Decoding The Label: Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

Sunday 6 October 2013

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring molecules found in fruit and milk. They're great for exfoliating since they loosen the dead skin cells to reveal softer skin. 

The AHAs included in most beauty products include:

Glycolic acid

Lactic acid

Citric acid

Tartaric acid

Salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid)

Glycolic acid is a really popular ingredient in skincare. While it's naturally derived from sugar cane, it's often made synthetically. In skincare, GA is used as an exfoliator. It's gentle on the skin and you don't need to manually scrub to feel the exfoliating properties. 

Skincare products including AHAs can help with pigmentation, fine lines, age spots and pores. Because AHAs are such an active ingredient, you may find you get irritated skin or even sun sensitivity if you don't protect your skin with sunscreen. Sun sensitivity doesn't just last the day you are using the product, but for up to a week. 

Moisturisers that contain AHAs are great for reducing ingrown hairs. If the man in your life shaves, then make sure his moisturiser contains it to help with ingrown hairs. 

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