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Peptides And Alpha Hydroxy Acids

So what’s the difference between Peptides and AHAs anyway?

Peptides and AHA’s are often mistaken for having the same effect on the skin but they are very, very different. I was having a conversation with a wonderful client the other day and we were discussing the differences between the two, this is what I told her.


First we need to start with the science: Peptides are fragments of proteins. On their own, peptides are made up of amino acids. When amino acids are combined in certain formations they create specific peptides (and there are hundreds of peptides), and when peptides are formed in a certain way, they make specific proteins.

Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of skin. Without peptides, skin doesn’t remain intact and the results is loss of firmness, appearance of wrinkles, texture changes, and skin that doesn’t bounce back as it once did.

What’s so fascinating about peptides is that abundant research has clearly shown they can help revitalize those building blocks and, in turn, help revitalize skin, slowing down the aging process.

AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids):

Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA’s) are a class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in fruits, milk, and sugar cane. Although they are called acids they are not to be confused with strong industrial acids such as hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. The AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic products are glycolic acid (which is derived from sugar cane) and lactic acid (the substance that gives you muscle burn when you exercise).

These acids are natural exfoliants. They penetrate the skin down to the living layers, there they stimulate the cells to move faster and the cells begin to move up the layers and push out the dead cells. This is why you see shedding or peeling when using these acids because the dead cells are beginning to exfoliate.

This process works great for both non-inflamed and inflamed acne. Having chemical peels regularly, frequently and consistently will dramatically change the appearance of your skin.

Both of these are excellent for the skin and can be used together or at different times during your skin care journey. You will need to work closely with your esthetician to decide which one, when, how often you need to be using them. AHA’s can be very strong and can cause a lot of irritation and peeling. The skin needs to be conditioned gradually, starting usage a couple of days a week and moving up from there. Using cleansers and toners with AHA’s can also be helpful.

Different skin issues have different needs, depending on the condition, season, age and diet. Think if it this way, AHA’s are for exfoliation, reduction of inflammation, acne, oily skin. Peptides are great for skin showing the signs of aging, they help to hold the skin tight, stimulate collagen and elastin production and give a more youthful skin tone.
Working with these two ingredients in the office, really allows me to help clients achieve better skin tone, fade hyperpigmentation and increase skin’s elasticity. It is for this reason that I chose Vivant and Hydropeptide skin care lines. These two lines have a medical grade of active ingredients and the results are just amazing!
Questions? Schedule a consultation with me today!


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