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Alpha Hydroxy Acids or commonly known as AHAs, has become nothing short of a skincare miracle cure. Used in almost every skincare product from cleansers, to toners, to masks and serums, this power house ingredient is worth its weight in gold.
Many people have heard of AHAs, but actually don’t know what they are. Little do they know that alpha Hydroxy Acids are frequently sourced from ingredients that we use in everyday life.
Read more about AHAs and the benefits of AHA on the skin
How To Use Alpha Hydroxy Acids
The first rule of thumb when using AHAs is to start off slowly. Alpha hydroxy acids can cause skin irritation, especially with daily use. Glycolic acid can be particularly irritating to the skin, because of its small molecular size. When using AHAs it’s best to integrate them slowly into your skincare routine, and never exceed the recommended usage. Always follow the instructions.
In the beginning, steer away from leave-on products (toners, serums, creams) that are highly potent in AHAs. The key is to remember that less is more. Highly concentrated products do not mean that they are more efficient. In fact, you run the risk of damaging your skin barrier and causing PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
AHAs work better on the skin when combined together with other AHAs. Try to choose products formulated with several different types of AHAs, as opposed to using a product that contains a high percentage of just one. Products that combine different acids at lower strengths tend to be less irritating to the skin, because the acids penetrate at different levels and hydrate at different capacities.
Remember to always wear sunscreen when using products that contain AHAs. Alpha Hydroxy Acids increase your skin’s sensitivity to light by thinning the top layer of your skin, making it more susceptible to sun damage. AHAs remove pigment, and also slow down the production of pigment in the skin. Therefore, it’s important to wear spf. Without spf protection from the sun, you run the risk of hyperpigmentation and sun damage.
Do not under any circumstances mix AHAs with retinol, or use on the same day as retinol. This can cause PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Stay on the side of caution when using AHAs and BHAs together in order to avoid irritation and dryness. The combination of AHA and BHA leave-on products does not work well on all skin types.
Alpha hydroxy acids works well with any hydrating or moisturising ingredients. Mixing or layering AHAs with any other type of ingredient can end up disastrous, and would be overkill. Remember less is more.
Products With Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Biossance Squalane+Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum
Amlactin Daily Moisturising Body Lotion
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10%+ HA
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Night Serum
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 25%AHA+BHA
Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial
SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser
Read: Retinoids And Anti-Aging