The use of acids in skincare products and such procedures as a chemical peel cause some of the hottest discussions: it is often assumed that the use of AHA and glycolic acids in the summer causes skin pigmentation and inflammatory reactions.
However, according to professionals, such skin issues are usually a potential side effect of several other skincare procedures, including mesotherapy, micropigmentation, removal of papillomas, as well as using poorly selected creams and cosmetics.
In South America, for example, acid in skin treatments is on high demand all-year-round - the continent itself is well-known as a homeland of a chemical peel. Despite the average temperature exceeding most of Europe's climate records in the hottest months, South Americans do not avoid acid-based treatment in the summer, including chemical peel and procedures with glycolic acid, known for its photoprotective effects.
In Italy, Lara Castellacci, a spokeswoman for the cosmetics company "Capri Beauty line," says that acids in cosmetics play an essential role in their own product line. "We produce the "Mandelic Acid line," which consists of a very specific acid extracted from bitter almonds. Its biggest advantage is that even at high levels of concentration, it does not damage the skin. There is no burning sensation, redness, or higher sensitivity to ultraviolet rays. Therefore, these acids can be freely used in summer as well," says Mrs. Castellacci.
Other cosmetologists also believe that creams with up to 5% concentration of glycolic acid do not cause any skin pigmentation, just like AHA acid creams with a medium UV protection.
Irena Jokšienė, the founder of "ODA," one of the most popular cosmetic brands in Lithuania, is often confronted with customers' rumors about acidic cosmetics in the summer. "People already get scared of the word "acid" itself, hence we make sure to actively spread awareness among our customers about the true benefits of such cosmetics. Acid cleanses the skin, clears up acne and speeds up the absorption of any other active ingredients in the products, it really triggers the skin to work," says Mrs. Jokšienė.
American studies show that facial creams with glycolic or lactic acids at a concentration level of 5% create reliable protection against unwanted sun exposure. Research suggests that within 48 hours after the use of glycolic acid products, the inflammatory skin redness reduces by almost 20%. If the use is prolonged for up to three weeks, glycolic acid increases skin protection for up to 70%.
“Glycolic acid products are suitable for every-day use for up to 2-3 years, just as AHA acid products - they both ensure the skin's resistance to environmental factors for an extended period of time. However, we strongly recommend to consult with specialists before using these products and to choose the highest quality cosmetics in order to avoid any unpleasant consequences for the skin,” advises Irena Jokšienė.