Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring compounds found in fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits and their peel contain an abundance of these natural acids that offer a rich source of nutrients for the body. Some of these fruits and their peels contain beta-carotene, which is responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their orange hue. Beta-carotene is an essential vitamin A that is necessary to maintain good vision and healthy skin. Many fruits and vegetables also contain other nutrients, including fiber and minerals, as well as vitamins A, B, C and E. The peel of many fruits also contains substances that are beneficial to the health of the entire digestive system and can help regulate cholesterol levels. AHAs are commonly used to freshen the breath and flavor of many foods.
AHAs are very effective in treating many common skin problems and can be found in numerous over-the-counter products. However, most people do not understand the full benefits of AHAs or how they can benefit from a topical application. To effectively exfoliate the skin and to bring the face back to its normal or potential state, AHAs must interact with another substance known as coenzyme Q10 (also known as coQ10). Coenzyme Q10 is a larger molecule than AHAs, which means that it must be formulated differently in order to achieve the same results.
When a face is exfoliated, it should be done gently. Exfoliating the skin too hard will result in damaged cells that will not be able to properly shed. On the other hand, if the exfoliation process is done too soft, the face could end up with too soft of a layer. If the face is too dry, it could end up with an overly thin layer of skin. It is best to use a gentle exfoliation product that is designed for the type of skin that the person has.
Perhaps the most commonly used AHAs are those that contain glycolic acid and lactic acid. AHAs containing glycolic acid are usually the more popular ones, although lactic acid is growing in popularity also. The typical glycolic acid exfoliant is considered mild enough that it can be used on normal to dry skin, and it can bring the skin back to a healthy balance of oil production and moisture. Glycolic acid also has the ability to help dead cells and other bacteria shed from the skin so that the pores are less likely to become clogged.
Both glycolic acid and lactic acid are alpha hydroxy acids, but they have different ways of entering the skin. Glycolic acid is quickly absorbed by the skin. On the other hand, lactic acid is slowly worn down by the actions of the body. This makes it a good product for people with oily skin. However, people with dry or sensitive skin should choose alpha hydroxy acids.
Alpha hydroxy acids are a popular product used in salons to exfoliate the skin. They can be purchased commercially, in gels, or in lotions. Any of the lotions or gels containing these acids can be used to get rid of dead cells on the face, or to help get the skin looking younger and smoother. It is best to use the lotion or gel for a period of time to see which results are most desirable. Many salons offer these products as a leave-on conditioner to moisturize after a bath or shower.