What are AHAs and their skin benefits?

What are AHAs and their skin benefits?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids, otherwise known as AHAs, are a group of acid compounds, most often derived from plant-based sources, that deliver big benefits when it comes to your skin. There are a variety of different ones out there, some of the most common of which include Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, and Malic Acid. While they all act on the skin's surface as chemical exfoliants, they differ in size, penetration, and potency.

By simple definition, any type of acid is going to exfoliate the skin. But, by boasting a multitude of incredible benefits; such as boosting brightness, reducing visible sun damage, smoothing fine lines, and encouraging hydration, AHAs go above and beyond the call of duty...

They are super surface exfoliants 

As skin cells die, they can often clump together and get stuck on top of the skin. These dulling dead skin cells hanging around on your skin’s surface do no one any good, which is where AHAs step in. AHAs dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together and help to gently slough them away; resulting in a glowing, dewy, smoother, and more even complexion. 

Exfoliating with a gentle but powerful AHA like Lactic Acid can be done every evening if your skin can tolerate it. To do so, reach for Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. Powered by 4.5% Lactic Acid (AHA, from sugar cane) and Salicylic Acid (BHA, from willow bark), this skin-resurfacing tonic exfoliates, brightens, tightens pores, hydrates, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and pigmentation; in a single sweep.

They reduce visible signs of sun damage  

While we cannot go back and tell our younger selves to apply more sunscreen or stay out of the sun, we can do everything we can now to prevent further sun damage. Thanks to AHAs, the signs of sun damage, like roughness, discoloration, or pigmentation, that are already apparent can be visibly reduced.  

They get hydrate to the point 

Glycolic Acid, Malic Acid, and Lactic Acid are humectants, which means they draw water into the skin. If you have dry skin, using AHAs can help improve hydration levels and gently slough away unwanted patches of dry or flaky skin. 

They are smooth movers 

As AHAs get to work, they naturally smooth skin’s texture. But why shouldn’t you have silky smooth skin from shoulders-to-toes too? That is why we created AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum. One of the main advantages of using AHAs on the body is that they deliver glowing results without causing excessive irritation. Compared to traditional physical exfoliation methods like harsh scrubs or brushes, chemical exfoliation with AHAs is generally milder and kinder to sensitive skin. 

They help to keep blemishes at bay 

A big benefit of exfoliating, in general, is de-clogging clogged pores, which can lead to breakouts. Although the top blemish-busters are BHAs, AHAs also help by gently removing daily dirt and impurities, without causing tears in the skin or irritation that can often lead to more blemishes, especially in sensitive skin types. 

They visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles 

AHAs like Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid actively encourage cell turnover, which can help improve skin firmness, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you are looking to target these signs of skin aging, our fruit enzyme-activated Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask uses a super-smoothing triple-threat of Glycolic Acid from pineapple, as well as Lactic Acid and Papain to renew your skin’s radiance.

AHAs vs BHAs 

When choosing between AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids), it comes down to the way in which you want the products to work along with your skin concerns. If you are looking to minimize surface sebum and blemishes, you will want to use either BHA or an AHA/BHA combination, as it will likely be able to better penetrate the issue. BHAs also get bonus points for being gentle enough for sensitive skin types.  

For an issue like dry skin, however, AHAs are your best bet because of their humectant properties. Many products, like Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic make use of both AHAs and BHAs, so your skin gets the best benefits of both worlds.  

Are AHAs right for my skin type? 

It is always good to know what the ingredients in your skin care routine are actually doing for you. With AHAs such as Glycolic Acid and lactic Acid, among others, you can reap all the incredible benefits above.  

Additionally, with the variety of products containing AHAs available, there is something right for most skin types and concerns. If you have sensitive skin, for instance, you will benefit from products containing Lactic Acid. If your skin is not sensitive, or you are looking for more dramatic results, you may benefit from Glycolic Acid masks or peels. Whatever your skin goals are, AHAs can help you reach them.