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Add Alpha-Hydroxy Acids in Your Skin Care Routine

September 07, 2023
Author: Eve

Reading time: 12 minutes

Our body is a combination of thousands of ingredients and chemical compounds. Thus, each component performs a particular task in our body, nourishing, protecting, or hydrating organs. The skin is the largest organ of our body that requires proper and regular care. Cells need sufficient nourishment, moisturizing, and protection to guarantee a young-looking appearance for a long time.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) come as a popular beauty ingredient with a plethora of health benefits. With their help, you can gently exfoliate the skin, restore its radiance, even out tone, lighten pigmentation, increase tone, etc. – it is only a small part of what they can do. But, like other active ingredients, fruit acids have their limitations, so you need to use them wisely. Below, we're going to consider the importance of Alpha-hydroxy acids in skincare, explain their effect, and provide a list of effective skincare products with AHAs.

Creams with AHAs

What are Alpha-Hydroxy Acids?

Alpha-hydroxy acids are a generic name for a group of different chemical compounds that have similar effects and composition. Many (but not all) of these compounds can be found in fruits or berries, which is why they got their second name – fruit acids. The AHA type includes the following acids:

  • citric;
  • malic;
  • tartaric;
  • mandelic;
  • lactic;
  • glycolic.

In cosmetics for the face, the last two components are used more often, since they act gently and delicately. Both Alpha-hydroxy acids for skin feature a similar effect, differing only in the degree of intensity of their impact on the epidermis. Lactic acid works the softest so products with this acid can be used even for sensitive skin.

Benefits of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

The main advantage of AHA acids is their ability to gently exfoliate dead particles of the epidermis by destroying the bonds between the cells of the stratum corneum. This exfoliation triggers the natural processes of cell renewal, helping get rid of a dull complexion and restore radiance, smoothen, and refresh the skin. It also allows you to slightly lighten and even out the tone, as well as make pigmentation and post-acne marks less noticeable.

What else can AHA acids do? Other crucial Alpha-hydroxy acid skin benefits include:

  • stimulation of the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibers, which are responsible for the elasticity, firmness, and density of the skin;
  • a deeply moisturizing effect due to its ability to transport water molecules;
  • smoothening fine wrinkles and causing an anti-aging effect;
  • normalization of sebum production.

Thus, if used correctly and properly, these ingredients can improve skin condition and eliminate visible imperfections, making your skin healthy and prolonging youthfulness.

Professional AHA-contained products

How Alpha-Hydroxy Acid Affects Skin?

Answering the question “What do Alpha-hydroxy acids do?”, note that AHAs provide a powerful exfoliating effect. This type of acid acts effectively to break the bonds between cells in the upper layers of the skin. By breaking their connection to each other, they allow dead cells to fall off more quickly. This stimulation of cell renewal helps reduce breakouts, smooth fine lines, and create an overall brightening effect.

It is believed that AHAs are mainly used for peeling, that is, exfoliation of dead cells. However, alpha hydroxy acids also have other beneficial properties. They:

  • moisturize;
  • brighten;
  • improve complexion, make the tone even;
  • fight pigment spots;
  • polish, smooth the microrelief, and give smoothness to the skin;
  • make scars less noticeable;
  • reduce the depth of wrinkles;
  • soothe irritation;
  • reduce the intensity and number of rashes, treat acne, eliminate rosacea;
  • cleanse the pores.

Due to the dual effects of Alpha-hydroxy acids on the skin, cosmetic products with AHA acids are suitable for oily, problematic, age-related, dull, and sensitive skin.

Skin care products with Alpha-hydroxy acids

How to Use It?

Failure to comply with the rules for the use of skincare products containing AHAs can adversely affect the appearance. You need to start using such products gradually.

The best time to start using products with Alpha-hydroxy acids in skin care is the autumn-winter period. Regardless of the type of active substance, all AHA acids increase the sensitivity of the epithelium to ultraviolet radiation. It is good if products with an SPF filter are used along with the use of AHA skincare cosmetics. This rule is valid all year round and in any weather.

Note that it is recommended to use skincare products with AHAs, especially if it is a cream, during evening care. Skin inflammation after using products with acids is normal. During the night, the skin will calm down, redness will disappear, and puffiness will go away.

An important remark is that cosmetics containing Alpha-hydroxy acids are not designed for daily use. It is better to start using them no more than twice a week.

