AHA'S - Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods. Alpha hydroxy acids include citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid (found in sour milk and tomato juice), malic acid (found in apples), tartaric acid (found in grapes), and others. Alpha hydroxy acids are most commonly used for skin conditions such as dry skin, wrinkled skin, or acne. Not all cosmetics that contain alpha hydroxy acid have the concentration information on the label. For safety's sake, it's best to use products that identify the concentration of active ingredients. How does it work? Our skin goes through a natural process known as desquamation. This is where the natural skin cells continuously grow and renew and replace the older dead skin cells sitting on the skin's surface.
As with many processes in the body, the rate of this desquamation slows down as we age. When a build-up of dead skin cells appears on the face, the skin can become dull and dry, it can affect skin tone, and the skin can lose radiance and glow. MA's help to loosen these dead skin cells and remove them from the surface of the skin. This then reveals the new fresh skin cells underneath and also helps to speed up the new skin's renewal rate. The result is that the skin appears smoother, fresher, and radiant as the surface is new skin cells. As well as speeding up the natural desquamation process, AHAs also help with moisturization. They do not contain moisturizers, but they stimulate the skin to produce another acid known as hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is a brilliant moisturizer as it holds up to a thousand times its weight in water. Its effect on the skin, especially older or drier skin, is like putting a raisin in water, making it smoother, plumper, and younger-looking. Within the skin and when applied topically, its effect is very positive on the skin's appearance. The skin cleansing and moisturizing effects of AHA's are used in many cleansing, toning, and moisturizing products to help with anti-aging improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, toning and evening skin tone, reducing pore size, reducing dark spots and helping with any pigmentation issues. AHA's need to be used in moderation as they can cause irritation to the skin, so even though over-the-counter skincare products have low doses of AHA caution still needs to be taken.
There are different levels of AHAs used in products. Skincare professionals use products with high concentrations of AHA in skincare centers and spas for specific skincare treatments like chemical peels. Higher concentrations can remove the entire epidermis layer of the skin. The products that we can buy over the counter in supermarkets and from chemists are less potent, with a controlled amount of AHA under 10%, and these just remove dead skin cells from the skin's surface. Uses & Effectiveness Likely Effective for Dry Skin. Applying lotion or cr...