[Mini-Post] Hidroxiácidos y exfoliación química

Hace un tiempo hablamos ligeramente sobre los exfoliantes químicos en este post y hoy hacemos un poco más de hincapié sobre algunos de los productos que suelen ser tendencia en invierno,  productos como los ∝-hidroxiácidos (AHA),  ß-hidroxiácidos (BHA) o el retinol.

¿Qué tipos podemos encontrar?

Debemos diferenciar entre los dos tipos más comunes: beta hidroxiácidos (BHA) y alfa hidroxiácidos (AHA). Aunque podemos encontrar fórmulas con ácido dicarboxílico, como el ácido azelaico, ácidos polihidroxiácidos (PHA), exfoliantes con un efecto más suave. Por último tenemos vitaminas con efectos despigmentantes, como son el ácido ascórbico (vit. C) o retinoides (derivados de la vitamina A). Estos últimos no tienen una actividad exfoliante «per se» si no que sus concentraciones y uso tópico puede irritar la piel, y como consecuencia generar una exfoliación cutánea no deseada.

¿Cómo funciona la exfoliación química?

Para entender un poco su mecanismo debemos dar un repaso a la estructura de la epidermis. Dentro de la ella, tenemos el estrato córneo, que es la capa más superficial y la que nos protege del frío, calor y del mundo exterior. Está compuesto principalmente por:

  • la membrana hidrolipídica : evita pérdida de agua transepidérmica y sirve de barrera frente a agentes externos
  • células muertas ricas en queratina (queratinocitos que han perdido su núcleo y ahora se llaman corneocitos)
  • lípidos, cuya función es unir estos corneocitos cuya función es de adhesión (como si fuese  “cemento”).

estrato-corneo-piel¿Cómo penetra el ácido dentro de nuestra piel?

Se resumiría con la frase  : “semejante disuelve a semejante”, es decir, si nuestra capa superficial de la piel es rica en lípidos (capa oleosa), será más sencillo que penetren activos con la misma naturaleza.

En el caso del ácido glicólico, debemos tener en cuenta el pH de la fórmula: que deberá ser inferior a 4, de esta manera, estará en su forma no disociada y podrá pasar a través de la membrana lipídica de manera más sencilla (más info aquí)

Post recomendado: Cosmética con ciencia ¿por qué el ácido glicólico necesita un pH bajo?)

 

A un pH bajo, su acción es exfoliante y queratolítca. Sin embargo, si tenemos fórmulas con pH mayores, el ácido glicólico se encuentra disociado, deja de tener una función tan exfoliante, y es más hidratante.

Tanto los AHA como los BHA (y PHA) son capaces de romper  la unión entre los lípidos y los corneocitos. Cuya posterior reducción de los grupos sulfatos y fosfatos que están en la superficie de las células muertas, permite que se eliminen de manera progresiva, dando lugar a una piel mucho más luminosa.

En el caso del BHA, es capaz de penetrar en los poros debido a su naturaleza liposoluble (afinidad por la grasa), por lo que ayudará en la eliminación de puntos negros y comedones (tratamiento estrella en piel acnéica).

¿Cuando se usan?

Lo recomendable es dejar este tipo de tratamientos para la rutina nocturna, sobre todo, cuando usamos concentraciones elevadas. Pero una cosa está clara, tanto si decides incorporarlo en tu rutina de belleza diurna o nocturna, nunca deberás olvidarte del factor de protección solar.

Debido a la exfoliación en la capa córnea y aceleración de la regeneración celular (piel “nueva” a la vista) somos aún más susceptibles de quemaduras solares. La protección solar evitará  posibles eritemas, hiperpigmentaciones y como no, fotoenvejecimiento.

Recuerda que el efecto a corto o largo plazo depende sobre todo de la concentración y formato del producto cosmético. No es lo mismo usar un gel limpiador que un tónico, o tratamientos intensivos como peelings.

Post recomendado: AHA y BHA: productos recomendados

Qué ingrediente/ activo cosmético elegir..

Muchas veces nos vemos cegados por solo la eficacia de un activo, mientras que las fórmulas más completas (no hablamos de The Ordinary y su plagios) suelen tener una combinación adecuada de varios de ellos.

Por eso, es habitual encontrar un combo de glicólico, salicílico o vitamina C en un mismo producto cosmético.

¿Para que sirve cada uno? Te dejo una mini tabla resumen:

lista-acidos-exfoliantes-AHA

 

Bibliografía (¡muy útil si te apetece leer algo más!)

[1] Stratum Corneum: the role of lipids and ceramides, Nava Dayan , Cometics & Toiletries , Vol. 121, No. 1/January 2006.

[2] Chemical peels,  Jeffrye S. Dover, 2011, Elsevier.

[3] Uncovering the Layers of Skin Peels, Rhonda Allison, Allure Books.

71 pensamientos en “[Mini-Post] Hidroxiácidos y exfoliación química

  1. ¿Con qué frecuencia es recomendable usar estos exfoliantes? Yo utilizo el Salizinc Gel de Neostrata. Mi piel es sensible, mixta, con tendencia a deshidratarse (cada vez lo controlo mejor) y algunos restos de acné (granitos ocasionales y pequeñas marcas). Y otra duda… ¿pierde su efecto con el tiempo si te lo compras y te olvidas de usarlo durante una buena temporada? 😛

  2. ¡Hola Rebeca!
    Pues la frecuencia de uso depende mucho del tipo de producto. Normalmente una concentración baja 5-8% podemos usarla casi a diario, mientras que una de 15-20% es mejor dejarlo para aplicaciones semanales o mensuales, según la necesidad de la piel.

    En cuanto a la efectividad, con el tiempo las fórmulas simplemente caducan (PAO). Una vez pasado ese tiempo, el laboratorio no se hace responsable de ningún efecto adverso o sobre la pérdida de la eficacia del mismo.

    Además, al ser fórmulas acuosas en contacto con la luz, pueden degradarse, perdida de propiedades organolépticas.. etc.

    Lo mejor, usarlo en el periodo que indica el fabricante. 🙂

    ¡Un abrazo! Raquel

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