Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
What is an AHA?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are concentrated plant extracts
derived from natural sources such as fruits (like
blueberries and citrus), sugar cane and maple. Types of
AHA's include lactic acid, glycolic acid, citric acid,
malic acid and tartaric acid.
How do AHAs work?
AHA products dissolve the compound found between the
upper layers of the skin (stratum corneum) improving the
skin's natural exfoliation process. Dull, dry
complexions are often caused by surface buildup that
includes dead skin cells, oils and impurities. Oily skin
may not only produce excess sebum, but hyperpigmentation
and scarring from blemishes. AHA products will eliminate
the top layer to reveal fresh, new skin, thereby
smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin
texture and tone, unblocking and cleansing pores,
removing hyperpigmentation and imperfections. With
regular use, the complexion will appear radiantly clear
Who should use AHAs?
Those with combination, dry, damaged, mature or oily
skin types will benefit from AHA products. Recommended
for hyperkeratosis (build up of dead cells), xerodermia
(scaly dry skin), seborrhea and tendency to impure skin
(acne), and wrinkles, with diminished elasticity and
firmness. It is not suggested that children or anyone
with delicate or sensitive skin conditions use AHA
How do I use an AHA?
Follow the directions on your AHA product and do not
exceed usage. Generally, AHA serums should be applied
after cleansing and followed by a moisturizer. AHA
creams may either precede or eliminate the need for an
additional moisturizer. Other products that may include
AHAs are cleansers, toners, peels and masks. If you are
going to have a facial, peel or any kind of exfoliation,
temporarily cease use of your AHA product for a few days
before and after the treatment. Also, it is absolutely
necessary that you avoid exposure to the sun while using
an AHA regularly. You must use a moisturizer with a
sunscreen for general use and extra sunscreen when you
will be outside for extended periods.
What to expect from using an AHA?
AHA products may cause dryness, redness, irritation,
peeling, stinging or burning sensations. This effect can
be minimized by introducing an AHA product into your
daily routine gradually. Try it once every few days to
reaction, slowly increasing usage to once per day.
However, depending on the strength of the product or
your sensitivity to AHAs, you may find using it only
several times per week to be sufficient. Note that it is
not necessary to
endure skin irritation for an AHA to be effective, if
you experience any of the above symptoms refrain from
using the AHA product until the skin calms.