AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acids for Skincare and Exfoliation are Organic Acids with an hydroxyl group attached to the alpha position of the Acid. Wait… Too Confusing?… An Overload of Organic Chemistry?? Worry Not…. This article is not about the chemical structure of AHA’s (Alpha hydroxyl acids) but on the umpteen benefits they have on our skin. Whether AHAs are a boon or a bane depends on the concentration of the Acid present in cosmetic products. While a healthy concentration of AHA for skincare and exfoliation leads to skin brightening and anti aging effects in dry, oily or sensitive skin; a larger concentration can also damage the skin leading to acne and burns.
AHAs are water soluble acids that are made from sugary fruits. BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids) are oil soluble acids which are also gaining popularity in skincare. AHAs are generally called skin peeling chemical agents and are safe to use. Considering they are acids and have a strong chemical composition, it is advisable to use products containing AHAs every alternate day to start with, and then once your skin gets used to them, you can switch to the daily mode.
While your skin may be the most cared-for part of your body, the science of skincare according to age and skin type is so vast that you must constantly stay updated if you strive for healthy skin.
There are many of us who feel that since we use natural products and have mastered the art of homemade remedies, nothing damaging can happen to our skin. Its only when we start to see the sheen wilt away, getting replaced by uneven skin texture and skin tone, does the heart panic and advice is sought.
Well to start with, the Guru Mantra for a good Skincare Routine is –
- Cleanse Regularly
- If you have oily skin, use a toner after cleaning.
- If you have dry skin, use a moisturizer.
- Exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cells and brighten your skin.
Aside from a daily skincare routine, make it a habit to regularly review your skin for oddities, discolorations, or any other changes.
What is AHA in Skincare and Exfoliation?
Alpha-hydroxy acids are a class of plant and animal-derived acids that are included in a wide range of skincare products. These include anti-aging products used daily, such as serums, toners, and creams, as well as focused treatments such as chemical peels.
There are seven different forms of AHAs for dry, oily and sensitive skin are often found in skincare products –
- Acetic acid (from citrus fruits)
- Lactic acid (from sugar cane)
- Hydroxy caproic acid (HCA) (from royal jelly)
- Hydroxycaprylic acid (HCA) (from animals)
- Acetic acid (from fruits)
- Acid Tartaric (from grapes)
Uses of AHA in Skincare and Exfoliation –
AHAs are generally used to exfoliate the skin – get rid of the dead skin cells and help it getting new cells to the surface. This is the cornerstone for all of the other advantages that AHAs provide.
Exfoliation is the process through which the skin cells on the surface are removed. Our skin is shedding constantly. However, if it is not exfoliated then the dead skin cells start to accumulate on the surface, blocking the pores and leading to acne. It is vital to regularly remove these dead skin cells, cleanse the pores and make sure that new skin cells reach the surface and get enough oxygen to breathe.
The collection of dead skin cells can potentially exacerbate other underlying skin disorders, such as:
- Age spots
2. Brightening of Skin:
Dead skin cells are broken down when these acids exfoliate your skin. Skin appears dull and tanned when these dead skin cells accumulate on the surface. After exfoliation, the new skin that emerge are brighter and more radiant. AHAs containing glycolic acid can aid in the breakdown of skin cell buildup, while those containing citric acid can brighten your skin even more.
3. Flow of Blood:
AHAs contain anti-inflammatory characteristics that can aid in the circulation of blood to the skin. This can assist to improve the appearance of pale, lack luster skin. Proper blood flow also ensures that skin cells receive the nutrients they require via oxygen-rich red blood cells.
4. Remove Discolouration of Skin:
With age, your chances of developing skin discolouration rise. Sun exposure, for example, can cause flat brown patches known as age spots. The most commonly appear on regions of the body that are frequently exposed to sunlight, such as your chest, hands, and face.
Discolouration can also be caused by:
- Acne scars
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Long-term usage of AHAs may improve skin discolouration by stimulating the turnover of old, discoloured skin cells.
5. Acne Prevention:
When your pores get blocked with a mix of dead skin cells, oils (sebum), and bacteria – acne pimples form. AHA exfoliation can help loosen and eliminate the blockage. Continued usage may also help to avoid subsequent obstructions.
