Alpha Hydroxy Acid: taking the acid test
AHAs are a group of acids, from fruits and other natural substances, that speed
cell turnover and improve texture, reduce fine lines and even out
AHAs are key to unclogging embedded cellular debris from
and shedding the outermost layer of dead skin. They work by consistently
away dead and thickened areas of the skin, in essence thinning the build-up. If
you stop using AHAs, your skin's turnover rate will gradually become more
sluggish. With continued use, AHAs improve a wide range of skin conditions
blotches, and brown
Other benefits include their
oil reduction, and pore-cleansing abilities, as well as bleaching properties for
Over-the-counter AHA strengths vary from 4-15 percent, but are often neutralised
to a degree that they are not very effective - 8 percent is considered the
baseline level needed to see results. Sensitive skin type may only be able to
tolerate the mildest, like polyhydroxy acids. Gylcolic acid is considered to be
the most effective AHA for
rejuvenation because it helps draw other treatments deeper into the skin. At
a low pH, it can also aid in stimulating collagen production within the
the skin becomes conditioned to AHAs, stronger concentrations can be used.
When trying any new product, use it regularly for at least a month before
evaluating its effectiveness. Your skin fluctuates with your monthly cycle. In
order to determine whether a product is working, you need to use it during each
phase of that cycle. Don't try more than one new product at a time, as it will
be hard to tell how your skin responds to any of them. Buy products with
adequate labeling: for example, a list of ingredients and the name and address
of the manufacturer of distributor. Stop using a product immediately if you
experience any adverse reactions, including stinging, redness, itching, burning
or increased sun
Glycolic acid: Most common AHA, derived from sugarcane or made from synthetic
ingredients. Because it is a small molecule, it penetrates the skin easily.
Malic acid: Derived from apples and white grapes.
Tartaric acid: A type of glycolic acid that results from the fermentation
process used in making wine.
Exfoliation, reducing surface oils, unclogging
smoothing fine lines.
Beta hydroxy acid: Also referred to as salicylic acid. It does not penetrate as
deeply into the dermis as glycolic acid, so it is less irritating.
Uses: Exfoliation of epidermis, prevention of clogged pores.
Citric acid: Derived from citrus fruits. Acts as an
antioxidant on the skin.
Uses: May stimulate collagen production, has mild bleaching properties.
Lactic acid: Comes from sour milk. Works as an exfoliator and to hold water in
the skin as a component of the skin's natural moisturising mechanism.
Uses: Softening thick, rough skin, moisturising.
Polyhydroxy acids: considered one of the mildest formulations because they are
larger molecules so are limited in the way they can penetrate the skin.
Uses: softening thick, rough skin, moisturising.
If you�ve applied creams with AHAs, then try to protect your
skin before going out with a SPF of at least 15.Wear a hat with a brim and cover
up with lightweight, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants.