What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?
An alpha hydroxy acid or AHA is a type of compound that is found naturally in plants and some animal-derived substances. When applied to the skin, AHAs are able to break the microscopic bonds that keep dead skin cells in place on the complexion. This loosens the dead skin and allows it to be wiped or washed away or to fall off on its own.
There are a number of AHAs that are commonly used in anti-aging skin care products. Glycolic acid is one of the most popular and powerful and is derived from sugar cane. Extracted from milk, lactic acid is another commonly used AHA, and it tends to be a milder choice that is ideal for more sensitive complexions. Other AHAs include tartaric acid from grapes, citric acid from citrus fruits and malic acid from apples, pears and similar fruits.
The Many Anti-Aging Benefits of AHAs
The highly concentrated, scientifically based formulas found in dermatologist skin care products
with AHAs offer a variety of benefits for complexions that are plagued by signs of aging. By resurfacing the skin, AHAs soften lines to make them less apparent.
The exfoliating actions of AHA products also remove discolored skin to minimize age spots. There is some evidence to suggest that by promoting cellular turnover AHA products rejuvenate the skin and encourage the production of new collagen proteins that firm the complexion. In addition, AHA products remove dull, dead cells to restore a healthy glow that makes the skin appear more youthful.
Types of Alpha Hydroxy Acid Products
You can find AHAs in a number of dermatologist grade anti-aging products, so you can choose the ones that will best fit your skin care
regimen. Many AHA products are treatments, which are applied after cleansing and toning and before moisturizing. There are also moisturizers that contain AHAs to exfoliate the complexion while they hydrate and specially formulated AHA treatments for the eye area. To learn more about the benefits of each formula in this assortment, you can check out the product descriptions.
Protecting Skin from the Sun
AHA skin care products can make the complexion more sensitive to the sun. As a result, some products that contain glycolic acid, lactic acid and other AHAs have FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients in their formulas. If you don't choose to use one of these products for your daily skin care needs, it's important that you apply a separate sunscreen when you have AHAs in your anti-aging skin care regimen.
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