What is the Difference Between AHA's and Retinol for Anti-Aging?

Retinol Vs. AHA's

Two of the biggest powerhouses in world of anti-aging are retinol and alpha-hydroxy-acids or AHA’s. Targeted for fine lines and wrinkles, both of these ingredients provide the exfoliation and resurfacing qualities every skin type needs to maintain a youthful appearance. But what is the difference between aha’s and retinol?

What is AHA?

AHA are commonly found in most anti aging products. They come in six primary forms: glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, malic and mandelic acid. No matter the variation, the primary ability of AHA’s is to exfoliate the superficial dead skin cells to promote product penetration. This happens by dissolving the lipid barrier that is still attaching the dull skin cells in turn revealing younger, healthier, more hydrated glowing skin.


What is Retinol?

Retinol is the gold standard for maintaining a youthful appearance. While having exfoliating properties, retinol works a bit differently from AHA’s because the molecule also promotes cellular turnover inside the skin cell. Retinol protects the skin’s fibroblasts and induces collagen production which can be seen by a thickening of the skin. Basically retinol is protecting and rebuilding the foundation of the skin to give a smoother appearance of wrinkles, and a plumping effect in the skin.


Can retinol's and AHA's  work together?

Absolutely. Some of our favorite age defense products have both retinol and an AHA such as glycolic acid in one product. Although a product like this should be complimented with a nourishing moisturizer to feed and hydrate the freshly exfoliated skin.


Get started with Improving your skin

If your looking to improve the quality of your skin and reduce lines and wrinkles with little monetary investment then getting started with a retinol or alpha-hydroxy-acid night cream is a great start! Try the Total Repair Cream from Image Skincare for just under $60, this powerful cream combines the two beneficial ingredients and will last you up to 6 months when used nightly.

Learn more about AHA & Chemical Peels

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