Murad Skin Care FAQs about Glycolic Acid


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MURAD Skin Care Regimen


Murad Skin Care FAQs about Glycolic Acid

Murad Skin Care FAQs about Glycolic Acid


A great deal has been written recently about Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Over the past few years, research on these substances has been conducted at major universities and medical research laboratories. Dermatologists and Aestheticians all over the country have used glycolic acid, a particularly adaptable Alpha Hydroxy Acid, with dramatic results.

As a manufacturer of cosmetic products, some of which contain glycolic acid, we are aware of many questions being asked by consumers concerning this exciting new cosmetic alternative. We have tried to answer these questions as clearly and completely as possible. If you have any further questions or comments, please write to us and let us know. It is our intention to maintain an open channel of communication with our customers and we are extremely interested in your thoughts and concerns.

The following are answers to questions frequently asked about Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care.

1. What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?
AHAs are naturally occurring substances found in various fruits, sugar cane and sour milk, as well as in the body. These substances have a beneficial effect on the skin. Glycolic acid, the AHA found in sugar cane, has the smallest molecule and is considered by many researchers to be the most adaptable for cosmetic purposes.

The experience of dermatologists and aestheticians has shown that continued use of glycolic acid formulations improves the appearance of skin, helps manage oily and acne prone skin problems and reduces discolorations in the skin.

2. Who discovered AHAs and how do they work?
Throughout history, women applied old wine and sour milk to their skin to improve its look and feel. Recently, scientists have begun to look into AHAs to find out how they work and why they help the skin. A great deal of research has been done all over the country, in both private dermatology practices and laboratories, with encouraging results. Clinical experience and research with glycolic acid formulations at major universities have also demonstrated the significant benefits of this new skin care discovery. .

Glycolic acid works by loosening the bond that holds together the top layers of dead skin cells. By helping the body remove the excess build-up of these dead cells on the surface of the skin, glycolic acid allows fresher, healthierlooking skin to emerge.

3. How does glycolic acid help with oily/acne prone skin?
As dead skin cells build up around hair follicles, they interfere with the natural drainage of oil, causing the hair follicle to clog and fill. The resulting blockage can lead to several problems, including comedones, etc. By loosening the bond holding together the excessive build-up of dead cells, glycolic acid helps remove the blockage and cleanses the pores, allowing the skin to rid itself of these oils naturally.

4. How does glycolic acid help with skin discolorations such as age spots?
Previously, one of the problems with age spot removal products was that the lightening agent, typically hydroquinone, could not get past the thick outer layer of dead cells to reach the melanocytes, the source of the pigmentation. When hydroquinone is combined with glycolic acid, as in Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel, glycolic acid removes the excess buildup of dead cells on the surface and hydroquinone reduces the production of melanin, allowing pigmentation to diminish gradually.

5. Are AHA products like Retin-A?
A clinical comparison has not been performed, but these substances are very different chemically. What's more, Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care contain only ingredients that are suitable for cosmetic use, while Retin-A is a drug that requires a doctor's prescription.

6. Do AHAs make the skin sensitive to the sun?
AHAs used in cosmetic formulations do not cause photosensitivity, however you should always wear daily sun protection.

7. Are there any complications with the use of Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care?
The professional exfoliation product may produce a tingling sensation when first applied, but that usually disappears in a minute or two, although the time may vary depending on the individual's skin. Some people experience a slight reddening after the exfoliation, particularly if the skin is extra sensitive, but most people experience only smoother and softer skin. Reddening and tingling of the skin may also occur with Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care Treatment Products, but typically lasts only a minute or two.

Initial use of Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care Treatment Products may cause an apparent increase in breakout. This occurs because the product is actively cleansing the pores and, therefore, accelerating the process of bringing trapped oil and debris to the surface. This should clear up within a few weeks, after which regular use of the product will keep the pores clear and acne breakouts should be markedly reduced.

In order to ensure the highest degree of purity, all Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care products are developed, formulated and produced to the strictest standards. Every Murad product is also dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, non-acnegenic and not tested on animals. Nonetheless, a small percentage of the population may be ultra sensitive to an AHAs or one of the other ingredients in some of the Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care products, particularly hydroquinone. These people may experience a burning sensation or a sensitivity to one of the ingredients after application. In case of sensitivity to any AHA skin care product, consumers should discontinue use of the product immediately and call their skin care professional or a physician if the symptoms persist.

