Have you ever wondered about Alpha Hydroxy Acid for Skincare?
We’re here to answer your questions and give you our guide to using AHAs for glowing skin.
What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?
There are several different acids found in skincare products: AHAs, BHAs (like Salicylic Acid), Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Citric Acid, and more. Today, we’ll focus on one of the more ubiquitous skincare acids: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). AHAs are considered a “chemical exfoliant.” Which means that they help remove/exfoliate the upper layers of the skin, without having to use harsh scrubs. Here’s an easy way to think of it: Face scrubs = manual exfoliation. AHAs = chemical exfoliation.
AHAs can be either natural or synthetic; and they help encourage skin cell turnover, revealing fresher, smoother, more hydrated skin. Over time, AHAs help make the skin visibly firmer. For that reason, they should be a staple in your skincare routine, especially for those of us over the age of 30.
At From Molly With Love, we use natural ingredients, so we’ll focus on naturally occurring AHAs, like those found in fruit. For example, our new Glow Juice Vitamin C AHA Toner contains several fruit acids, such as: organic bilberry fruit extract, organic sugar cane extract, organic orange peel extract, organic lemon peel extract, organic cranberry fruit extract, organic white willow bark extract, and more.
These naturally occurring fruit acids dissolve the skin’s cellular glue and exfoliates superficial, dead skin cells for brighter & tighter skin. AHAs can also be effective at reducing photodamage, which make them perfect for mature skin or former sun worshippers.
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Can I use AHAs if I have sensitive skin?
Yes! Even if you have sensitive skin, you can benefit from Alpha-Hydroxy Acid skincare.
According to Ranella Hirsch, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, acids don’t work like retinoids, which repair skin by kick-starting inflammation. AHAs dissolve the upper layer of cells to trigger repair. Unlike with harsh facial scrubs, the skin is not damaged by abrasives material. So if you have sensitive skin, acids are actually the way to go.
Our rule of thumb if you have sensitive skin:
- Don’t use AHAs with retinoids or other more harsh actives. If you use a retinoid cream at night, perhaps use AHAs in the morning, for example.
- Don’t load up with too many AHA products in a single skincare session.
- Wear sunscreen when you use AHAs to help reduce skin sensitivity.
- Don’t over-exfoliate. Stronger AHA treatments like peels or masks should only be done once per week. However, you can use lighter concentrations of AHAs in everyday products without harm. For example, you can use our Glow Juice Vitamin C AHA Toner every day.
Just note: Skincare products containing AHAs may make your skin tingle. That’s good! That means it is working! However, if your skin becomes irritated or begins to hurt, please remove the product immediately.
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DIY AHA Peel Recipe
You can DIY an AHA peel in your own kitchen without having to spend big bucks on a fancy skincare treatment. You likely already have these ingredients in your cupboard.
Mix together in a small bowl:
- 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar (we prefer Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother”)
- 1 tablespoon sugar-free apple sauce
Apply to your face and let sit for 5 – 15 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, 5 minutes will be enough. You should feel your skin tingle during the treatment. Once you’ve let it sit on your skin for the allotted amount of time, wash gently with lukewarm water.
The end result? Your skin will feel smoother than a baby’s bum. Don’t believe us? Try it out for yourself!
This is one of our FAVORITE and most effective DIY skin treatments. Similar peels can cost close to $100 or more!
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From Molly With Love Glow Juice Vitamin C AHA Toner
We just launched our first product with alpha hydroxy acids! The Glow Juice Vitamin C AHA Toner is meant to be used after cleansing as a way to quickly exfoliate the skin and infuse it with antioxidant vitamin c before moving on to serums, moisturizers, oils, or sunscreens.