Anti-aging: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

– 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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  1. Ink 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:

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

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