Alpha hydroxy acids, better known as AHAs, have been used in skin care products for quite some time now, so you’ve probably already heard of them. AHAs are like nature’s little miracle workers. They are a group of natural acids that can be safely used on the skin, and are mostly found in foods. The most common AHAs are Glycolic Acid, which is found in sugar cane, lactic acid, which comes from milk, citric acid from citrus fruits, and mandelic acid from almonds.
When used in various concentrations, AHAs gently exfoliate the top layers of the skin fresher looking skin. They work by first ‘ungluing’ dead skin cells, allowing them to easily slough off. This allows newer skin cells to come to the surface, getting rid of acne scarring, sun spots or any rough patches of skin. AHAs also help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for skin’s firmness. When the production of collagen and elastin increases, your skin takes on a younger, smoother, tighter and move even appearance. AHAs are the perfect choice for anyone with sun damage or anyone who is worried about ageing and would like to look ten years younger.
But don’t just take our word for it: try some of our favorite AHA products.
Dr. Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel is a beauty editor favorite around the world. It is a two-step peel that contains lactic acid to fight large pores, wrinkles, dark spots and even breakouts. It also comes in larger pads to use on your body.
Exuviance Night Renewal HydraGel comes in a light textured gel formula and is perfect for oily skin. It contains mandelic acid to refine the texture and even out the tone of the skin, minimize pores and decrease oil production, so you wake up with soft, smooth, clear skin.
If you are worried about crow’s feet or fine lines around your eyes, Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy by NeoStrata is a super-powered cream that is safe to use around the eyes. Made with citric acid, this eye cream not only targets wrinkles around the eye, it also lifts and firms the whole area.
Finally, a quick word of warning. Since AHAs work by exfoliating your skin and increasing cell turnover, they can also make your skin a little sensitive to the sun and more susceptible to sunburn. Try to use them at night and always remember to wear a high protection sunscreen during the day.