank account and skin may thank you!

As for me, I own both products and enjoy using them both. Next I “might” try layering or mixing the product (I doubt if that would be good idea)