What’s on a Label?

Search alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) on Google and you will find pages and pages of information. Most agree that alpha hydroxy acids are naturally occurring, nontoxic acids that have been used to help improve the appearance of skin for centuries. Most also agree that alpha hydroxy acids really work! Many do not, however, agree on what percentage of AHA is needed to be an effective skin care ingredient. There is also little or no consensus on how percentages should be expressed. You can find over-the-counter products claiming percentages anywhere from 4% to 50%! Unfortunately, cosmetic labeling can be very misleading. Since AHAs are the cornerstone of the Alpha Skin Care line of products, we want to help clarify some label information and share what you need to know when shopping for an alpha hydroxy acid product.

Here are four pieces of information you should know when reading labels on AHA products.

The Type of AHA

Glycolic acid is the alpha hydroxy acid most commonly used in anti-aging skin care products. Glycolic acid is a natural fruit acid derived from sugar cane. The reason glycolic acid is the AHA used most often in skin care products is that is the smallest AHA molecule. This means that it can more easily get into your skin. It also yields the most dramatic results. For the best results when using an alpha hydroxy acid, look for formulas with glycolic acid.

The Percentage of AHA

For an AHA to be effective, the percentage of AHA should be between 8% and 14%.  A product with less than 8% AHA is little more than a moisturizer. Products that claim to have more than 14% are considered a chemical peel and really should be administered in a dermatologists office. We make AHA products that are 10%, 12% and 14% glycolic AHA. Don’t be fooled by misleading information that suggests an AHA product has 25% or higher. It simply is not true, and if it were, the product would not be safe for you to use.

The AHA Solution

Now you know what percentage is effective but, it is a percentage of what? AHAs are an ingredient that needs a carrier like a cream, lotion or gel. That means that no AHA solution is made up of 100% AHAs. When companies refer to the percentages on labels and packages the percent is usually based on a 70% AHA solution. Here is an example; 8% of a 70% solution is really 5.6% (70 x 8% = 5.6). So an 8% AHA  is really 5.6% of the overall formula. We make a cream, lotion, gel and serum so there is a product for all skin types.

The pH Level

Finally, you should know the importance of pH levels when reading cosmetics labels. To be effective, the pH level for an AHA should be between 3.5 and 4.0. If the pH level that is too low will be too acidic and irritating. A pH level of more than 4.0 is too alkaline to be effective and acts more like a moisturizer. Be wary of alpha hydroxy acid products that do not list the percentage of AHA or pH levels. They could have too little AHA to be effective or may not be properly formulated.

From the beginning in 1992, Alpha Skin Care (formerly Alpha Hydrox) has always put complete information on the box. The type of AHA, the percentage, the solution, and the pH level are featured prominently. We want our consumers to be educated and well-informed about the products that they buy. We believe, that given accurate information, people will make the best buying decision possible and in skin care, the best decision is Alpha Skin Care.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

The Skinny on pH

Do you know what pH stands for or why the pH level is  important in skin care products? Here is a quick explanation to help you be an informed, savvy skin care shopper.

Those two little letters, pH, stands for “potential of hydrogen” and reflects the number of hydrogen ions in a particular solution. More hydrogen ions make a solution more acidic. Fewer hydrogen ions create an alkaline solution. The scale for pH level is 0 – 14. Neutral on the scale is 7. If a solution is less than 7, it is acidic. Solutions higher than 7 are alkaline.

Here’s why pH is important in skin care products. Skin needs to be slightly acidic in order to deal with environmental factors like bacteria and other toxins. Normal skin pH ranges from 4.5 – 5.5. The active pH of a product determines its ability to actually penetrate the skin. A product should be below the pH level of the skin (or less than 4.5) for maximum penetration. If it’s not, the product isn’t any more effective than using water.

To be a smart skin care buyer, it is important to know pH level of the products you are buying. This will help you to determine their effectiveness. Cleansers should have a pH level higher than 3.5 A cleanser with less than 3.5 will strip your skin and leave it irritated. The optimum level for AHAs is between 3.5 and 4. If it is more than 4, an AHA or glycolic acid solution will do little to exfoliate or promote cellular renewal. Products with a pH level of 4 or more act more like a moisturizer.

