Skincare ingredient Number 2- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are a group of water soluble naturally occurring acids found in nature and the human body.

Primary benefits:

  • exfoliation (unlike most scrubs the AHA’s penetrate the skin to target dead cells and level off the peaks and troughs of the skin from within the skin. Scrubs simply rub off the top of the peaks without altering the skins surface)
  • hydration (AHA’s stimulate Hyaluronic acid within the skin which provides moisture and resilience to the skin

An added benefit of AHAs is that they only target dead cells.

Best to use:

  • lactic acid- (less aggressive and more hydrating than glycolic acid) and
  • glycolic acid.

Beware using AHAs other than lactic and glycolic. You may find you are spending money for nothing as any other AHA molecule is often too large to penetrate into the skin so will provide little to no benefit.

It is also important to consider the following when choosing an AHA:

  • Concentration: 7-14% is best
  • pH: pH3-pH4.5 any higher will provide no active benefit
  • Formulation: AHAs should not be contained in an oil based serum as they are a water soluble product. Should never be combined with retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) as the combination will de-activate the activity and potency of the retinoid.

Instructions for use:

You may feel a tingling sensation after application of an AHA. This is a good thing if the skin is tingling but staying the same colour. If your skin goes red after application, seek assistance from your skin specialist. Use for 6 months then just once a week/fortnight for maximum benefit.