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Skin Care Science

How many 'UNITS' of glycolic acid are your clients putting on their skin daily?

If you are treating your clients with glycolic acid this is a very important question to know and one your clients need to be aware of. With Serene 'Professional Skin Care', the amount of glycolic acid or any acid that is used in a home care regimen is just as important as any other active ingredient and in this case maybe even more so. With that said, below is a simple guideline to help you prescribe home care regimens using Serene 'Professional Skin Care' and the amount of acid used on a daily basis.

First lets determine what a 'unit' of glycolic acid actually is: A unit of acid is 1% of an acid volume added to a skin care product used within a 24 hour period.

For example: Serene 'AHA 3 Facial Cleanser' contains 3% glycolic acid so that would count toward your daily allowance of 3 units. If you prescribed your client to wash with AHA 3 Facial Cleanser in the AM and PM, this would constitute 6 units of glycolic acid.

On the front of almost all Serene 'Professional Products' the actual active ingredient and the percentages used are clearly marked. The reason for this is so that both you and your clients can always know what is the main active ingredient being used to treat a specific skin condition. This process is not an exact science but having a fairly good idea when prescribing a professional product line to your clients how much of a particular active ingredient you are giving can be a clear advantage against the signs of aging. What is more important, is that by following some simple guidelines you can keep your regimens fairly simple and preciese as it pertains to the Fitzpatrick Scale and specific skin types. This process will make future clients easier to prescribe for and will also help you identify home care regimens that are making your clients life a little uncomfortable at home.

With the use of glycolic acid, there is some theory that using too much can be a bad thing, and of course, too much of anything is normally not the best for us or our clients so having a simple approach to help keep things in check is a very good phylisophy to follow.

Below is the basic outline for the number of units of an AHA and/or BHA acid to be used within a 24 hour period by Fitzpatrick Scale:

Fitzpatrick Scale LowHigh
I 220
II 220
III 330
IV 330
V 220
VI 220

* all acid(s) percentages are added into one number. Example: Serene 'Salicylic Acid Cleanser (2% Salicylic Acid in the AM and PM) would add up to 4 'Units' and if you combined this with Serene 'Lac 10 moisturizer' (10% Beta Hydroxy Acid) in the AM only then the total for the day would be 14 'Units'.

This example does not encompass the entire view of skin types or skin conditions, but this example is only to make you aware that there should be a guideline to which you follow when prescribing powerful acids for home care. Allow your experience and your clients skin to guide you to what is the correct amount but start with these as you prescribe a home care regimen. Always remember that slow and steady wins the race when dealing with exfoliating acids. Start slow and use a lower percentage then you think and allow a few weeks to set in before you change. More often then not, when exfoliating acids are used for the first time, the skin will actually appear to get worse before it gets better.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please 'Contact Us', we would love to help you.

The Serene Team