AHAs and the Sun

 At Alpha Skin Care, we want to help you to make good, well-informed decisions about skin care products and how to use them.  We have found that there a lot of confusion regarding alpha hydroxy acids, commonly known as AHAs and whether or not they increase sun sensitivity. We thought we would take this opportunity to clarify the information.

AHAs are natural exfoliates.  They are derived from natural ingredients like sour milk, grapes and sugar cane.  When used in skin care products, these natural fruit acids loosen the glue-like bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of skin.  If you are not using AHAs as part of your skin care routine the top layer of cells is fairly thick.  This thick layer of dead cells is the body’s natural way of providing protection from the sun.

When you begin using an AHA treatment product, it gradually exfoliates the layer of dead cells from the skin’s surface.  AHAs allow newer, fresher, healthier cells to come to emerge.  That’s a good thing. The newer, healthier cells are what makes your skin look younger and more radiant. Skin feels softer and smoother.  Fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots are less noticeable. As unwanted cells are removed, however, so is your natural protection from the sun.  

AHAs do not make you more sensitive to the sun.  They simply remove the layer of dead cells.  There are ingredients that do make you more sensitive.  For example, retinoids, also known as retinol or Retin-A can cause significant sun sensitivity.  Many people will stop using retinoids in the summer for that very reason.  Although, sun exposure any time of year is equally damaging.

If you are using an alpha hydroxy acids as part of your daily skin care routine you must wear a sunscreen to replace the natural protection that is lost with exfoliation.  Some people think that if you are using AHAs at night, you do not need to wear a sunscreen during the day.  At Alpha Skin Care, we suggest wearing a sunscreen every day year round. We all know that the sun can damage skin and accelerates the aging process. Why take chances when wearing a sunscreen is so easy?  You can still enjoy feeling the sun on your face.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

Top 10 Daily Skin Care Essentials

It can be a bit overwhelming with all the skin care rituals out there, some of which are not even needed. To make life easier, here are 10 daily skin care essentials to know about!

There is more to having beautiful healthy, glowing than just the skin care products you are using. A healthy lifestyle is essential. If you smoke, drink, get too much sun or eat a lot of processed food, creams and serums will not be enough to prevent the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. You exercise to take care of your heart and never smoked to protect your lungs. Doesn’t your skin deserve the same care and concern? After all, it is the largest organ of the body.

Here are the Top 10 Daily Skin Care Essentials for healthy, younger-looking skin.

  1. Cleanse Gently.
    • Use a gentle cleanser twice a day to get rid of dirt, makeup and environmental impurities. Alpha Skin Care Refreshing Face Wash is free of soap, fragrances, parabens and its pH balanced. If skin is pH balanced it will not feel tight or dry after cleansing. Clean, pH balanced skin helps other skin care products work their best. They are easier to apply and are more fully absorbed.
  1. Exfoliate with AHAs.
    • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) gently exfoliate dead skin cells and allow healthier cells to come to the surface. AHAs are derived from natural fruit acids. They are gentle and can be used twice a day. Removing dead skin cells send a message to the skin that it needs to produce new cells. Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal products feature Glycolic AHA and are formulated for every skin type.
  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
    • As skin ages, it holds less moisture. Applying a topical moisturizer will help to replenish skin and promote cellular repair. Dry skin makes lines and wrinkles look deeper. Healthy, well-hydrated skin is softer and lessens the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Alpha Skin Care Essential Daily Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and is formulated for all skin types.
  1. Wear Sunscreen every day!
    • A broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen should be worn daily to protect your skin from sun exposure. Unprotected sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, dryness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, premature aging, and skin cancer. All of which are preventable, so Don’t Forget the Sunscreen.
  1. End Bad Habits!
    • If you smoke, stop and if you drink, drink less. Smoking accelerates the aging process. Smoking increases the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. It also reduces levels of oxygen which is necessary for cellular renewal. Alcohol can cause dehydration making skin look dull and dry. It also causes inflammation which leads to redness and broken capillaries. Cheers to a New You.
  1. Eat healthy food. 
    • Good nutrition is essential for healthy, glowing skin. Foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, A, E and zinc help to protect the body from sun damage and help to build collagen. A balanced diet that includes Omega-3, beta-carotene and selenium support skin repair, improve elasticity and firmness. A body that is well nourished is strong and vibrant and that goes for skin as well. Top Healthy Food for Your Skin.
  1. Drink Water.
    • 64% of your skin is made up of water. Drinking enough water helps to hydrate skin from the inside. It helps to prevent dryness and flush away toxins. Well-hydrated skin reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, helps skin look full and plump and has fewer breakouts. Moisturize from the Inside Out.
  1. Exercise. 
    • Exercise promotes circulation which keeps skin healthy and vibrant. By increasing blood flow, exercise nourishes skin cells and keep them vital. Sweating helps cleanse your skin from the inside, getting rid of cellular debris and toxins. Exercise also eases stress which can help to improve skin conditions like acne and eczema. So take a brisk walk and your skin will thank you! Add outside article
  1. Reduce Stress.
    • Taking time to rest and relax is essential for healthy skin. Acne and other skin problems can become worse with high levels of stress. Stress also decreases skins ability to renew and regenerate.  Make time for a little ‘me time’ each day. You’ll feel better and your skin will look better, too. Add breathing podcast
  1. Get someZzz!
    • Getting enough sleep is very important for healthy skin. Your skin is actively involved in cellular repair while you sleep. Your skin makes new collagen which prevents sagging and increases blood flow which gives your skin a healthy glow. Plenty of rest also minimizes dark circles and puffy eyes. The key is to get enough sleep is 7 to 9 quality hours each night. Add Link to Sleep Study

