Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) have continued to grow in popularity over the last twenty years for their beneficial and quickly noticeable effects on the skin. They have caused quite a stir in the beauty and cosmetic world.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are found in many high-end, over the counter, anti-ageing skincare lines. They are frequently used by Spa and Salon owners for their ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Even scars can be made less noticeable as AHA’s improve the texture and look of the skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are also highly effective in improving blemishes, as well as rough and dry skin.
Aromantic are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of cosmetic ingredients. We carefully select the natural skincare products we sell ensuring they are ethically sourced, high-quality, and not derived from animals. Shop our wide range ofbeauty products including AHA’s.
What are AHA’s?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are acids that naturally occur in plants and have been used for thousands of years to rejuvenate skin and to treat skin blemishes. They give skin a 'fresher' and softer appearance. It is said that Cleopatra regularly bathed in sour milk (lactic acid) to improve the appearance of her skin.
The Best AHA Skincare Ingredients:
When used in creams, lotions and gels, the naturally occurring acids provide wonderful benefits for the skin.Some of the best Alpha Hydroxy Acids for skincare are:
- Lactic Acid - Acts as a natural exfoliant, removing dead cells from the surface of the skin as well as being a high effective moisturiser. Although commonly derived from Milk, a plant based, non-dairy Lactic Acid for skin can be purchased online from Aromantic.
- Glycolic Acid – Is a natural AHA derived from sugar cane and fruits. Glycolic Acid benefits the skin by softening it immediately.
- Citric Acid – Sourced from citrus fruits, makes an excellent choice to use in AHA skincare as it supports the function of collagen in the skin.
- Malic Acid – Is found naturally occurring in apples. It helps to boost the skin's elasticity making it a useful Alpha Hydroxy Acid to include in homemade skincare and cosmetics.
- Tartaric Acid – Can be found in grapes and citrus fruits. Helping to improve the skin’s flexibility, it is another cosmetic ingredient often used in AHA skincare.
AHA Natural Fruit Extract, is a powerful combination of all 5 of these AHA’s. It is a concentrated liquid blend which can be included in a wide range of professional and DIY skincare products.
How Do AHA’s Work?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids help to exfoliate and stimulate the production of new skin cells. They are incredibly effective at removing dead skin cells and preparing skin for a younger-looking complexion.
They have the ability to penetrate the outermost layer of the skin and penetrate the dermis, or deeper layers of the skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acids cause the outer layers of the dermis to become loose and effectively "unglue" the outer cells so that they fall off. This causes the skin to look more rejuvenated and look less dull and rough.
The Benefits of using Alpha Hydroxy Acids:
The most common benefits people notice from using Alpha Hydroxy Acids in their skincare routine are:
- Removing dead skin cells from the skin, with dry and flaky skin being noticeably improved.
- Renewal of skin cells and improved flexibility and suppleness of the skin.
- Causing the skin to become smoother, look younger, and appear more radiant.
- Improving the appearance of blemish prone skin, including improving the appearance of pockmarks.
How Much AHA Should I Use?
As with all skincare ingredients, it is important that Alpha Hydroxy Acids are used correctly. Always follow the instructions provided by your cosmetic supplier.
- Generally, AHA’s can be used at 1% to 2% for daily products.
ThisExfoliating Cream Cleanser, and thisDaily Body Lotion can be used every day. Although not together as this would simply be too much for your skin. If you have sensitive skin, then try using them at night so any reddening of the skin is not noticeable.
It is best not to use AHA skincare products in combination with exfoliating scrubs, as that may be too aggressive for your skin. Slow and gentle use will give you the best results.
- For more intensive or specific treatments, you can use AHA’s at 5% to 10%.
To protect the skin, products containing a higher level of AHA’s should only be used once a week. ThisRinse Off Peeling Gel gives good results when applied to the skin for 5 minutes, then simply rinsed off.
It is recommended that you apply a moisturiser afterwards. Ready-madeBase Creams from Aromantic are ideal for this and will leave the skin well cared for. Alternatively, you could use aRegenerative Serum, knowing that it will be absorbed very well into your skin.
Using AHA Natural Fruit Extract in Homemade Skin Creams, Lotions and Face Masks
When creating your own DIY skin creams and lotions with AHA Natural Fruit Extract it should be used in Stage 3 (cool down stage), as it is not heat stable. Being water-soluble means it cannot be used in oil-only products.
Adding higher amounts of an acidic material can sometimes make a cream or lotion runnier. If this happens it is advisable to check that the pH of the finished product, to ensure it is still safe to use on the skin and compatible with the preservative you have used. The pH should be between 4-5.
It is usually best to combine AHA Natural Fruit Extract with other ingredients that are calming and soothing to the skin, likeRoman Chamomile andLavender essential oils, as well asAllantoin Powder. Although, when used in a rinse off product like a face mask, it may not be worthwhile to combine with other materials that are more beneficial when left on the skin.
We recommend storing AHA Natural Fruit Extract in the fridge when it is not in use.
Try creating your own AHA skincare using AHA Natural Fruit Extract with this recipe for anExfoliating Toner.
Caring for Your Skin When Using AHA’s?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are generally safe to use in everyday skincare products, but if used incorrectly and in very high concentrations, they have the potential to cause irritation or even damage to the skin. Take care not to use these products around the eye area or on broken skin. Neither should they be used on young children or babies. Under no circumstance should anyone use AHA’s neat on their skin!
When Should I Use AHA’s?
When used regularly and at the correct percentage, Alpha Hydroxy Acids products will quickly become a mainstay of your skincare regime.
During the summer months, tans can start to look faded and dull. AHA products will brighten up and refresh your skin. Then, during the winter months, skin can appear dull and lifeless, again, regular use of AHA’s (at the safe percentage) will add luminescence to the skin.
If you get ashen skin on your legs, use an exfoliating toner containing an Alpha Hydroxy Acid on a cotton pad to swipe the dead skin cells away, revealing healthier looking skin.
When applying regenerative serums to your skin, if the dead skin cells on the surface have been removed with an AHA product, your serum will penetrate better and have a greater effect on the fresh skin.
You might also be interested in reading abouthow to exfoliate your skin naturally. Learn about the benefits of exfoliation and our recommendations for the best natural skin exfoliators.