Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a class of chemicals that are commonly used in skin care products. They are known for their ability to exfoliate the skin, which can help to improve the texture and appearance of the skin. AHAs work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, which allows them to be easily shed from the surface of the skin. This can help to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even out the skin tone. AHAs are also known for their ability to stimulate collagen production, which can help to firm and plump the skin.
There are several different types of AHAs, including glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Each type of AHA has a different strength and pH level, and may be more suitable for certain skin types or concerns. AHAs are typically found in a variety of skin care products, including cleansers, toners, serums, and creams.
It’s important to use AHAs as directed and to follow a proper skin care routine when using these products. AHAs can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when using AHAs and to avoid prolonged sun exposure. It’s also a good idea to start with a low concentration of AHAs and gradually increase the strength as your skin becomes more accustomed to the product.
The most common types of AHAs used in skin care include:
- Glycolic acid – derived from sugar cane and is the smallest AHA, it is able to penetrate the skin more easily than other AHAs.
- Lactic acid – derived from milk and is known for its moisturizing properties.
- Citric acid – derived from citrus fruits and is known for its ability to brighten the skin.
- Malic acid – derived from apples and is known for its ability to improve the skin’s texture.
- Tartaric acid – derived from grapes and is known for its ability to improve the skin’s tone.
- Mandelic acid – derived from almonds and is known for its ability to improve the skin’s tone and texture.