AHAs may also help to shrink enlarged pores, which are typical in acne-prone skin. Exfoliating glycolic and lactic acids can even minimise acne scars by increasing skin cell turnover. Other AHAs, such as citric and malic acids, are utilised in certain acne treatments to help calm irritated skin.
Top AHA for Skincare and Exfoliation Products:
1) Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser:
Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser is a face cleansing treating pimples. It contains exfoliating ingredients like as glycolic acid, tea tree, peppermint, lavender, shea butter, seaweed, willow bark, and bamboo. This anti-ageing cleanser aids in the unclogging of pores, the removal of dead skin cells and grime, the reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and the removal of oil build-up. It also helps to treat acne, outbreaks, redness, and blemishes. This is the best AHA product for dry skin.
- Removes blockages from pores
- Acne treatment Reduces redness
2) Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser Body Merry
Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliation Cleanser is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that is suitable for all skin types. It contains natural jojoba wax beads that help exfoliate dead skin cells, extra debris, and oil buildup. It also has kojic acid in it, which helps to brighten and balance out skin tone. The skin is nourished and moisturised by a combination of rosehip, olive, and tea tree oils. This is the best AHA product for sensitive skin.
- Skin Exfoliation
- Prevents and cures acne and outbreaks; reduces wrinkles and dark spots
- Reduction of Fine Lines and Wrinkles.
- Moisturising the skin.
- All skin types are welcome
3) Renewal Body Lotion by Alpha Skin Care:
Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body Lotion is a body lotion that moisturises. It contains a perfect mix of 12% glycolic alpha hydroxy acid, which boosts collagen formation and decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This anti-ageing body lotion eliminates dead skin cells gently and evens out skin tone. It also contains vitamins and minerals that help to hydrate and soothe your skin. This is the best AHA product for dry skin.
- Relief for Dry Skin.
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by promoting collagen synthesis.
- Improves skin tone and texture
- Softens and soothes the skin.
4) The Drunk Elephant Framboos:
Drunk Elephant’s cult favourite serum is one of the finest AHA products for anti-aging and wrinkles. It has a 12% AHA content that comprises glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acid. These exfoliate dead skin cells and reveal a smooth, bright, and even skin tone. It also has salicylic acid, which helps to clear pores. These substances work together to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while boosting tone and texture. It is one of the best serums with AHA for Skincare and Exfoliation. This is the best AHA product for sensitive skin.
- Improves skin tone and texture
- Softens and soothes the skin
5) Mizon AHA Peeling Serum:
Mizon has designed an 8% AHA serum that exfoliates the skin softly. Glycolic acid is a part of the composition. It also has hydrating and soothing ingredients including aloe, allantoin, castor oil, Centella Asiatica (tiger grass) extract, and papaya fruit extract. This serum has undergone dermatological testing and is hypoallergenic. This is the best AHA product for sensitive skin.
- Dermatological certified
- Provides softness
- Effective for hydration
6) Exfoliating Cleanser Body Merry:
Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliation Cleanser is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that is suitable for all skin types. It contains natural jojoba wax beads that help exfoliate dead skin cells, extra debris, and oil buildup. It also has kojic acid in it, which helps to brighten and balance out skin tone. The skin is nourished and moisturised by a combination of rosehip, olive, and tea tree oils. This is the best AHA product for dry skin.
- Skin exfoliation
- Helps prevent acne breakouts.
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
7) Exfoliating Solution with 30 percent AHA and 2 percent BHA:
Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a cult favourite among those who swear by chemical peels. It comprises three AHAs (lactic, salicylic, and glycolic acids) as well as beta hydroxy salicylic acid. It is a 10-minute exfoliating peel that decreases the appearance of fine wrinkles and dark spots. With continued application, it enhances the texture of your skin.
- Reduces the appearance of dark stains and imperfections
- Reduces the visibility of tiny lines
- Enhances skin texture
- Free of mineral oil
Should I go for ‘AHA for Skincare and Exfoliation’ Way?
The right AHA product for dry, oily and sensitive skin types can provide substantial exfoliation for you if you are looking for it. You may exfoliate your skin on a regular basis using AHA-containing serums, toners, and creams, or you can undergo a more severe peel treatment once or twice a week.
Because of their powerful effects, AHAs are among the most researched cosmetic products, but they aren’t for everyone. If you have pre-existing skin concerns, see your dermatologist or a skin care professional before using these products. They can advise you on the ideal AHA for your skin type and skin care objectives.