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What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids - AHA's

Updated: Sep 5, 2023


Why are AHA's good for the skin
What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA's are a goup of acids occuring naturally in fruits, sugar cane and dairy. In skincare they are usually used as exfolients to remove dead skin cells and help promote a healthy, new cell growth, however, they are not always suitable for darker skin tones.


Mention the word 'acids' on your skin and people are horrified, however, AHA's have become very talked about recently and many high end beauty products now use them in their exclusive ranges instead of the usual dead sea salt, sugar or pumice claiming they are much more gentle and less abrasive on our skin. Cleopatra used AHA's to improve her skin by bathing in milk! So if you are creating high end skincare products perhaps Alpha Hydroxy Acids are the way to go in your range of products.


Types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids


Lactic Acid - present in dairy and fermented vegetables

Glycolic Acid - from sugar cane

Malic Acid - present in apples

Citric Acid - present in citrus fruit

Tartaric Acid - present in grapes

Hydroxycaproic Acid - from Royal Jelly


Although the most common ones are lactic acid and citric acids, all of the AHA's work in a similar way.



Benefits of Alpha Hydroxy Acids


AHA's claim to be far more gentle and less abrasive on the skin than the usual types of body scrubs like dead sea salt, sugar scrubs, pumice or brushes.

Remove rough and flaky skin without causing irritation.

They are used to brighten the skin and reduce dark spots or hyperpigmentation like age spots or damage done by the sun.

Helps to reduce visable signs of aging by boosting collagen production which in turn reduces wrinkles and fine lines. These acids gives the skin structure and elasticity so people using them can see their skin looking plumper. Dermatologists often use AHA's in skin peels as they can reach the deeper layers of skin.

Can help in the treatment of acne, pimples, redness and other skin problems.


How do I use AHA's in my skincare products


Like all ingredients care must be taken if you think you would like to use these 'acids' in your skincare products, especially if you wish to go ahead and sell them. Do your research first and decide if you want them in your products.


For most daily skincare products like cleansers or lotions generally AHA's can be used at 1-2%. Saying that, you wouldn't want to use a cleanser containing AHA's first followed by a lotion that also contained AHA's as this might be to aggressive for your skin and cause redness.


For a more specific treatment or intense treatment like an occasional skin peel or face mask you can use 5-10% AHA's. I would always advice using a good moisturiser to your skin afterwards.


Please do not use any AHA's in ANY baby products.


For all my clients old and new I have started to compile a few skincare recipes using AHA's for you all to make. If you are considering using AHA's but still have reservations or are worried about them in any way you might wish to book a One Hour Zoom Call with me to help you decide.



x Diane - Aroma Natural








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