Those two little letters, pH,  can make a big difference in the effectiveness of a product. To get the best results from your skin care products look for products that are pH balanced. We have always formulated all Alpha Skin Care products with the proper pH. Our goal is to make affordable products that really work. At Alpha Skin Care, we want to help you to get the most from your skin care routine and proper pH is part of what you need to know.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

AHAs – Nature’s Skin Care

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

Alpha hydroxy acids are the corner-stone of Alpha Skin Care line of products. AHAs as they are commonly known, are naturally occurring acids derived from fruit, milk and nuts. Long ago, women took baths in sour milk to soften skin. Cleopatra was said to have used old wine on her face to keep her skin looking youthful, and again generations later with women in France being said to have washed their faces with old wine. In the more modern era, masks made with fruit and yogurt have been on shelves for a few decades. All of these are examples of alpha hydroxy acids being used to improve the look and feel of skin. Six primary sources of alpha hydroxy acids.

What do AHAs do?

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) make skin softer, smoother and younger-looking. They help to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkle and even skin tone and texture.  AHAs improve the appearance of skin in two ways; as an exfoliant and as a moisturizer or humectant, both are essential to effective skin care.

AHAs exfoliate by gently loosening the glue-like bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. Exfoliation stimulates and accelerates cellular rejuvenation by tricking the skin into making new skin cells. Removing dead skin cells sends a message to the body that it needs to produce skin cells allowing newer, healthier cells to come to the surface. AHAs also help support collagen production making skin feel skin plump and firmer. Alpha hydroxy acids help skin look and feel fresh, renewed and glowing.

Getting rid of dead cells helps AHAs to also act as a humectant. Moisture penetrates the skin better and binds more moisture together for a longer period. Skin that is well hydrated and full of moisture is fuller, softer and more elastic. Lines and wrinkles are smoother and less noticeable.

In 1992, Alpha Skin Care (formerly known as Alpha Hydrox) was the first skin care manufacturer to make alpha hydroxy acid products available to all. 27 years later, millions of women have used our AHA products and now you know why as well. Alpha hydroxy acids are natural ingredients, readily available, safe to use and they really work. If you want softer, smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin, try Alpha Skin Care.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

Happy New You!

Is taking better care of your skin on your list of New You Resolutions? What would that even mean?  Does it mean washing your face before bed? Possibly just wearing sunscreen every day? Or does it mean committing to a daily skin care routine? Taking better care of your skin is likely not just one thing. Like a healthy diet, it means doing a lot of little things that add up to healthier, fresher, younger-looking skin.

So let’s try a different approach to taking better care of your skin this year. Instead of taking on the entire year together, why not focus on one resolution each month? It is easier than trying to change every aspect of life at one time.  Here are some suggestions for making changes to your skin care routine in 2021!

In January – Take off your make-up at the end of the day and wash your face. Make-up traps skin oils, dirt, and environmental pollutants to cause acne and dull skin. It’s only January, let’s start small.

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In February – Moisturize after washing your face and body.  Hot water can strip skin of natural oils leaving it dry and tight. Replace lost moisture with a lightweight lotion even if you have oily skin.

In March – Start wearing sunscreen every day.  It is easy and it is the best way to reduce and prevent signs of premature aging, and time to get in the habit before summer.

In April – Shower after exercise! Trying to squeeze in a work out at lunch? Sweating is good. It helps get rid of toxins, but don’t let those toxins just sits on your skin too long. It will lead to acne and blemishes.

In May – Exfoliate regularly. We recommend using AHAs to gently exfoliate skin but you can use a gentle scrub as well. Be sure to exfoliate all parts of your body for soft, glowing skin from head to toe.

In June – Clean make-up brushes regularly. Brushes hold skin oils and become a breeding ground for bacteria. Wash them at least once a month with lukewarm water and a mild cleanser. Our Refreshing Face Wash works great on brushes!

