When Was Your Last AHA! Moment?
It’s likely you know that AHAs are something broadly ﾓgoodﾔ for your skin (despite the word ﾓacidﾔ initially throwing you a bit off). But just how good? And what exactly do they do again? I use them at night, only, right?
Today we’re jumping into the world of AHAs, short for Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Their claim to fame is exfoliation, but they actually do a lot more than just that. And some are better at exfoliation than others. Broadly, they can help to firm, hydrate and brighten the look of the skin. They are a true skincare workhorse, that’s why they are so prevalent in advanced formulations. There are a few different types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, the most common being Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid and Citric or Ascorbic Acid, and each has their own special properties.
1. Lactic Acid
This acid is best for those who are new to AHAs or who have very sensitive skin. Be careful though, as Lactic Acid in very high concentrations can be irritating. In lower concentrations, this is a great ingredient for gently exfoliating the skin to reveal new healthy skin cells that refract light and cause that ﾓskin glowﾔ we all know and love. Great for a wide variety of anti-aging concerns as well, but definitely not limited to anti-aging. They work wonders on all skin types but aren’t super helpful for acne-prone skin. Use only at night and ensure you’re protected with a broad spectrum SPF during the day time as Lactic Acid does make your skin more photo-sensitive.
2. Glycolic Acids
This acid is great for someone looking to upgrade from lactic for a bit more advanced anti-aging, or for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. It also does a very nice job of lightening dark spots. Both Glycolic and Lactic Acids can help with skin hydration as they improve the overall function of the skin ﾖ allowing the skin to absorb and retain moisture more effectively.
Use only at night and ensure you’re protected with a broad spectrum SPF during the day time as Glycolic Acid does make your skin more photo-sensitive.
3. Citric/Ascorbic Acid
Ascorbic Acid is often forgotten when we talk about AHAs, but it is, indeed an AHA. Ascorbic acid (i.e. Vitamin C) is best known for it’s ability to brighten and lighten dark spots. It’s also a fantastic anti-oxidant. As we discussed in a previous post, Ascorbic Acid can be really tricky to formulate in skincare, so make sure whatever product you select has a concentration of 10% or higher, a pH of 3.5 or lower, and comes either in powder form or in a lipid based solution in a UV and temperature stabilizing bottle!
What’s cool is that all these acids can actually be combined, as well, for more powerful correction of various skin issues. Miracle 10 recommends a scoop of our Super C with either your AHA Cream (formulated with Lactic acid) or AHA Gel (formulated with Glycolic Acid) for super, duper skin-boosting effects.