Somewhere in between drugstore AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) creams and professional, in-office peels a less-known level of exfoliation exists. The key to taking advantage of it though, is in knowing where to find it.
As skin ages and skin’s cellular turnover rate slows down, creating a duller and more tired-looking appearance, the once tried and true exfoliation techniques may not cut it any longer. That St. Ives Apricot Scrub that was quick, easy, cheap and great on younger skin may be too harsh now–as may other “mechanical” exfoliants (aka scrubs). “Chemical” exfoliants including alpha-hydroxy acid creams like those containing glycolic acid, and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) lotions which typically contain salicylic acid–may start feeling like they’re staging a sit-down and doing no more than a bit of moisturizing at best.
Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads are one of the latest “bridge” anti-aging treatments available without a prescription that help skin kick things up a notch when the usual routine isn’t quite working as it used to. Zelens Resurfacing Pads deliver the next generation in hydroxy acid treatment by combining both alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids with something newer: polyhydroxy acids (PHA). The polyhydroxy acids in Zelens Resurfacing Pads are derived from lactose–the milk sugar sometimes seen with “intolerant” next to it. Lactobionic acid contains gluconic acid and galactose, both of which occur naturally in skin.
The difference between AHA, BHA and PHA is that BHAs are able to break through skin’s lipid barrier–which is why salicylic acid is typically found in acne treatments. BHAs penetrate more deeply, while AHAs and PHAs tend to work more on the outer layers of skin (stratum corneum). The PHAs in Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Pads also have a larger molecular structure which allows for slower topical penetration–so they tend to be less irritating to skin.
While many OTC AHAs use glycolic acid which is derived from sugar cane, Zelens Resurfacing Pads combine lactic acid and citric acid; AHAs come in many forms, each of which aims to achieve the same effect–gentle peeling to reveal more even skin texture and a reduction in the appearance of uneven skin tone and fine lines.
The Zelens brand may be unfamiliar to some–it’s the skin care line created by London-based Dr. Marko Lens. Lens is a Harvard-trained cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon who also holds a PhD from Oxford in the field of skin melanoma. He is currently in private practice in London and he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.
It’s recommended to use Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads daily followed by moisturizer. While the pads are still more gentle than a scrub exfoliator, it’s best to avoid the thinner areas around eyes as irritation can occur–and, as with all hydroxy acid treatments, sunscreen is a must. Zelens Resurfacing Facial Pads are a bit pricey at $95 for 50 pads–but for skin that’s looking to take its hydroxy acid regimen up a notch, they’re an option to try.
Find Zelens PHA+Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial Pads at SpaceNK at the Mall at Short Hills, 1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, NJ.