AHA- What is it, Market Share, Uses & How to Incorporate into your skincare products?

12.14.2021

AHA- What is it, Market Share, Uses & How to Incorporate into your skincare products?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are a group of acids that arise naturally in sugar cane, fruits, and milk. For skincare, people can use them as exfoliants for erasing dead skin cells and to treat particular concerns.

AHAs are popularly used for smoothing the skin, minimizing dark hyperpigmentation or spots, and suppressing the appearance of scars. However, they are not suitable (always) for darker skin tones.

Market Share of Alpha Hydroxy Acids

The global market of Alpha Hydroxy Acids was worth approximately $1.5 billion in 2016 and is expected to cross over USD 3 billion by 2024. As this exfoliating agent helps achieving younger and glowing skin; the consumer base is seeing a great hype of its demand.

For those, who don’t know much about it, this article will cover everything you need to know about it.

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acid is a group of acids that occur naturally in specific foods. Several cosmetic products and treatments contain AHAs as a source of skin exfoliation.

AHAs function by loosening the topmost layer of old skin cells by splitting the gluey substance. The gluey ingredient keeps skin cells joined together. This enables the skin to generate more cells, thus increasing cell turnover.  

Types of AHA

There are different kinds of AHA. Some common examples of the AHAs include:

  • Glycolic acid (it comes from sugarcane)
  • Lactic acid (you can get it from fermented vegetables and dairy)  
  • Citric acid (it is present in citrus fruits)
  • Malic acid (you can extract it from apples)
  • Tartaric acid (this AHA type is present in grapes)

Glycolic and lactic acid are among the most renowned AHAs. However, all AHAs function in a similar way.  

Uses of Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs are used primarily to exfoliate. AHA can help in:

  • promoting blood flow and collagen
  • correcting discoloration from age spots and scars
  • improving emergence of wrinkles and surface lines
  • preventing breakouts of acne  
  • brightening skin complexion
  • enhancing product absorption  

Benefits of AHAs

AHAs have several potential uses for the skin, including:

Gentle exfoliating of the skin

AHA can be a good alternative to other exfoliation, such as using scrubs, abrasive brushes, or face cloths. These mechanical exfoliation techniques can cause irritation and can be harsh.

AHA with a low-strength Exfoliation might be more suitable for those with sensitive or dry skin.

Enhancing skin texture

Acid exfoliants like AHAs can erase flaky or rough skin without posing irritation. As a result, they reduce the appearance of blemishes, dry skin, and keratosis pilaris.

Reducing the visible aging signs  

With the time and with the sunlight exposure, the process of new skin cells’ turnover goes down. This can enhance the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

AHA helps in eradicating the top layer of dead skin cells, exposing new fresh cells underneath. With long-term usage, AHA might also increase elastin and collagen in the skin.

These substances provide elasticity and skin structure. However, they decrease naturally with age. Through regular use of AHA, people might notice their skin appears plumper.  

Reducing melasma, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage

Regular application of peels or AHA products may aid to treat dark marks or hyperpigmentation on the skin, such as:

  • Age spots
  • melasma
  • Sun damage

Oftentimes, dermatologists use AHA peels for these objectives, as they can operate on the skin’s deeper layers compared to over-the-counter (OTC) products.

It is necessary to note that for darker skins, AHAs can cause changes in skin tone and dark spots.  

Minimizing acne

AHAs can help in preventing acne through the removal of dead skin cells. These cells can cause pimples and block pores.  

Which types of Products can have AHAs?

Beauty brands can use AHAs in various ways. They can use it as an ingredient in:

  • Tonics or toners
  • Cleansers
  • Face pads
  • Moisturizers  
  • Serums

How Much AHA is better in your Skincare Product?

The recommendation of FDA to add AHA in products is with less than 10% of concentration as it helps preventing its side effects.  

Final words

AHAs are among the most-researched beauty ingredients due to their strong effects. If your consumers are looking for significant exfoliation, then AHAs might be the right products to consider. To satisfy your consumers you can opt for daily exfoliation with AHA-containing toners, serums, and creams.  

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