In July – Take care of your hands.  Hands often take a beating and can give away your age. Give them a little extra TLC every day.  Use a SPF on your hands during the day and rich lotion on them at night.

In August – Start a basic skin care routine that includes a Glycolic AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). Stick to a program for at least 6 weeks.  That’s how long it takes to see a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Patience and diligence will pay off with a skin care routine.

In September – Schedule an annual skin check-up.  Follow up by doing a monthly self-exam as well.  Never let unusual moles, bumps or rashes go to long without seeing a dermatologist.

In October – Keep your hands off your face!  The germs and bacteria on your hands wind up on your face causing acne and irritation. And clean that cell phone with anti-bacterial wipes for the same reason.

In November – We’re in the home stretch of the year! Keep your momentum in November. Take care of your lips!  Use moisturizers and lip balms that have an SPF. Lips are the thinnest skin on the body and are more susceptible to sun damage than any other part of you.

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In December – Holiday season, time to celebrate! Be aware, however, of alcohol consumption. Alcohol leaves you dehydrated causing dryness, bloating and redness. It also makes some skin conditions worse, like rosacea and broken capillaries. Just be aware and moderate when celebrating at the end the year.

At the end of 2021, your skin will look better and feel better than it has in years. By focusing on just one small change each month you can develop skin care habits that will last a lifetime. Just like a healthy diet, these changes are lifestyle changes that can help you to be healthier, younger-looking and truly comfortable in your own skin.  Best wishes to a Happy New You!

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

A Breath of Fresh Air!

Who remembers 1992? Disney’s Aladdin topped theater box offices, while MTV tried something other than music videos with the first season of The Real World. Whitney Houston was top of the charts with “I Will Always Love You” and the still surprisingly high cost of a super bowl ad was $850,000, while this past year it was more than $5.8 million! Basically, what we’re getting at, times change. Way back in 1992 Alpha Skin Care was known by another name and was brand new to the health and beauty market. It was just beginning to lead the way in naturally powerful skin care.

We launched in 1992 as Alpha Hydrox with just two products. At the time the name originated from the active ingredient, alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs were innovative in skin care in the 1990s. The name showcased what made Alpha Hydrox unique at the time and was intended to help consumers know about products with this new, powerful ingredient.

Over time, skin care formulas changed. At Alpha Hydrox, we began incorporating other active ingredients. We added retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants and vitamins to many products. As our skin care line evolved and grew, the name Alpha Hydrox no longer fit.  Over the years, we learned a lot and our skin care products offered so much more than just Alpha Hydroxy Acids. In 2016, we embarked on a new chapter by changing the name of the brand to Alpha Skin Care. As Alpha Skin Care, we still offer many of the same great products you know and love, but our loyal users have noticed a few new names. We think the names of Alpha Skin Care better represent who we are today. Our newest names as follows.

Foaming Face Wash is now Refreshing Face Wash

Toner Astringent is now Clarifying Toner

10% AHA Enhanced Cream is now Essential Renewal Cream

10% AHA Enhanced Lotion is now Essential Renewal Lotion

10% AHA Oil-Free Formula is now Essential Renewal Gel

12% AHA Souffle is now Enhanced Renewal Cream

Silk Wrap Body Lotion is now Renewal Body Lotion

14% AHA Intensive Serum is now Intensive Renewal Serum

Retinol ResQ is now Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream

Eye and Upper Lip Cream is now Nourishing Eye Cream

Spot Light Skin Lightener is now Dual Action Skin Lightener

Additionally, to be environmentally friendly, we’ve removed all internal platforms from the packaging and eliminated any extra waste in the updated design, and most importantly the packaging itself is recyclable. Why is Alpha Skin Care the best choice in skin care? Affordable quality, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and simple (now recyclable!) packaging; we give you everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Our sincere thanks to the many loyal Alpha Hydrox users for their support during the last 28 years. You helped to make product development and evolution possible and we appreciate your continued support through this transition and beyond. Our mission in 1992 was to offer highly effective, quality products at an affordable price. That remains our mission today. Alpha Hydrox or Alpha Skin Care – it’s still The One That Works!

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For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.