Anti-aging: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

Overview
- an active ingredient derived from fruit acids
– may be naturally occurring or synthetic
– common AHAs include: 
   > glycolic acid from sugar cane
   > lactic acid from milk
   > citric acid from citrus fruits
– less common AHAs include:
   > malic acid from apples 
   > tartaric acid from wine
– helps exfoliate the top layers of the epidermis
– helps penetration of other ingredients
– promotes moisture restoration 

Purported skin care benefits when applied topically:
- reduces superficial fine lines
– reduces irregular pigmentation and age spots
– reduces large pores
– smooths and firms skin
– removes blemishes
– helps skin look fresher, radiant and more luminous

Known side effects:
- can cause redness, flaking, blistering, burning and skin discoloration
   > start with lower concentrations of 10 to 15 percent
– increase sun sensitivity due to their exfoliant behavior
   > sunscreen must be used  

Products containing this ingredient:
- many anti-aging and bleaching skin care products
– chemical peels

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Comments

  1. says

    Actually, the FDA recommends not using AHAs in concentrations in excess of 10%. Also, the pH level of the product must be taken into account.

    I wrote a short introduction-type article on this on my blog: http://inquisitivebeauty.blogspot.com/2008/03/basics-of-exfoliation-alpha-hydroxy.html.

    Ink: Thanks for the link! I’ll check it out.

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