When it comes to the hierarchy of seasons, fall reigns supreme with its beautiful foliage and near-perfect temperatures, but it can sheet you with seasonal skin issues – in particular, a dull, lackluster complexion. Dry skin, wet and windy elements, and a buildup of dead skin cells can cause your skin to not live
apple-y for all time.
It’s time to break out some winter skin warriors, like alpha hydroxy acids! These natural, fruit-derived stars can transform tired, unhealthy skin into a glowing complexion, gourd-geous complexion that is drop-proof. In this article, we’ll be your guide to what alpha hydroxy acids do for your skin, which acid is best for which skin type, and how to use these beneficial ingredients for your skin.
What are alpha hydroxy acids doing to your face?
How cool is our skin? ! It has the impressive ability to regularly renew itself, shedding dead skin cells to reveal more polished skin underneath. Yet there are still times when we may need to help our wonderful skin, especially as it transitions into the exploits of fall, which can plague us with a dry, dull complexion.
Enter alpha hydroxy acids to your aid! AHAs for short are natural acids derived from fruits that exfoliate your skin at the cellular level, helping it shed dead skin cells that can clog your pores and dull your complexion.
You might not literally see the dead skin peeling off when you use this powerful acid, but it definitely gets the job done. This allows for brighter and clearer skin; increased cell renewal; and deeper penetration of skin care products. AHAs also help clog pores, which can lead to breakouts and acne.
Which alpha hydroxy acid is the best?
The first step in choosing the best acid is to understand what each of these powerful acids do and what skin concerns they target. Although most AHAs tend to be mild, some are stronger than others, which can sometimes lead to irritation or dryness, especially if you have finicky skin. Check out some of the best and most popular AHAs:
Our anti-hyperpigmentation hero, this AHA sets the standard as a powerful ingredient. Helping to slough off dead skin, reduce breakouts, and diminish dark spots, this chemical exfoliator totally gives our skin a super makeover in just one step. Common sources are sugar cane and pineapple.
While it’s true that all AHAs lead to a fresher, brighter complexion, mandelic acid, which is derived from fruits like cherries or almonds, tends to appeal to sensitive skin due to its lighter molecular structure. large, which makes it softer. on the skin because it penetrates more slowly. Acne-prone skin can benefit from its gentle exfoliating and antibacterial properties.
The name gives a bit with this one; citric acid comes from our favorite citrus fruits! It comes with all the AHA benefits of removing dead skin, smoothing skin texture, and reducing breakouts and dark spots. This pungent, pungent acid also has a lot to offer in terms of antioxidants, protection against environmental toxins, and antibacterial properties to help fight acne while exfoliating the skin.
If you’re worried about skin irritation after trying a chemical exfoliant, try lactic acid first. A beautifully brightening acid usually sourced from tomatoes or milk – but also available from vegan sources like beets – it’s one of the mildest AHAs on the market. Look for dramatically improved skin texture, enhanced radiance, and increased skin clarity and firmness with regular use.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it can also ward off the dull skin blues. Malic acid is most commonly derived from, you guessed it, apples, and it’s one of the mildest acids around. Not only is it a great exfoliant, but it’s also particularly high in antioxidants, making it an excellent anti-aging ingredient in skincare products. Just like you might want to add apples to your diet, don’t forget this apple acid for smooth, glowing skin.
Speaking of apples, we have a powerful apple-derived cleanser that works in harmony to unclog and minimize pores, even skin tone, and brighten skin, leaving you with super soft to the touch. Our Apple Enzyme Exfoliating Cleanser reveals glowing skin with our exfoliating cleanser with green apple, licorice, citrus, and 7% acids.
Be sure to pair it with our Apple Enzyme Resurfacing Serum, which is made with skin-brightening licorice, kojic acid from sake (fermented rice), alpha hydroxy acid from sugar, lactic acid beet and fruit enzymes from pineapple, green apple, citrus and papaya. 10% of these radiance-enhancing active ingredients act together for 4 main functions: brighten and even out skin tone; lighten scars and dark spots; accelerates cell turnover to smooth out bumps and scales for super soft, smooth skin; minimize the appearance of pores.
Found in ingredients like sake (fermented rice water) and shiitake mushroom, this acid is one of our favorite ingredients for lightening dark spots and boosting radiance. Although not nearly as potent or active as some of the acids higher up on this list, kojic acid shouldn’t be overlooked in your lightening routine. It’s a safe daytime treatment, featured as a natural by-product in our Fermented Rice Water Serum and Toner.
Found in fermented grapes and grape extracts, this lesser-known AHA offers benefits to fight sun damage. It is most often used in conjunction with other AHAs to increase its effectiveness. Tartaric acid has pH-balancing properties that can help soothe and heal inflammation. It also helps stabilize acidic formulas while maintaining a positive pH level, reducing the risk of skin irritation.
What skin types are alpha hydroxy acids good for?
Now that you have an idea of what most common alpha hydroxy acids do, it’s time to consider your skin type. As you can see, certain skin types like acne or reactive skin are more suited to some AHAs than others. So, let’s take a look at what your skin type says about your AHA of choice.
If you have oily, acne-prone or hyperpigmentation-prone skin, glycolic acid will be your BFF. Due to its small molecular size, it can penetrate deeper into the dermis, helping remove pore-clogging impurities, dark spots, and even fine lines and wrinkles. A trifecta of benefits for the skin!
If you have dry or sensitive skin, you are not left to dry out. You may find that glycolic acid is too much for your skin. If so, have no fear; you have acids to rely on – as in lactic and mandelic acids. Kojic acid will work well with sensitive skin plagued by pesky dark spots. These acids don’t penetrate the skin as deeply – less irritation for the win!
If you have normal to combination skin, citric acid has unique properties and benefits for the skin that your dermis will drink! Since it comes from citrus fruits, you can expect brightening powers that will leave your skin looking radiant. But unlike many other acids, this citrus superstar acid is unique because it also has antioxidant properties that can help fight sun damage and oxidative stress.
Are alpha hydroxy acids like retinol or hyaluronic acid?
In the world of skincare, let’s just say ingredients can be a little confusing, especially if they have multitasking abilities that seem to overlap with other ingredients. Take alpha hydroxy acids: With the word “acid” in them, AHAs can seem intimidating to use, especially if you have very sensitive skin. AHAs also have similar properties to retinol, such as the ability to slough off dead skin cells, but these are two
Some consider retinol to be a chemical exfoliant. Retinol increases cell turnover like AHAs do, but exfoliation is not its primary purpose. Retinol is an anti-aging ingredient meant to support the production of collagen and elastin, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles! Additionally, retinol works its strongest and safest magic while you sleep, whereas some AHAs can be used during the day.
Next comes hyaluronic acid! Although alpha hydroxy acids and hyaluronic acid share the word “acid”, they are indeed different. Of course hyaluronic acid (HA) has become the “pumpkin spice” of skincare to combat all that dryness and dullness, its role is more of a hydration superstar, which means that it binds to water to plump and hydrate your skin. These two acids have different but important benefits for the skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are powerful, natural skincare ingredients that can improve texture and minimize pores to promote cell turnover and restore luminosity. The best part is that these all-star acids are varied – there’s something for every skin type! Take advantage of the product’s improved penetration, which has many benefits for the skin! It’s something your skin will to fall fall in love!