What is AHA?
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) is a group of acids (plant and animal-derived) that are widely used in skincare ingredients, especially for their exfoliating potency. There are numerous skincare ingredients available in the market but what makes AHAs stand out from the rest of exfoliating ingredients is that they are water-soluble and have the ability to work on the skin’s surface.
Now you would wonder what is the impact of this feature on your skin. When an acid is water-soluble it means it can’t reach the skin’s natural oils which gives it the power to work effectively on the skin surface. Hence, AHAs are mostly used for exfoliating functions on the stratum corneum, i.e. skin’s surface. Now that you know what is AHA, let’s learn about various types of AHAs.
Summary: AHAs are water-soluble and work effectively on the skin surface.
What are the types of AHAs?
There are different types of AHAs and dermatologists recommend the following ones for skincare:
- Glycolic acid:
Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliant that naturally occurs in sugarcane. It is the smallest water-soluble AHA and hence can penetrate deep into the skin, i.e., basal layer of the epidermis where the melanin build-up occurs. Wondering what are the AHA benefits for the skin, especially glycolic acid? Glycolic acid as an AHA accelerates skin renewal and removes melanin build-up cell by cell. Glycolic acid is one of the most popular AHAs and widely used skincare ingredient.
- Lactic acid:
One of the mildest forms of AHA, lactic acid helps increase cell turnover and eliminate dead cells from the top of the skin layer. It is present in dairy and fermented vegetables and can effectively correct moderate to severe hyperpigmentation, and fade away age spots, wrinkles, and highly visible pores.
- Malic acid:
It is one of the types of AHAs (present in apples) that helps cleanse and rejuvenate your skin, keep it hydrated, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and prevent acne.
- Citric acid:
Citric acid, present in citrus fruits helps in skin exfoliation. When used in higher concentrations it best works to exfoliate skin, however, when used in a lower concentration, citric acid works as an antioxidant as well as pH adjuster.
- Mandelic Acid:
Mandelic acid is one of the types of AHAs (made from almond extracts) that can be combined with other potent AHAs to increase exfoliation. However, when used alone or in skincare product, mandelic acid can help improve skin texture and pore size.
- Tartaric acid:
Tartaric acid is another type of AHA that is made from grape extracts and can help address acne and signs of sun damage.
Since different AHAs have varied molecular sizes, their penetrative abilities are also different hence they work exclusively on numerous skin issues or concerns.
Summary: There are different types of AHAs like glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, mandelic acid, and tartaric acid. However, the most popular chemical exfoliant, i.e., AHA is Glycolic acid.
What are the AHA benefits for the skin?
As stated earlier, AHAs primarily help in skin exfoliation. However, besides exfoliation, there are endless AHA benefits for the skin that include brightening, hydrating, anti-ageing and more. Let’s learn more about the AHA benefits for the skin.
- AHAs help in skin exfoliation
- AHAs help brighten the skin
- AHAs help boost collagen production
- AHAs help eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- AHAs help correct skin discoloration
- AHAs help promote blood flow to the skin
Summary: AHAs aid in skin exfoliation, a process where accumulated dead cells shed off and pave way for new skin cell generation. This exfoliating ability allows different types of AHAs to offer other benefits like skin brightening, collagen production, and treating skin discolouration.
Now that you know the countless AHA benefits for the skin, you must be eager to add these AHAs to your skincare ritual and experience the benefits. So, let’s understand the correct ways to frame the AHA skincare routine.
How to use AHA products?
Alpha Hydroxy Acid products are available in the form of cleansers, serums, day creams, and night cream. You can use these products to reveal smoother, even-toned skin. Skincare experts recommend using Alpha Hydroxy Acid products that contain less than 10% concentration. Listed below are some of the common variants of AHA products:
Alpha Hydroxy Acid products list starts with cleansers that help gently exfoliate your skin to reveal glowing and radiant skin. Since glycolic acid is a naturally occurring chemical exfoliant, you can choose this potent skincare ingredient to get the best results.
We recommend you to use the L'Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Daily Foaming Face Cleanser that helps get rid of dirt, dust, and impurities trapped under the skin and brighten it from the core.
AHA-infused serums are a great way to upgrade your daily skincare routine. If you are struggling with hyperpigmentation, acne scars, sun tan, and damage, then Alpha Hydroxy Acid products like a serum can be your best bet.
We recommend you to use the L'Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Brightening Serum which contains (1% glycolic acid) and works adeptly to reduce dark spots, remove melanin build-up (causing hyperpigmentation where some areas of skin have darker patches than others), and boost cell turnover. This product from the house of L'Oréal Paris visibly reduces five years of dark spots in a span of four weeks.
Summary: AHA-infused serums like that of L'Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Brightening Serum reduces five years of dark spots in no time.
- Day cream:
AHA benefits for the skin can be thoroughly experienced when used as a day cream. Day creams are necessary to protect your skin from external aggressors. The benefits multiply when these day creams are formulated with SPF.
We recommend you to use the L'Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Day Cream with SPF17 that allows you to give your skin optimal sun protection and get beaming skin.
- Night cream:
Wondering what are the AHA benefits for the skin when used as a night cream? Night creams that are made with AHAs help in correcting skin blemishes, repairing the skin barrier, and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation while you catch up on your beauty sleep.
We recommend you to add the L'Oréal Paris Glycolic Bright Glowing Night Cream to your AHA skincare routine. This night cream contains glycolic acid and vitamin E that brighten your skin and reduce dullness.
Pro tip: If you are suffering from rosacea, psoriasis, or eczema, you must consult a doctor before you start using these AHA products.
Equipped with the knowledge of different types of AHAs, their benefits, and how to include AHA-infused products in your skincare routine; include these ingredients in your regime and reveal glowing and even-toned skin is just a matter of time. If you wish to seek expert advice on establishing your personalised AHA skincare routine, you can always take help from the advanced L'Oréal Paris Skin Genius tool to analyse your skin like a pro and create one that suits you the best.