What are Alpha hydroxy acids?

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of water-soluble acids commonly used in skincare products for their exfoliating and rejuvenating properties. They help to remove dead skin cells, improve skin texture, and promote a smoother, more radiant complexion. Here are some of the most common types of AHAs and their characteristics:

Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is derived from sugarcane and is the smallest molecule among AHAs. It has excellent exfoliating properties and can penetrate the skin deeply. Glycolic acid helps to promote skin cell turnover, improve skin tone and texture, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is suitable for most skin types but may be more irritating for sensitive skin.

Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is derived from milk or fermented fruits. It has a larger molecular size compared to glycolic acid, making it a gentler option. Lactic acid helps to exfoliate and hydrate the skin, improve skin tone and texture, and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It is often well-tolerated by sensitive skin.

Mandelic Acid: Mandelic acid is derived from almonds. It has larger molecules and is known for its gentle exfoliating properties. Mandelic acid helps to improve skin texture, even out skin tone, and reduce the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It is often suitable for sensitive skin and can be a good option for those with acne-prone skin.

Citric Acid: Citric acid is derived from citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges. It has mild exfoliating properties and is often used in lower concentrations in skincare products. Citric acid helps to brighten the skin, improve skin tone, and enhance the effectiveness of other skincare ingredients. It is suitable for most skin types.
Malic Acid: Malic acid is derived from apples and other fruits. It has gentle exfoliating properties and helps to improve skin texture, promote a smoother complexion, and enhance skin hydration. Malic acid is often suitable for sensitive skin.
When incorporating AHAs into your skincare routine, it's important to start with a lower concentration and gradually increase usage to allow your skin to adjust. It's also essential to use sunscreen during the day when using AHAs as they can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun.
As everyone's skin is unique, it's advisable to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to determine the most suitable type and concentration of AHAs for your specific skin concerns and needs.
Also, always remember to patch test before trying any new skin care (even if you've tried the same ingredient with a different brand - the formula of a product can make a big difference even with the ingredients)

Explore more