AHAs: Are You Reaping The Rewards With Your Skin Care?
29 Mar 2018
Are you reaping the rewards with AHAs? When it comes to taking good care of your skin and preventing premature ageing there is no single miracle product or magic ingredient. It takes a village! In the same way that a good diet requires a host of vitamins and minerals to be healthy and balanced. Your skin needs an array of actives to function – and look – it’s best.
One truly beneficial family of ingredients is alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). A particular group of acids, AHAs are able to exfoliate the upper layers of your skin, revealing brighter, fresher-looking skin, creating a smoother texture and speeding up the fade of pigmentation or the dark marks left behind from a breakout.
Another plus? Because AHAs clear the clutter from the surface of your skin, any other products you use will better penetrate it.
There are several different types of AHAs that include glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (from milk) and malic acid (from apples). While they all exfoliate, glycolic acid is the most commonly used in skin care due to its smaller molecule size. This means it can better penetrate your skin.
When it comes to efficacy, the concentration of AHA in a product is important. For example, despite being ‘gentler’, 10% lactic acid will work harder than 2% glycolic acid.
Reap the rewards
There are lots of ways you can fit AHAs into your skincare routine. You’ll find them in face washes, moisturisers, serums and even hand and body lotions. One of the easiest ways to reap the benefits, however, is to use an AHA product, preferably a moisturiser or serum, at night. (AHAs can make your skin more sensitive to the sun so they’re better to use after dark and it’s important that you invest in a good sunscreen to wear in the day.)
Your skin can build a tolerance to AHAs so, if you’ve got sensitive skin, start off with a product in a low concentration and work your way towards a higher percentage. Your Skin Renewal therapist can help recommend a good ‘starter’ AHA product. You can then experiment with how often you’re able to use it without causing redness or irritation. Some find they can apply it every night and others feel every second or third night is just right.
A few of our favourites
You’ll find a large selection of AHA-infused products at Skin Renewal. These are just a few of our favourites for a radiant, glowing skin.
Environ Derma-lac lotion is a lactic acid-infused liquid that hydrates your body while revealing fresh, new skin.
Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Cream is an ultra-rich, hydrating formula that contains 8% glycolic acid.
Obagi Nu-derm Exfoderm Forte Skin Smoothing lotion contains 6% glycolic acid and 4% lactic acid as well as glycerin to hydrate.
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense is an ideal serum for acne-prone skin. It contains 3% glycolic acid as well as 1,5% pore-exfoliating salicylic acid.
Lamelle Liminesce Evening Glow cream is a hydrating night cream formulated with pigmentation-inhibiting ingredients as well as lactic and glycolic acid.
If you’re wanting to really benefit from the power of AHAs consider an in-office peel. Skin Renewal offers several for you to choose from. The Radiance Peel, for example, is a combination of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid along with soothing ingredients like willow bark to reveal softer, smoother-looking skin.
If you’ve got very oily or acne prone skin, however, consider a Jessner’s Peel. It combines brightening resorcinol, lactic acid and salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid that can exfoliate deep inside your pores) and can decrease oil production, unclog blocked sebaceous follicles and speed up the healing process of existing blemishes.