Alpha Hydroxy Acid is an ingredient found in many facial skin care treatments, but what you probably don’t know is that it has been used to keep the skin looking young since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHAs, as this group of compounds is known, include glycolic, malic, citric, tartaric and lactic acids. You will find Alpha Hydroxy Acid in many foods such as sugar cane, wine grapes, citrus fruits, apples, and sour milk.
Today Alpha Hydroxy Acid is found in products such as facial creams, sunscreen, shampoo, skin lightening products, and products formulated to control acne. They are used in many different concentrations for chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and other facial skin care treatments that are performed in a physician’s or a dermatologist’s office. These facial skin care treatments have much higher Alpha Hydroxy Acid concentrations and are deemed more effective; however, the procedures are also more expensive than self-administered, over-the-counter products (OTC). The OTC products consumers use at home generally contain about 5% concentrations, and never more than 10%.
Benefits of Alpha Hydroxy Acid
The ancient Egyptians knew that alpha hydroxyl acid could reduce wrinkles and fine lines and other visible signs of aging. It can also exfoliate and remove dead and dry skin cells that tend to make the skin appear dull and lifeless, increase the blood flow, and renew the skin’s cells so they are energized. AHA is also used for lightening skin or evening out skin tones. It is often used to address hyperpigmentation or brown spots caused by aging or sun damage. It will reduce blackheads and can help control acne outbreaks.
Skincare products for at home peels contain AHA and are an inexpensive way lightening skin a minimum of effort; however, the low concentrations in the OTC products may provide only limited results, making additional applications necessary. True results may take as long as 6 months to be realized.
If you have a chemical peel or other treatment in a physician’s office, the down time is longer. Skin takes time to heal and it may look like you have experienced a bad sunburn for a few days, but the end results can be amazing. With the higher concentrations used in the doctor’s office, you will see immediate lightening skin with a reduction or disappearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and the effect can last up to five years, making it a good value for the money.