AHAs (also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are acids derived from fruit (so even though they sound like chemicals, they’re 100% natural). More specifically, they’re derived from citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, but in skincare products, they’re sometimes listed as sugar cane extract, malic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid or triple fruit acid. However, before we talk about the benefits of AHA acids, bear in mind that they do make your skin more susceptible to the sun, so always wear sunscreen whenever you use AHAs (and you should anyway, even when you’re not!).
So let’s delve into why AHAs are great for your skin, everything from anti-aging properties to pigmentation. Here goes…
AHAs are great for chemical exfoliation, as they help to loosen any dead cells on the skin's surface and internal layers, getting much deeper than your normal physical exfoliator can. Using overly-harsh physical exfoliants can be damaging and abrasive on the skin, which over time can cause small wrinkles to appear. Using chemical exfoliants means you can really help stop the build-up of dead skin cells which cause your skin to dull, without causing any damage to the top layer of your skin.
Everything from sun damage to acne can cause discoloration in skin tone, which can only partially be concealed with makeup. AHAs will help even out your skin tone by inhibiting melanin formation and breaking down the areas where the skin has become discolored.
When there is a build-up of surface debris and dead skin cells on the top of the skin, it prevents your skin from absorbing the active ingredients in your beauty products. Which is to say, without a good chemical exfoliant, your other products won’t work! So using AHAs won’t just benefit your skin with its exfoliating properties, but will also help you get the most out of the rest of the products on your shelf.
Using AHAs in your skincare can reduce the severity of your lines and wrinkles by encouraging the regeneration of your skin cells, revealing your baby soft skin underneath the more damaged skin at the top. It also helps with the production of collagen, the protein that plumps and firms the skin.
Using AHAs on your skin can have wonderful benefits and can help improve both your skin tone and texture, preventing dead skin cells from dulling your skin and allowing your other skincare products to have maximum impact.
But to really look after your skin whilst using AHAs you have to use sunscreen every day (even when it’s cloudy) to prevent sun damage and premature aging!