Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic AHA Review
Unfortunately, I threw away the original packaging and pamphlet that came with the product. I will copy some stuff from the neotericcosmetics, manufacturer of this product, to make it up.
Some basic about AHA first. In a nutshell, it is a chemical exfoliant, which is the best of all. Our skin is constantly shedding dead cells which needs to be removed, specially as we hit 20 and our skin is no longer regenerated and turned over like when we were young. Story of life, eeh?
So we need to help. Vitamin A, like Retin-A can help with the turnover process while exfoliants will take care of the dead cells. It will help to uncover the newer, less damaged and healthier skin. Most importantly, it will make you look younger. It is also highly beneficial for people who have consistent skin problem like acne, black heads, white heads etc. It will also help with the texture, take off sun damage, let products like moisturizer or treatments adhere better.
Now there are a lot of options for exfoliations but most commons are probably scrubs. However, they are not the most effective option, far far away from it. To understand why, you need to understand how these products work. AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid) can penetrate the outer layer of the skin and actually exfoliates the dead cells while scrubs only polishes the skin and removes the impurities on top of the skin. So maybe it can take off 10-20% of the dead cells, but it will also damage the skin by doing so. Because with chemical products, you simply massage them on your skin and let it work, while for scrubs you need to scrub your skin using motions and pressures which will cause tiny tears on the skin, the barrier gets damaged and can cause a lot more problems. AHA or BHA can actually unglue the dead cells from our skin without any extra help. It will not affect the healthy skin therefore it is 100% safer.
After learning all this, I pretty much stopped using scrubs on my face. And decided to get a AHA or BHA. Now what I didn't know was AHA and BHA, though both chemical exfoliant, technically they are not the same. They dont work same way either.
AHA is water soluble. It is best for sun damaged/normal skin or dry skin. It will only exfoliate the surface but will not penetrate inside the pores. BHA however is oil soluble. It can penetrate inside the pore therefore is recommended for oily/combination skin and blemish prone skin.
I have oily skin, but I got this Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic AHA product anyway, because it was my first and its a drugstore product and I really didn't know that BHA would have been better. But the kind of positive results I am seeing from AHA, I can only imagine what BHA could do. So I have decided to get both AHA and BHA next time, because even if I have oily skin, some days my skin acts pretty dry depending on weather or retin-A so I want to have both the options.
So enough with the technicality, lets move on to the actual product. Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic AHA has 12% Glycolic acid.
It comes in a 1.60 oz tube. For the retail price of $ 15+, the amount of product is not much, buy you only need a tiny amount of the product to cover your whole face so it will last long enough!
The description says, it is an Anti-Wrinkle product with 12% AHA. It is also Fragrance-free, Oil-free and pH 4 (ph stability is an important fartor for AHA/BHA prodocuts. According to neotericcosmetics it is,
* For all skin types except sensitive
* Contains Peptides & Green Tea
* Smooths, softens & restores skin
* Reduces fine lines & wrinkles
* Evens skin tone
* Restores skin's healthy glow
* Effective pH 4
* Oil, Fragrance & Paraben-Free
* Proven results within 6 weeks
Exfoliation is the key to skin renewal. This lightweight, non-greasy anti-wrinkle soufflé with 12% AHA is the ultimate in powerful, natural AHA exfoliation. Reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, smoothes, softens & restores skin without the use of abrasives. Peptides & Green Tea preserve firmness and prevent free radicals from breaking skin down. Immediately you will notice the velvety softness of your skin and in a matter of days, your skin will begin to look younger & more radiant with improved texture, elasticity & tone
Ingredients includes Water, Glycolic Acid, Ammonium Hydroxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Stearic Acid, Peg 40 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 60, Steareth 2, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein (Peptides), Green Tea Extract, Panthanol (Vitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, BHT
How to use is given on the back.
One thing I should add is this one used to come in a glass tube, which wasn't really that sanitary. So people over neotericcosmetics had the good sense to change the packaging...
Feels quite like a primer at first. But after 2-3 minutes it leaves no residue on skin whatsoever. How you want to use AHA/BHA is upto you. According to Paula Begoun, you can use these products 2-3 times a day, before moisturizer. Apparently, you can even use it under make-up. I know a lot of reviewers uses this atleast once a day. Me, I have been using it every other night (see my full skin care post here). AHA/BHA does make increase your skin's sensitivity to sun so even with a 50 spf sunscreen, I will not be comfortable wearing this product outside. I have also noticed that it makes my face sweat a little so I will not try it under make-up either
As for the result, it has been wonderful. I have just recently started using retin-A. As a result, my skin has been flaking a lot. I have tried traditional scrubs/ OCM but nothing took off ALL the flakes. They will still be persistent after 2-3 days of using retin-A. It is specially embarrassing if i am wearing make-up because foundation or compact powders enhances the flakes. I was feeling so desperate that I even considered stopping Retin-A (which would be the biggest mistake ever). Then I found out about this product, gave it a try, and like I said at the start of the post, was blown away after the first use. I just applied it, then applied HQ moisturizer (Nanidola) at night, slept, woke up, washed my face with a cleanser and viola. No flak!!!!!!
So with the regular use, my skin has returned to normal. No flake. I have also noticed that the nights I use this, the next morning my pores look a lot less small and I have no oil on my T-zone. So maybe daily use can do a lot more wonders, but I am not sure how to fit it in with retin-A routine so I'll continue to do what I am doing right now for a while.
I also feel that Nanidola and other creams are adhering better, now that I have exfoliated clean skin. My skin has also been clearing out, with very little blackheads/white heads. The improvement on texture, tans and marks are also noticeable, but I have also been using Retin-A, HQ, Niacinamide, Vitamin C so it can be attributed to all of them.
The only complain I have with this product is the price. It is a lot for a tiny product. Also some reviewers mentioned when you first start it, your skin may go through a "purging state". I haven't experienced it, maybe because of my continues use of retin-a, but seems like its a normal occurrence. I have also seen some people complaining that their skin purged again once they stop using it. I think it is normal, your skin gets used to being clean and exfoliated and once you stop it starts to add up, pores start to get blocked so breaking out can happen.
I however, am never going to stop using it Insha Allah, so not fearing that. So I will repurchase the product yes, but maybe I will also try some other brands, like Paula's Choice AHA (and also BHA) later.
So encase you cant guess from such long entry and how much effort I have put into writing this review, yes. I am really really really happy with this product and urge everyone to try this.