Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of natural acids present in foods. AHAs contain glycolic acid (present in sugar cane), citric acid (present in citrus fruits), lactic acid (present in tomato juice and sour milk), malic acid (present in apples), and tartaric acid (found in grapes), along with few others.
Skincare manufacturers use AHAs to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation is a process to remove the dead skin cells from the skin's surface with the help of an exfoliant. This aids in removing dead skin cells; however, they also make way for the generation of new skin cells.
Dead skin cells cause acne, age spots, and wrinkles – ultimately, they make the skin complexion dull. So, as a general rule, the more AHAs in a skincare product, the more powerful the exfoliating effects would be.
When AHAs exfoliate the skin, the dead skin cells are decomposed. The new skin that appeared beneath is more radiant and brighter. AHAs having glycolic acid help in breaking down skin cell accumulation. Also, skin care products with citric acid can further brighten the skin.
Collagen is a protein-rich fiber. It aids in keeping the skin smooth. As people age, these fibers start to vanish. UV rays' damage can also expedite collagen destruction, resulting in skin sagging.
Collagen is present in the middle layer of the skin (dermis). When the skin's upper layer (epidermis) is removed, AHAs can work the dermis. AHAs might also help promote collagen production by destroying old collagen fibers to pave the way for new ones.
AHAs are renowned for their anti-aging impacts; so surface lines are no exception.
As AHAs help in collagen production, they help lift away upper dead skin cells. This eventually helps in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
However, it's essential to keep in mind that AHAs only work for surface lines and wrinkles, not deeper wrinkles.
AHAs contain anti-inflammatory features that help in stimulating blood flow to the skin. The acid can aid in correcting dull and pale complexions. Proper blood flow also ensures that skin cells receive the essential nutrients required through oxygen-rich red blood cells.
Acne occurs when skin pores are clogged with a combination of oil (sebum), dead skin cells, and bacteria. Exfoliation through AHAs can help remove and loosen the clog. Continued use may prevent forming future clogs.
AHAs can also help in preventing and treating recurring acne. A few acne products also carry other AHAs, such as malic and citric acids, to help in soothing inflamed skin.
Apart from unique benefits, AHAs can enhance the impact of existing products by increasing the absorption into the skin.
If the skin has too many dead skin cells, AHAs such as glycolic acid can break through this dead skin cells' layer. It helps in enabling the moisturizer to hydrate new skin cells effectively.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are among the most-researched beauty products because of their strong effects. If your consumers are searching for significant exfoliation, then AHAs might be the ingredient for them to consider.
Daily exfoliation is also possible through AHA-containing toners, serums, and creams. Overall, in boosting the credibility and urge of skincare products for a beauty brand, AHA is a go-to ingredient.