There it is – 10 daily skin care essentials. If you commit to a simple skin care routine and a healthy lifestyle, you will have healthy, younger-looking skin.  Chances are, you are doing some of these already. Keep it up!  Building a healthier lifestyle takes time but the rewards will be worth it.

For more information about Alpha Skin Care products visit our website.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

Three Simple Steps to Glowing Skin

Toners, tonics and serums, oh my! Do you really need 8 steps in your skin care routine? Despite all the advertising and media hype, skin care can be very simple and doesn’t have to break the bank. There are only 3 simple steps needed to have healthy glowing skin; cleanse, treat, and protect.

Alpha Skin Care Refreshing Face Wash

A good cleanser is key and is the first step in a simple skin care routine. It provides the foundation for using other products. A good cleanser is gentle, soap-free, and should remove all dirt, oil, environmental pollutants, and make-up. After cleansing, skin should not be irritated, tight or dry, just fresh and clean. Alpha Skin Care Refreshing Face Wash is pH balanced and leaves skin soft and smooth. Plus, it’s only $8!

Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion

Treatments are the second step in a simple skin care routine and are best when they include some type of exfoliation. Exfoliation means removing the top layer of dead cells from the skin’s surface. Exfoliation can be as simple as washing with a rough washcloth, to using a facial scrubs, or even dermabrasion. Products containing alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs are one of the best forms of exfoliation. AHAs gently remove the glue-like bonds that hold old skin cells to the surface of the skin, in turn signaling the body to produce new fresh cells. AHAs help to promote cellular regeneration bringing newer healthier cells to the surface. Skin looks and feels fresh, soft with more even tone and texture. AHAs can be used by all skin types and are typically a more effective exfoliant then most other methods of refining. The cost of exfoliation ranges widely and can easily be as low as a few dollars all the way up to a few hundred dollars. Alpha Skin Care treatment products offer some of the highest percentages of AHAs available and cost less than $20!

Alpha Skin Care Essential Facial Moisturizer

Hydrating and protecting your skin is the last step in a simple routine. If you use your skin care products at night, a moisturizer should be the last step in your routine, in the day follow only with a light sunscreen. Hydrating is in itself is protecting the skin, most of the time moisturizing simply keeps some discomfort at bay, but the cracks and fissures of dry skin can easily lead to inflammation, and in the worst cases even an infection. If you have normal to dry skin, a moisturizer will help your skin to look and feel healthier. Many believe that using a moisturizer is the only way to get softer, younger-looking skin. Moisturizers, however, do not affect change in your skin like AHAs. Alpha Skin Care Essential Facial Moisturizer, contains vitamins, is lightweight, features Hyularonic Acid, a moisture binding agent, and costs only $15!

As mentioned, if you use skin care products in the morning, use a good sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Sun damage causes many of the signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. Even on cloudy days it’s best to wear a sunscreen with SPF15 or higher. There are lots of wonderful facial sunscreens available for a sub $20 price point.

So, do you need 8 steps in your skin care routine?  No, but listen to your skin, if it likes the way a toner, tonic or serum feels, go ahead and use it! Skin care is simple and can be very affordable, cleanse, treat and protect is all you really need. With Alpha Skin Care, just 3 products for less than $45 and you can have healthy, glowing younger-looking skin!

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

For most of us when we think of sunscreen, our first thoughts are likely of grabbing our swimsuit and towel to head out into the summer sun. Many may not even consider sunscreen on cold and cloudy days when the beach or pool is out of the picture, and especially during the winter months. Don’t be fooled by dropping temperatures or cloudy skies, sunscreen is an absolute necessity all year-round. The sun’s rays are just as strong and damaging in the winter and can get even stronger when reflecting UV radiation off of pale snow.

If you still need some more convincing, both the World Health Organization and the US. Department of Health and Human Services have identified ultralight radiation as a human carcinogen. It is a main cause of skin cancer for more than a million Americans each year. 95% of the UV rays that we are exposed to in our lifetimes are UVA rays and these UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply and increase the appearance of skin wrinkles and aging. Sun damage accumulates gradually over time and yields lasting consequences for your skin and health.

So pull out the sunscreen and lather up year round! Sunscreen is imperative when used in conjunction with your daily Alpha Skin Care routine. Adding a light SPF 15 or SPF 30 to be applied and reapplied daily, will help to make it a habitual part of your inside and outside days. UVA rays can penetrate through clouds and through glass in your car’s windows. Tempering your levels of sun with the shade, broad-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses will keep your skin healthy in the long run.

It is never too late to start wearing sunscreen year-round. Start building the habit today!

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.