“Acid” in our beauty products isn’t something to be excited about. But here’s a particular type of acid that should always be found in skincare items: alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Thousands of years ago, the famed Egyptian because of her beauty, Cleopatra discovered a secret that skin researchers today have only recently discovered yet again. According to the scientists, acids from natural foods can reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne, and dryness – causing a person to have baby smooth skin.
Alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs are a group of acids that are naturally found in the foods we eat. There are different types that have been found, including:
- Malic acid (a type of acid found in apples)
- Lactic acid (acid type found in sour milk)
- Glycolic acid (discovered in sugar cane)
- Citric acid (naturally found in citrus fruits)
- Tartaric acid (type of acid in grapes)
AHAs are a type of light acid, which has many benefits including:
- Exfoliating the skin
- Removing dead skin cells in the topmost layer of the skin
- Revealing the younger and smoother skin we have underneath
- Stimulating new growth of cells
How to Use AHAs for Better Skin
Many, many years ago, Cleopatra was reported to soak in buttermilk, which helped her improve her complexion. Today, you don’t have to do this because there are many lotions and other skincare products that contain AHAs. You only have to look for the right product to use on your skin. What AHAs do is they dissolve the intercellular layer that has old skin cells so they are attached to the epidermis. When the AHAs get rid of this part of the skin, the result is a brighter, finer, and younger-looking skin. There are also great products that promote the production of collagen and elastin.
There are several AHA products available and it is only right that you know how to choose the best ones for you. Here are some tips:
- Don’t go for anything with AHA concentrations below 10%. Even high concentrations are gentle as long as you follow what’s in the label directions.
- If you have acne or your skin is sun damaged or oily, go for salicylic acid, instead of AHAs as the latter might irritate your skin.
- Don’t expect results right away. It can take six months at least before you see any difference.
You don’t have to use a lot of the product. Just a dime-size amount can benefit your whole face. Too much AHA can lead to itching, burning, and redness among other problems. Use sparingly since they are still acids to really see great results.