8. How should Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care Treatment products be used?
All Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care products should be used twice daily, once in the morning and at night. The skin should always be cleansed thoroughly before the product is applied. Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care Treatment products do not replace other skin care products such as cleansers and moisturizers. They are formulated to be used in conjunction with the regular skin care regimen the individual consumer may have developed with the help of his/her aesthetician or other skin care professional. Make-up may also be applied over glycolic acid skin care products. .

Application of Murad AHA Rapid Exfoliato_ or AHA Rapid Exfoliato_ System II in a series of six treatments - no less than once per week and no more than three times per week. Because each person's skin is different, thereafter the frequency should be determined by the skin care professional who will be providing the service. Murad AHA Rapid Exfoliations may be repeated indefinitely at the discretion of the skin care professional and the consumer until the desired results are obtained.

9. What are the long term effects of continual use of AHA products?
Since AHAs are non-toxic substances found in natural sources such as fruit, sugar cane and sour milk, as well as in the body, researchers do not expect any problems as a result of long term use of AHA products.

10. Can I make my own AHA solution from fruit juice or milk?
No. AHA substances are not easily extracted and must be used in properly balanced formulations to achieve worthwhile results.

11. What happens when use of an AHA product is stopped or suspended?
Unlike the case with simple moisturizers, the improvement in appearance that users of Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care Treatment products achieve will not immediately disappear once usage stops, and residual effects may last indefinitely. However, in the absence of AHAs, dry and rough dead skin cells can once again build up on the outer layer of the skin and the original problem may reoccur. With uninterrupted use, the benefits can be maintained.

12. Can both men and women and people of all ages use Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care?
Men and women of all ages should experience beneficial results with Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care products. In addition to addressing such common skin conditions as the appearance of skin, acne prone skin and discolorations, glycolic acid's exfoliating benefits can also help make shaving easier.

Care should be taken however, when using any skin care product, including Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care products, on very young children and people with ultra-sensitive skin.

13. What percentage of glycolic acid should I look for when purchasing a product?
After years of testing glycolic acid formulations on thousands of test subjects, researchers have concluded that the optimum glycolic acid percentage for a cosmetic formulation is within a range of five to twelve percent, with a pH that conforms' as close to normal surface skin pH 4.2 - 5.6.
We also firmly believe, however, that the optimum performance of a glycolic acid product depends on a number of other factors equally important to glycolic acid percentages - including pH adjustment, vehicle and de-sensitizing agents. The whole formula must be carefully and thoroughly balanced to ensure the best blend of ingredients. The researcher must constantly test and re-test; evaluating the data that comes from use with thousands of test subjects in order to establish safe "use" and create the optimum formulation.

14. How does a chemical peel differ from exfoliation?
"Chemobrasion," the scientific term for a chemical peel, involves applying a variety of specific corrosive chemicals to the skin that may leave it looking and feeling like a second degree sun burn. Substances such as 50-70% glycolic acid, 20-50% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and 88% phenol are used to chemically peel - or "wound" - multiple layers of the epidermis and dermis thereby remodeling the skin. This type of procedure - called invasive, since it reaches beyond the stratum corneum into the living epidermis and the dermis - should only be administered by a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgepn due to the potentipl complications involved with the procedure.

When applied properly by a physician, chemical peels have proven beneficial in diminishing freckles, blotchiness, age spots, fine and deep lines, actinic keratoses, melasma and other cutaneous disorders.

Many similar cosmetic benefits of chemical peels can be obtained through in-salon exfoliation services- ranging from salt sloughs and body scrubs to AHA exfoliation treatments and glycolic acid home care products, - which utilize glycolic acid but in much lower percentages and higher pH. These procedures are non-invasive and they are limited to the removal of dead skin cells. Therefore, they are considered cosmetic.

While a physician might recommend a 50% to 70% concentration in superficial chemical peel treatments designed to remove living tissue, aestheticians use 10% to 30% concentrations at an adjusted pH (partially neutralized) in their face and body care services to remove only the top layer of dead skin cells (stratum corneum).

15. Can glycolic acid be used during pregnancy?
Every woman should always check with her obstetrician. However, Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care Treatment products are cosmetic preparations and therefore do not appear to influence the body systemically. AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acids occur naturally in our body.

16. What are the latest innovations concerning glycolic acid?
Synergistic formulas are the future of glycolic acid skin care. These formulations not only provide the already known exfoliating benefits of glycolic acid, but condition and supplement the skin with specialized ingredients that improve hydration for dry skin, manage and reduce acne breakouts, enhance clarity for oily complexions and prevent envorinmental skin damage.

