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.
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.