/> The Juicy Beauty Word: What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

This skin care ingredient has a scary sounding name, but don't be scared off by the word acid. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are amazing anti aging ingredients! 
This post includes Amazon Affiliate Links to help you find the best skin care products.
Yonka Alpha Fluid

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs are naturally derived acids that occur in foods. They are sometimes called fruit acids. These acids are used in skin care products to remove dead cells, improve the appearance of the skin and encourage firming of the skin by thickening the deep layers of the skin.

AHAs are used to treat wrinkles, acne and acne scarring. AHAs cause a mild irritation and exfoliate the skin. They are used by dermatologists and estheticians in a high concentration as peels. A doctor can use an AHA peel with a concentration of 50%-70%. An esthetician can use an AHA peel with a concentration of 20%-30%. Glycolic peels are well known Alpha Hydroxy peels.

Creams for consumer use are at a concentration of less than 10%. An anti aging AHA cream works best when it contains a concentration of 5%-8%. The products labels don't usually tell you the percentage of AHA in the product. Check the ingredient list. A cream is likely to have the right amount of AHAs in it if the AHA is the 2nd or 3rd ingredient on the ingredient list.

Professional AHA peels are most beneficial when done in a series of peels every 3-6 months. The number of peels and the space in between them varies according to the product being used. For instance, a peel maybe done once a week for six consecutive weeks two times per year. The skin will likely be sensitive, inflamed and flaky after a peel but will heal and have a smoother appearance. 

When using an AHA cream at home, don't use it as a daily product. You will get the most benefit if you use it as a treatment 3-4 times a year. For instance, YonKa Alpha Fluid is used for a one month course 4 times a year to get the most benefit from the product. Use it one month per season, December, April, June and September. Then, go back to your regular skin care routine the other months.

AHAs exfoliate the skin causing you to be more susceptible to sun damage. Be sure to use a sunscreen when using AHA products. 

Beta Hydroxy Acid
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is another exfoliating acid found in skin care products. It is salicylic acid derived from willow bard and is related to aspirin. It is an excellent ingredient for unclogging the pores. 

Read more about Salicylic Acid (BHA) and aspirin allergy

Here are some common AHAs and their sources:

maltic acid is from apples

lactic acid is from milk
glycolic acid is from sugar cane 
tartaric acid is from grapes
citric acid is from citrus fruits

        Have a Beautiful Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

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