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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 and rejuvenated.

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 products.

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 gauge your
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.

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