Before understanding how alpha lipoic acids are used in the cosmetic industry, it is a good idea to develop a basic understanding of what it is to begin with. Whether you are a massage therapist, esthetician, retailer or consumer, developing a knowledge base of what ingredients are included in most cosmetics and more importantly, why they are included, will help you make a better informed decision about which products to use and sell. Remember that not all products available on the market are the same and quality of ingredients does make a significant impact on the efficacy of a particular product.

Alpha lipoic acids exist in every cell of the body already – it is the essential component we need to convert glucose into energy. Alpha lipoic acids also serve as anti-oxidants that seek out and destroy potentially harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause cell damage and lower the ability of the body to fight of infections. Unlike most anti-oxidants, alpha lipoic acids functions with equal effectiveness in water and fat. This makes it more effective than other anti-oxidants (such as vitamin c, which water soluble) when making its way through the human body cells.

Reminds you of high school biology class, right? Although it may not make for interesting reading, it does make for interesting results when utilized correctly to maximize the benefits to your skin. Since many Cosmeceuticals advertise “alpha lipoic acid” as a key ingredient, don’t you want to know what it is doing for you?

Sometimes simply referred to as “lipoic acid” or “ALA”, when used as part of a skin care regimen alpha lipoic acid is known for improving skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Typically sold in creams and serums, alpha lipoic acids are usually combined with DMAE and vitamin c (three products that form a synergy together and increase the effectiveness of all three). Alpha lipoic acids are seeking out those damaging free radicals (which can come from the environment and cause terrible damage to the skin) and reverse those effects.

Clinical studies have ranged when testing the efficacy of alpha lipoic acid to reduce fine lines and wrinkles but have suggested that lipoic acid does seem to impact the appearance of fine to moderate wrinkles. Better tolerated than other treatments, alpha lipoic acid can be used on more delicate skin tissue (such as the eyes) with less chance of irritation. Research studies expand well beyond skin care and have researched the potential impacts of alpha lipoic acid and its restorative properties on other common ailments.

Now that you have learned a little more about alpha lipoic acids and how they impact you, perhaps your next trip to the store or searching online will encourage you to review the ingredients and choose a product best suited to your needs. Many people have found dramatic results by incorporating an alpha lipoic based skin cream or serum into their routine and noticed a decrease in the lines around their eyes, cheeks and mouth. Consult with an esthetician or dermatologist if you have additional questions or concerns.

As with all topical treatments it is important to pay attention to any signs of allergic reactions. Discontinue use immediately if you notice redness, swelling or itchy at the areas of application. Follow all instructions carefully according to individual product directions.

Stay informed about your products and know what your using and why. It is easy to get swept away by clever marketing campaigns but the wise person studies all options, examines the results and chooses carefully based on knowledge. Never forget that knowledge is your greatest ally when it comes to your health and well being.

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