Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

What is a AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acid?

Hydroxy acids, a common active ingredient in skin care products, are recognized for their ability to improve overall skin care. The two basic types are Alpha Hydroxy (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy (BHA). Alpha Hydroxy Acids are primarily a group of food-derived acids. These groups include citric acid (citrus fruit), glycolic acid (sugar cane), lactic acid (milk source), malic acid (apples), tartaric acid (grapes) and mandelic acid (bitter almonds).

Alpha Hydroxy Acids differ from Beta Hydroxy Acids as they're derived from more than just one source.  AHAs are water-soluble and BHAs are lipid or oil-soluble. AHAs are traditionally used in topical skin care cream, such as lotions and peels, to increase cellular-turnover rate and remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. AHAs are commonly used for anti-aging treatments, and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. AHAs can even your skin tone by lightening the skin following photo damage, melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Some AHAs can be used for post-inflammation hyperpigmentation caused by acne and scarring. They're particularly beneficial in encouraging acne lesions to heal more efficiently.

Each AHA plays its own role for functionality in the skin. Glycolic acid, traditionally the most popular AHA on the market, is considered the safest. While all AHAs perform the same function, which is to increase cellular-turnover rate, each specific AHA can be useful for more that just exfoliation. By removing the top layer of dead skin cells, AHAs reveal new and younger skin cells and improve the efficiency of product penetration. With the removal of those glued skin cells, your skin can attain a more even tone, revealing a more radiant and youthful complexion.

Choose a category below for FAQs on specific AHA ingredient/product types.

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