Men and women have used alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) for centuries to clear, cleanse and exfoliate the skin. In the 1700s ladies of the French court dabbed aged wine on their faces to soften their complexion and remove unwanted spots and blotches. Back even further, in 1560 B.C., physicians used plant, animal and sulfur substances for exfoliation. In 1974 the term “alpha hydroxy acid” was introduced for the treatment of a severe dry skin condition called “ichthyosis.” Newer technology allows doctors and consumers to use these ancient recipes in a stronger but more predictable formulation to benefit the skin.
AHAs occur naturally in foods: citric (citrus fruits), lactic (sour milk), malic (apples), tartaric (fruit and grape wine) and glycolic (sugarcane). Glycolic acid has a small molecular size and is very adaptable for cosmetic use because of its ability to penetrate the skin. AHAs are a true drug/cosmetic hybrid. They provide some superficial effects, such as hydration, but they also change the structure of the skin in the same way a drug would. AHA products slough away layers of dead skin and cause newer skin to appear plumper and younger looking.
At least one study has shown that the continued use of products containing a 25 percent concentration of AHAs can increase collagen production. AHAs also increase the number and quantity of elastin fibers and tighten the superficial skin layers.
Using AHAs makes your skin more sun sensitive, and you must be vigilant about the daily use of sunscreen on your face, winter and summer. Avoid sunbathing even if you use sunscreen. Wear a hat when you plan to be outdoors on a sunny day. If you follow basic skin protection precautions, your skin will not suffer. If for any reason you plan to be outdoors for a lengthy period, discontinue your AHA regimen for two weeks prior to that time.
An effective way to get your “daily dose” of AHA’s is with KenetMD m/POWER WASH. It’s blended with soothing botanicals and a combination of beta and salicylic acid. It’s this kind of evidence-based skin care that will make a noticeable difference.