What you should know about Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Could you be making your skin more susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun. Studies show that using AHA products is likely to increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun as by up to 50%.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are a group of acids that occur naturally in foods. These acids include glycolic acid commonly found in sugar cane, a citric acid found in citrus fruits and lactic acid found in tomato juice and sour milk. AHAs are often used in cosmetics products to improve skin appearance by exfoliating dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, enhancing skin cell turnover and boosting the ability of the skin to maintain moisture. Though these acids occur in foods, AHAs can also be synthetically manufactured and used in various applications including industrial, cosmetic and medical fields.
The main benefit of Alpha Hydroxy Acidis exfoliating the skin. This is what makes these acids highly effective in improving the skin. By removing the dead skin cell, they encourage the growth of new skin cells giving the user a glowing look.
AHAsare known to stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin which often get depleted with age making them effective in reducing premature ageing of skin and wrinkles. This makes the skin look smooth and even.
Alpha Hydroxy Acidsare also highly effective in treating and managing skin conditions such as acne, fibromyalgia, dry mouth, management of dry skin and reducing pigmentation caused by a condition known as melasma.
The benefits stipulated above have seen an increase in products claiming to contain AHAs over the last 5 years. In the US alone, there are more than 200 products containing AHAs. According to the Food and Drug Administration, only products containing 10%of the acid should be considered safe to use as high concentration of AHA can irritate the skin. Unfortunately, it is quite hard for FDA to monitor and regulate AHA levels in these products.
There are 2 major side effects of using Alpha Hydroxy Acid products. These are sun sensitivity and irritation. Unknown to most people, using products containing AHAsmake your skin more susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun. Studies show that using AHA products is likely to increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun as by up to 50%. Apart from sensitivity, AHA productsare known to cause irritation. Symptoms of skin irritation caused by AHAs products include itching, burning and redness.
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