Before using products with acids, it is better to consult with a competent cosmetologist. This will help avoid problems and get the desired result.

TOP AHA Skincare Products

Now, let's list the most effective products with these ingredients. You'll find what creams contain Alpha-hydroxy acids and pick suitable serums and masks.

Best Alpha-Hydroxy Acid-Contained Serums

  • Osmosis Clarify Blemish Retinal Serum is a high-concentration product for targeted action and deep nourishment. Its active formula penetrates cells, narrowing pores, normalizing oil production, and shrinking blemishes.
  • EvenSwiss Brightening Intense Treatment is a powerful treatment for pigmented skin. Its formula is rich in natural extracts and the Dermatopoietin-Plus complex. The product makes the skin even, radiant, and smooth.
  • PCA Skin Micro Peel At-Home Kit is a pack of products for homemade peeling. The pack consists of 10 items, including washer, serum, toner, etc. The product is aimed at providing an exfoliating effect and ensuring antioxidant protection.
  • Absolute Intense Renewal Serum is a pack of 30 sachets with serum for one-time application. Active ingredients penetrate cells deeply and boost the cell renewal process on the cellular level. The product evens the face surface and gives radiance.

Best Alpha-Hydroxy Acid-Contained Creams

  • Dermaceutic Yellow Cream is a rich-formula effective product for deep moisturizing and nourishment. The content embraces acids and natural extracts, supplying essential ingredients to cells and boosting their rejuvenation.
  • Brilliant Overnight Recharge Cream is a powerful treatment for aging and dehydrated skin. It is a night moisturizer that hydrates and nourishes cells when you sleep. A rich ingredient content improves the appearance and health of cells.
  • Dermaceutic Radiance Brightening Cream is effective in normalizing and evening the skin tone and returning radiance. It has a brightening effect, which allows for using the treatment for pigmented skin, dark spots, and blemishes.
  • Absolute Restoring Eye Cream Refill is a deep-action product for moisturizing and nourishing cells. The treatment includes peptides, Coenzyme Q10, and Niacinamide, which improves cell performance and revitalization processes.

Best Alpha-Hydroxy Acid-Contained Masks

  • MZ Skin Cleanse and Clarify is a powerful purifier. The mask has a complex effect on the skin. It exfoliates, whitens, improves immunity, and acts as an antiseptic. The regular application helps get rid of puffiness and irritation.
  • Osmosis Enzyme Cranberry Mask is an effective cleanser that melts on the face surface and removes all types of pollutants. Its active formula with lactic acid dissolves and exfoliates dead cells, purifying pores. The product improves skin tone and complexion.
  • PCA Skin Pore Refining Treatment is a powerful exfoliating mask. Its formula combines three types of peeling methods, improving the overall effect of mask application. The product removes dead cells and other contaminants, boosting cell turnover.
  • Osmosis Summer Mini Mask Trio is a set of the most popular products in one kit. It is designed to take care of your skin in the summer period. The product refines, exfoliates, nourishes, and detoxifies cells. It also provides antioxidant protection.

Side Effects

Although the Alpha-hydroxy acid effect on skin is mainly positive, its misuse can lead to nasty consequences. Consider the fact that AHA acids can provoke rashes and be the reason for the appearance of acne or redness. This is due to the fact that ingredients accelerate the processes occurring in the cells.

Who Should Use Alpha-Hydroxy Acids?

AHAs are great ingredients for people with dry, dull, or uneven complexions, and those with damaged or sensitive skin. They help in the process of removing old skin cells, which are replaced by new, fresh ones, thus renewing the face surface and making it radiant and even.

Who Should Avoid It?

It is strictly forbidden to use skincare products with these active substances if you have:

  • injuries, cuts, scratches on the skin;
  • an active form of acne;
  • abscesses;
  • burns of any origin, including sunburn;
  • strong irritation.

Women during pregnancy and lactation should approach using AHA-rich products carefully.

As a rule, manufacturers add no more than 10% of Alpha-hydroxy acid in cosmetics or use combinations of them. Thus, a serum, toner, mask, or AHA cream is unlikely to cause harm. But, you need to watch for the reaction of the skin to such treatments.

Now, you know the answer to such questions as what AHAs are, what benefits they have, and what they are used for. We've answered the question “How do Alpha-hydroxy acids work?” These are the perfect ingredients for skin exfoliation. Acids help boost skin renewal processes and keep the face surface clean and fresh-looking.