Alpha Hydroxy Acid

What is Alpha Hydroxy Acid?

Alpha hydroxy acids help the skin by rejuvenating it. They include citric acid, which is found in fruits, glycolic acid, which is found in sugar cane, malic acid, found in apples, tartaric acid, found in grapes, and lactic acid, which is found in sour milk.  There are other types of alpha hydroxy acids as well and all will be found in foods.  They can be applied to the skin topically to moisturise and remove dead skin cells, and are wonderful for treating acne and removing acne scars. They can be used for improving the appearance of photo-aged skin, and work well to firm and smooth skin.  Alpha hydroxy acids are often added to lotions and creams to help relieve dry skin.  Alpha hydroxy acids are used in chemical peels in different concentrations, usually ranging from 10% to 70%.  A dermatologist will be able to apply products to the face that contain alpha hydroxy acids, in concentrations from 50 % to 70%.  These treatments are perfect for erasing lines and wrinkles and will generally last about 2 to 5 years.   Products with alpha hydroxy are sold over the counter in concentrations of 10% or less.

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Alpha Hydroxy Acid Benefits

There are many benefits that are seen when one uses an alpha hydroxy acid.  They include:

  • An improvement in skin pigmentation.  With the use of an alpha hydroxy acid product, the skin will be evened out. The skin will be exfoliated, which will reveal more even layered pigmented skin.
  • Decreased lines and wrinkles.  Fine lines and wrinkles can be magically erased using a product that contains alpha hydroxy acid.  The elasticity of the skin will also be increased, which means fine lines and wrinkles will be plumped out. Dead skin will be removed, so wrinkles become less pronounced.
  • Sun damaged skin is improved.  Smoother, younger looking skin will be apparent when alpha hydroxy acids are used.  Leathery skin and dry skin will become a thing of the past when an alpha hydroxy solution is applied to the skin.
  • Sunscreen will be better absorbed by the skin.  With the application of alpha hydroxy acids, the skin is opened up more, which will allow sunscreen to further penetrate into the skin.  This allows the sunscreen to protect better and also to last longer.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid Side Effects

While there are many benefits to alpha hydroxy acids, there are a few side effects that go with it.  If using an alpha hydroxy acid, the skin will become very sensitive to the sun.  One can have sun sensitivity by up to 50% so by all means, slather on a good quality sun screen.   Irritation could also be a factor, and redness, burning or itching could take place. If you continue to notice an irritation setting in, then you should switch to a lesser concentration of the alpha hydroxy acid.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid Products

There are many wonderful products on the market that contain alpha hydroxy acid.  Some great products to try are:

  • Skin Obsession 40% Beta Combination Chemical Peel for Acne, Fine Lines and Sun Damage– The DIY home peel will even out the skin complexion due to acne and hyper pigmentation.
  • Olay Regenerist Night Resurfacing Elixir-  This elixir works hard while you sleep to give smoother, tighter skin.  The fast absorbing alpha hydroxy acid works with moisturizers and antioxidants to deliver a rejunvenated face in the morning.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer– With a PH of 3.8, this moisturizer for dry skin will help to reduce the look for fine lines and wrinkles. Skin will be clarified and also be smoothed out.
  • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA gel–  This gel will exfoliate dry skin while helping repair sun damaged skin.
4 replies
  1. Shantee
    Shantee says:

    I have been using alpha hydroxy acids for a bit now and wanted to put my two cents in here. I have found they work the best in concentrations between 5% to 8% and should have a PH of 3 to 4 for best results. There are many cleansers on the market with alpha hydroxy acids, however, my dermatologist feels that this is a waste. He said that they are best working on the skin when they can be absorbed, and since the cleanser is being washed off right away, it is best to use them in either moisturizers, serums, or elixirs. You can even buy foundations that have alpha hydroxy acids in them if you wish, which would be perfect for the skin since they are left on the face for a long time, and the AHA will be fully absorbed.

    Reply
  2. Ronda
    Ronda says:

    I am a huge fan of products with alpha hydroxy acids in them. I feel that they have really given my old skin a break! I have been using the Olay Regenerist line for a while now. My skin looks amazing. I love the fact that I can apply some on my face at night after my cleansing and the product works hard while I sleep. I do recommend this for anyone that would love to try out an alpha hydroxy product but does not know where to start. You can get it at any drugstore and the price can not be beat for what it does for the face!

    Reply
  3. Emily J.
    Emily J. says:

    One of my all time favorite products with alpha hydroxy acids is REN Resurfacing AHA concentrate. I love how my skin looks younger and renewed. This product does not have any parabens in it and is also free from sulfates and phthalates. My skin has a much more even skin tone since I have been using it the past year. It contains many alpha hydroxy acids including lactic, glycolic, tartaric, and citric acids. Cell turnover happens with this product, which means my skin looks brighter, younger, and smoother.

    Reply
  4. Lorry
    Lorry says:

    I have used AVON skin care products all my life. Since I was a teen, I bought them. Now that I am in my late forties, I have been buying the ANEW skin care lineup, which have alpha hydroxy acids in them. One of my all time favorite products is the ANEW clinical resurfacing expert smoothing fluid. My skin feels amazing after using it. It is soft and supple and feels gentle as well. And another great ANEW product is the Genics Treatment cream. The tag line for this product is any woman can look 10 years younger. And I would have to say that is right. I used a whole jar and my face does not look like I am 48. I look more like I just turned 40, which to me is pretty amazing. The cream has made some of my facial lines disappear and helped with the smoothing of my skin. ANEW products are not too terribly expensive and a little goes a long ways with them, so I would have to recommend them to anyone that needs help with wrinkles, dark spots, age spots, dry skin or any other skin issue they may be having.

    Reply

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