While they may sound intimidating, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, more commonly know as AHAs, are deserving of a place in everyone’s skincare routine. Highly effective at improving skin texture, softening wrinkles and evening out skin tone, these chemical acids have the ability to make a major difference in the appearance of your skin and help maintain a youthful glow.
There are two main types of acids used in skincare, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). AHAs are often considered a superior choice to BHAs as they less likely to irritate the skin than BHAs. AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid, while the most commonly used BHA is salicylic acid.
Often people omit anything with the word “acid” from their skincare routine as they mistakenly fear they will cause dryness or flaking of the skin. However, since the skin has a slightly acidic pH, cosmetic acids have a great affinity for the skin and can offer great benefits.
Essentially AHAs are organic acids that diminish corneocyte cohesion, affecting the thickness of the stratum corneum. They resurface the skin by removing dead skin cells, along with dislodging debris from the pores. AHAs multi-task to increase the synthesis of lipids and ceramides, thereby fortifying the skin barrier function and reducing water loss, increasing the moisture level of the skin and the flexibility of the stratum corneum, increasing elasticity and improvements in the skin’s appearance.
AHAs are very small enough to permeate to the deeper layer of the stratum corneum, where they eliminate the excesses of seborrhoeic and other non-beneficial substances from the skin to prevent bacterial build up, follicular impacts and the formation of acne.
There are a number of different ways that AHAs can be introduced into your skincare routine. One of the simplest ways is through your cleanser. Since AHAs are natural exfoliants, they are highly effective when it comes to effortlessly removing all traces of impurities from the skin. It is important to note that AHAs can increase sun sensitivity, therefore it is absolutely imperative to wear a SPF each day to prevent sun damage and other forms of environmental stress from harming the skin.
For those interested in procuring the benefits of AHAs in their skincare routine, our Ecdysis Bio-Ferment Enzyme Cleanse is a luxurious cream cleanser that combines fruit derived AHAs with the power of papain enzymes to sweep away makeup, pollution, debris and protein deposits to instantly reveal brighter, smoother skin.
One of the key aspects of experiencing success with acids, is to introduce them into your routine slowly, at a lower concentration and optimum pH. Unfortunately, irritation is often associated with efficacy, however pain does not equal gain! AHA products should stimulate desquamation (exfoliation), trigger cell renewal and penetrate easily through the barrier lipids of the epidermis without causing inflammation that can lead to premature aging.
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