Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
What They Are: AHA’s are chemical compounds, either synthetic or naturally occurring. Most AHA’s used in the cosmetic industry are derived from foods: such as glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine).
What They Do: Quite simply, they are exfoliating acids. Proper administration can provide benefits such as:
-reduction in clogged pores and breakouts
-increased collagen production
-a clearer, more even-toned complexion
-reduction of discoloration (brown spots) from sun damage and aging
-reduction in acne scars
-reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
Because of their effectiveness, exfoliating acids are widely used and are found in many skin care products from cleansers and toners to skin peels and moisturizers. One reason to see a licensed esthetician before choosing an AHA regimen is to better understand how they work. For example, although they are well marketed, cleansers containing alpha hydroxy acids are actually not very effective because the alpha hydroxy acid must be absorbed in the skin to work. Cleansers are washed off before this absorption occurs. Another very crucial piece of information to know is that sunscreen MUST be applied liberally when using an alpha hydroxy acid product.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids have been a staple of the skin care industry since the 80’s, and are still around because they work! To find the best way to incorporate them into your beauty routine, call us or schedule an appointment today!