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This is your ultimate guide to AHAs and why your skin needs them

AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids are powerful exfoliating agents that will help you get a smooth and radiant skin tone.
Learn what are AHAs and how they help in maintaining and promoting the health of your skin.
Grace Bains Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 03:49 pm IST
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Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a group of plant and animal-derived acids that have various uses for maintaining good skin health. AHAs, when properly formulated, can exfoliate the uppermost layers of skin, to reveal fresher, refined skin that appears smoother, hydrated and visibly firmer.

AHAs are found in a variety of skin care products such as serums and toners that are based on citric acids. These are derived from citrus fruits: glycolic acid from sugarcane, and lactic acid derived from lactose in milk.

These are the different types of AHAs

A common type of AHA is glycolic acid, made from sugarcane plants. Glycolic acid helps with skin exfoliation and its antimicrobial properties help to prevent acne breakouts. Lactic acid is another common AHA, made from lactose in milk and providing anti-aging effects.

Other common types of AHAs are tartaric, made from grape extract that helps to alleviate signs of sun damage and acne. Citric acid, made from citrus fruit extracts helps to neutralize the skin’s pH (power of hydrogen) levels.

AHAs can help exfoliate your skin

AHAs core benefit is to help in exfoliating your skin, and shedding the dead skin cells, thereby promoting the generation of new cells. This property of AHAs helps ward off dead skin cell accumulation and protects your skin from wrinkles, age spots and acne.

Hence, when AHAs exfoliate your skin, dead skin cells are broken down and new skin is generated, making the skin appear brighter and radiant. They help promote collagen production, which is a protein-rich fiber that helps keep your skin smooth.

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AHAs help remove dead skin cells! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
They also have anti-ageing and anti-acne properties

AHAs are also recognised for their anti-aging effects and can help with improvements in overall skin texture. Moreover, the menace of skin discoloration as a result of sun exposure can also be managed by AHSs as they promote skin cell turnover as the new cells generated are evenly pigmented. 

Additionally, so many of us are prone to acne breakout which happens, when skin pores are clogged with a combination of dead skin cells, oil (sebum) and bacteria. Hence, its exfoliating properties can help loosen and remove the dirt, and may reduce the size of enlarged pores. In fact, skin cell turnover from exfoliating glycolic and lactic acids can even reduce acne scars.

Therefore, get ready for a smooth and glowing skin tone; however, ensure that you consult a doctor before using AHA-based products, in case you want to use it on a freshly shaved skin, areas with cuts or burns or if you notice rosacea (redness), psoriasis (bumpy red patches covered with white scales) or eczema (rashes) on your skin.

So, ladies, AHAs can truly give you the skin of your dreams!

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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