Anti-aging and skin care products added with AHA are flooding the market. Alpha hydroxy acids are supposed to smoothen fine lines and surface wrinkles, improve skin texture and tone, unblock and cleanse pores. They also improve oily skin or acne, and improve skin condition in general. AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are not new to skin care. Legends of Cleopatras milk baths are well known in beauty and skin care. Polynesians used sugarcane and fruit juices to soften their skin. The factor common to the properties of these natural products is this group of natural substances found in sugarcane, fruits, milk, molasses, etc., called AHA.
What are AHA molecules?
To find out if a cosmetic contains an AHA, look on the list of ingredients. AHA ingredients may be listed as:
Glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, glycolic acid + ammonium glycolate, alpha-hydroxyethanoic acid + ammonium alpha-hydroxyethanoate, alpha-hydroxyoctanoic acid, alpha-hydroxycaprylic acid, hydroxycaprylic acid, mixed fruit acid, tri-alpha hydroxy fruit acids, triple fruit acid, sugar cane extract, alpha hydroxy and botanical complex, L-alpha hydroxy acid glycomer in cross linked fatty acids alpha nutrium (three AHAs).
How AHA works?
To find out how AHA works for skin care, let us see how the skin grows old, and how to keep it younger. Cells in the outer layers of skin are bound together by inter-cellular fluid. As one ages, this glue-like substance binds the skin cells tighter and denser. Dead skin layers build up and unlike young skin, natural exfoliation becomes difficult. This group of natural acids has the ability to loosen this inter-cellular fluid, and allows the top layer of dead skin to slough off easily. Thus AHA products cause exfoliation, or shedding of the surface skin. The extent of exfoliation depends on the type and concentration of the AHA, its pH (acidity), and other ingredients in the product. Most skin care cosmetics sold to consumers contain AHA at levels up to 10 percent.
Side effects of AHA
The side effects from AHA containing products can include burns, itching, pain, and possibly scarring. The degree of acidity (the pH) of the product also can affect irritation. Some experts advise that people should purchase products with AHA concentrations of 10% or less and a pH of 3.5 or higher (the higher the pH, the lower the acidity). If any adverse effects occur, the use should be stopped immediately. In any case, people are advised to avoid sunlight or use proper protection when using them.
The best way to use AHA products would be to try the product for some time and see the difference in skin. Avoid sunlight exposure while using AHA products and watch for any side effects. Consulting your dermatologist before using these products would be a still better course of action, and the best would be to take Cleopatras recipe for Milk bath, and remain younger.
This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. The author is not liable for any outcome or damage resulting from information obtained from this article.
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