Your skin goes through a lot throughout the day. Sunlight, sweat, pollution and a host of other elements damage your skin on the daily. Unfortunately, these elements are unavoidable and therefore, repairing your skin is the only solution to retain the health of your epidermis. With more and more people investing in skincare these days, it is essential to be on the lookout for ingredients that benefit your skin in true essence. One of the most important and extensively discussed skincare ingredients is the AHA, and we’re sure you’ve heard of it before. If you’re wondering what makes AHA so unique and if at all you need it, keep reading.
The science behind AHAs
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are acids which are either naturally derived or synthetically made. Their primary purpose is to exfoliate the top layer of your skin and provide a host of other benefits to your skin. The ability of a particular type of AHA depends on its pH level and source. This brings us to the types of AHAs that vary in their chemical composition based on how they were derived.
There are seven types of AHAs used in skincare products:
- lactic acid derived from lactose or other carbohydrates
- glycolic acid derived from sugar cane
- hydroxy caproic acid derived from royal jelly
- citric acid derived from citrus fruits
- malic acid derived from fruits
- tartaric acid derived from grapes
- hydroxy caprylic acid derived from animals
It is crucial to use AHAs safely. You need to read the instructions and warnings on the label of the skincare product. It is advised that you should use sun protection with AHA products.
AHA serves you in the following ways:
1. Exfoliation: the primary function of AHA is exfoliation. Exfoliation is a method by which surface skin cells are removed. If dead skin accumulates for long, it can harm the skin underneath by making it wrinkled and spotty and even lead to acne. This prevents the build-up of dead skin cells and makes room for the growth of new cells. It is due to this quality of AHA from where the rest of the benefits arise.
2. Brightening: with AHAs fighting off the dead skin from your face, the skin underneath gets exposed. This skin is fresher, brighter and more radiant. AHA products containing citric acid and glycolic acid can help brighten your skin even more.
3. Collagen production: after removing the upper dead skin layer, AHA can seep into the skin’s middle layer, which consists of collagen. Collagen is vital for keeping your skin smooth and firm. AHA promotes collagen production in the skin layer, helping you prevent sagging skin.
4. Increase blood flow to skin: AHAs promote blood flow to the skin, owing to their anti-inflammatory properties. Due to rich oxygenated blood flowing to your skin, the skin cells get adequate oxygen supply, thus improving your complexion and mitigating paleness.
5. Decrease skin discolouration: with increasing age, your skin is at risk of getting discoloured. They develop mostly due to sun exposure on the face, chest, arms etc. Discolouration can also be caused by acne scars or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. AHA helps mitigate skin discolouration by promoting cell generation. The new skin barrier is evenly toned when dead skin cells are removed. Glycolic acid is recommended by dermatologists for this purpose.
6. Fight acne: Acne is caused due to clogged pores. Pores can get clogged due to dead skin, sebum, bacteria, etc. AHAs help unclog pores by exfoliating and loosening the skin. AHAs also help minimize enlarged pores, preventing sebum and dirt from collecting in them, thereby mitigating the chances of acne. AHAs can be used to treat back and chest acne as well.
How much AHA is enough?
The concentration of AHA should be 10 per cent or less so that any side effects can be avoided. If you use AHA products daily, it is recommended to use a lower concentration of AHA, such as 5 per cent. In addition, the whole product should have a pH of 3.5 or more. For best results, use Kzen’s AHA based toner and get glowing and radiant skin. With just the right amount of AHA in this toner, you can easily exfoliate and achieve the desired results without worrying about skin damage.