In the study, the team, from the skin research institute Dermapro and scientists from Korea, investigated whether an additional effect of physical treatment using chemical peeling combined with negative pressure, compared with AHA treatment only, occurs in acne-prone subjects.
To do this, the chemical peeling agent they used comprised of a 4% AHA solution (mixture of 1000 mL of carbonated water, 20 mL of glycolic acid and 20 mL of lactic acid) which was applied to 23 healthy females.
The subjects’ faces were then randomly divided into test and control groups, whereby the test group was treated with chemical peeling combined with a water jet skin delivery system for the physical peeling, and the control group applied the chemical peeling alone.
The sebum output level by light transmission, pore area and number by optical image analyser, and comedone counting, was measured before treatment and at the one-, two-, and four- week stage after a single treatment.
Compared to the before treatment, the scientists say they found that whiteheads and blackheads were decreased at the one-, two-, and four- week stage in both groups, with the test group showing ‘significant’ reductions, particularly in comparison at week one.
They also note that for the test group only, pore area and number significantly decreased at the first week and the sebum output level was significantly decreased at week four.
AHAs are naturally occurring carboxylic acids, such as glycolic acid, which can be applied in a skin peel formula for the treatment of acne, as well as for fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, and uneven pigmentation.
They can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin's texture.
Previous studies have also shown that more understanding of AHAs could lead to better cosmetics formulations.