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As we age, the turnover rate of our cells slows down. In our teens they turnover at an average rate of 28 days and by our mid-50s we’re down to 60 days. This is the rate at which cells reproduce in the epidermal junction and where they are held together by lipids, ceramides and long chain fatty acids. The young cells gradually migrate to the skin surface where they die. But they don’t hang around benignly. Unsloughed dead cells can do as much damage as an angry poltergeist.
And that’s where alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) come in. AHAs (acids such as glycolic, lactic, citric, malic, mandelic and tartaric) exfoliate the surface of the skin, accelerate cell turnover and some, such as lactic acid, act as humectants. BHAs (willow bark) go deeper and actually exfoliate dead cells hanging around in the skin’s pores. If you are wondering how to incorporate them into your regimen, here’s my Five Best with AHAs and BHAs for 2016.
Sciote Illume Brightening Serum
Sevani Ageless Radiance Refining AHA Cleanser
Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10%
La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask
Dr. Dennis Gross Original Alpha Beta Peel