17. How do you process glycolic acid from sugar cane?
The principle source of glycolic acid is synthetic. It is available in various grades and concentrations from several reagent and chemical companies. Naturally derived AHAs are also available for cosmetic use. Multi fruit acids are a concentrated form of several fruit and plant extracts specifically bilberry, sugar cane, orange and lemon. However, since total acid concentration (30-50%) is lower than its synthetic counterpart, many companies use synthetically produced AHAs as the actual acid in varying concentrations is available.

18. How can glycolic acid be so versatile for so many different skin types and problems?

AHAs, including glycolic acid, are a special group of organic acids found to diminish corneocyte cohesion (reduce surface dead skin cells). Due to this unique mechanism of action, they have been found to be beneficial for the management of conditions involving hyperkeratinization i.e., psoriasis, ichthyosis, acne, dry skin, etc.

19. Just how deep will glycolic acid go?
Glycolic acid penetration depends on several factors including, but not limited to, acid concentration (percentage), pH (acid activity) vehicle (delivery system), pre-existing condition of skin, etc. Multiple applications of a 70% pH 0.5 glycolic acid solution with variable exposure times (30 seconds to 5 minutes) can wound the skin progressively eventually effecting dermal tissue. This procedure would represent a "superficial or light chemical peel" and should only be administered by a qualified physician due to the possible complications involved that a lay person may not be trained to rectify. Conversely, a 10% pH 4.0 lotion would elicit "cosmetic benefits" (exfoliation) due to lower acid concentration and activity (lower percentage> higher pH).

20. Isn't there a danger of "over-exfoliating" the skin, don't we eventually run out of new skin cells to slough off?
A normal functioning epidermis naturally turns itself over usually on a monthly cycle. This also varies from individual to individual due to a variety of factors including genetic pre-disposition, environmental factors, age, drug therapy, etc. This process of epidermal cell turnover is a continuous process. Removal of hyperkeratotic skin (overly thickened stratum corneum) would not deplete the epidermis of its natural ability to renew and replace skin cells.

21. How long have these products been tested and on animals or human volunteers?

Murad Advanced Performance Skin Care products have been used by over 500,000 people in a six year period, however, we do not test on animals.

22. Speaking psychologically, doesn't the word "acid" scare a lot of people?
Basically, acids come in two forms, liquids and solids. They comprise different forms and characteristics that are not always associated with corrosiveness which is a common misconception. Examples of other acids include citric acid found in citrus fruit, acetic acid in 4-6% concentrations commonly found in household vinegar, the acid mantle of the skin' (pH 4.2 - 5.6) is a protective barrier consisting of lactic acid and sodium lactate and finally "amino acids" are the building blocks of protein. Approximately 83% of the skin is composed of different types of protein (keratin, collagen, elastin). .

23. Inevitably high-concentration glycolic acid products will start to appear over-the-counter. Should one be wary of these?
Glycolic acid concentrations can be very misleading to consumer and professional alike. Higher percentages are not necessarily indicative of "better performance". The intended use of AHA cosmetics is to elicit cosmetic benefits i.e., smoothness, softness, clarity, retexturization, etc. Equally important to acid concentration is pH. An eight percent glycolic acid solution with pH 2.0 will be considerably more active than an eight percent glycolic acid solution with pH 5.0. Low pH solutions (below pH 3.0) may induce skin irritation even at low concentrations (2-5%) conversely high pH solutions (above pH 6.0) at higher concentrations (8-12%) may be very ineffective at producing cosmetic exfoliation benefits. Performance parameters must not be equated to concentrations alone. Glycolic acid concentrations and pH are interdependent. Cosmetics containing various levels of AHAs are usually, but not always, pH adjusted to pH 3.0 5.5 conforming as close to the normal surface skin pH. This pH adjustment yields a ratio of "glycolic acid to glycolic acid salt" reducing the potential of skin irritation without compromising cosmetic performance.

24. Who should not have glycolic acid or other AHA treatments?
Glycolic acid, AHAs and other cosmetics intended to exfoliate the skin should not be administered to skin exhibiting apparent irritation, extreme sensitivity, open sores, cuts, abrasions, sunburn or chemical-thermal burns or used concurrently with prescribed topical or oral medications without a physicians approval and guidance.

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