What Is an "AHA" In Skin Care?

AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid, which is a type of chemical exfoliant commonly used in skincare products. AHAs are derived from various sources, including fruits, milk, and sugar, and they work by helping to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin by breaking down the ‘glue’ that holds together surface skin cells.

Here's a brief overview of AHAs in skincare:

  1. Exfoliation: AHAs are known for their exfoliating properties. They work by breaking down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, allowing them to slough off more easily. This process reveals fresher, smoother skin underneath and can help improve the skin's texture and appearance.

  2. Types of AHAs: Common types of AHAs used in skincare include glycolic acid (derived from sugarcane), lactic acid (found in milk), citric acid (from citrus fruits), malic acid (from apples), and tartaric acid (from grapes). Each type of AHA has slightly different properties and benefits. For example, Glycolic acid as well as exfoliating will with continued use help fine lines, wrinkles and oily skin. Lactic acid can help replenish the bodys natural moisturiser factors and keep your skin moisturized and feeling less dry.

  3. Skin Benefits: AHAs can help address various skin concerns, including dullness, uneven skin tone, fine lines, and mild forms of hyperpigmentation. They can also promote collagen production, which may contribute to improved skin firmness.

  4. Mild Irritation: AHAs can cause mild irritation, especially when first introduced into a skincare routine. Some people might experience redness, stinging, or a tingling sensation. It's important to start with lower concentrations and gradually increase usage to allow your skin to build tolerance.

  5. Sun Sensitivity: After using AHAs, your skin can become more sensitive to the sun. It's crucial to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an adequate SPF during the day to protect your skin from potential sun damage.

  6. Usage and Concentration: AHAs are available in various skincare products, such as cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers. The concentration of AHAs in these products varies, with higher concentrations usually used in professional treatments. Over-the-counter products often contain lower concentrations suitable for daily use.

    The percentage of AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) in skincare products can vary widely depending on whether it's a peel or a non-peeling product, as well as the specific type of AHA being used.

    Peeling AHAs are often found in professional treatments, such as chemical peels, and are designed to provide a more intense exfoliation. These products are typically applied for a short period and then neutralized. Concentrations can range from 20% to 70% or even higher, depending on the type of AHA and the specific treatment.

    Non-peeling AHA products are designed for regular or daily use and provide a milder exfoliation. The concentrations in these products are usually lower to minimize the risk of irritation, making them suitable for consistent use. Non-peeling AHA products typically range from around 5% to 10% concentration.

  7. Patch Test: Before using a product with AHAs, it's recommended to perform a patch test on a small area of skin to check for any adverse reactions or sensitivities. All our Skin Acids come with free patch test kits so you don't need to unseal the bottle before trying - if your skin doesn't agree with our formulation you can return the unopened product for a full refund.

  8. Consulting Professionals: If you're new to AHAs or have specific skin concerns, it's advisable to consult a dermatologist or skincare professional before using any peel strength formulas. They can guide you on the right products and concentrations based on your skin type and needs.

AHAs can be a valuable addition to a skincare routine, particularly for those seeking to improve skin texture and radiance. However, individual results may vary, and it's important to use them correctly and in conjunction with a well-rounded skincare regimen.



Photo by Polina Tankilevitch: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-person-using-a-tissue-to-dry-a-woman-s-face-3738344/

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