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Alpha-Hydroxy Benefits

Using AHAs In Your Anti aging Beauty Routine

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (also known as AHAs) are effective, natural acids used back as far as the ancient Egyptians for skin rejuvenation and to help reverse the aging process. Cleopatra recognized their effectiveness!

Today, AHA’ is one of the popular options for skin renovation and can be found in a wide range of rejuvenation products such as moisturizers, face lift creams, facial cleansers, masks, anti wrinkle formulas, and many other products.

The common forms of the AHA family of acids are citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (milk), malic acid (apples), mandelic acid (bitter almonds) and tartaric acid (wine grapes).

These naturally occurring acids are used to penetrate the skin to remove dead cells, improve texture, increase collagen production, enhance cell renewal, and keep problem skin under control.

Aside from being the key ingredient used in many anti aging products, these alpha-hydroxy acids are used in facial chemical peels to help achieve results faster.

Glycolic acid is by far the most popular alpha hydroxy and the one most widely used in face rejuvenation treatments because of its effectiveness and special ability to penetrate the skin due to its small molecule size.

The increased popularity of glycolic acid  products is primarily due to the fact that they can offer numerous antiaging benefits to our complexions texture and tone over a period of time.

Alpha Hydroxy Benefits

Benefits of alpha hydroxy include-

  • Attract moisture
  • Stimulates cellular renewal
  • Promotes the formation of collagen production for better structural support
  • Increases skin thickness
  • Elasticity improvement
  • Reduction of blackheads and acne
  • Softens and smoothes skin texture
  • Improving complexion tone (hyperpigmentation, blotchiness, lightening age spots/ freckles)
  • Decreasing enlarged pores
  • Diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Effective treatment for flaky dry skin
  • Improve sun-damaged skin

Alpha-hydroxy - Chemical Face Peel Preparations

AHAs can be used in various concentrations for chemical peels. Treatments can be done not only on the face, but on other parts of the body such as the back, décolleté, arms and hands.

The effectiveness of an alpha hydroxy acid peels treatment depends mainly on the concentration level used, and its pH (degree of acidity or alkalinity).

  • Over the counter preparations of alpha-hydroxy are consumer safe (concentrations in the 3% -10% range). Regulated low concentrations will bring slower results but with less side effects and can be used by most people.

  • Stronger, higher level concentrations over 15% should be administered by a licensed professional. They will be more effective but are more likely to cause more irritation and down time. Often, these treatments can be used to prepare or prime the skin for higher glycolic acid peels treatments.
  • For more dramatic results, higher concentrations (50–70%) are used for deeper glycolic face peels under the supervision of a health-care professional.

How AHAs Work and What They Do

Alpha-hydroxy acids primary purpose is to work topically to exfoliate the surface of the skin and unclog pores to help bring back that glow.

These substances cause the cells of the epidermis to disintegrate, break down and become "un-glued" allowing the dead cells to slough off, speeding up production of new, fresh skin and generating a new silky texture.

Exfoliation products have the ability to draw moisture into the newly-exfoliated surface and can help to enhance and draw other treatments into the deeper layers of skin. AHAs may even stimulate the production of collagen protein and elastin fibers, resulting in reduction of fine lines and making them less obvious.

Known for their anti aging and smoothing properties, alpha hydroxy acids are commonly used to improve texture, treat roughness, remove blackheads, and even-out pigmentation problems.

Alpha Hydroxy Side Effects

The severity usually depends on the pH level of the solution, the concentration of the acid used, the length of application, and prior product use.

  • Stinging
  • Flaking/Peeling
  • Facial redness and swelling
  • Skin irritation
  • Dryness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Down time may be extended-May take multiple treatments for desired results

Always, when adding alpha-hydroxy acid products to your beauty regimen, be sure to take extra sun precautions. AHAs increase your skin’ sensitivity.