Alpha Hydroxl Acids Benefits Your Skin

Most skin care experts agree that products containing alpha hydroxyl acids are the right choice for the majority of people. These gentle acids, which are derived from fruit and milk sugars, act as an exfoliate to dissolve dirt and remove dead cells so that new skin cells can grow and thrive. Their use dates back thousands of years. In fact, Cleopatra’s famous milk baths contained lactic acid, which is one form of AHA.

Many anti-aging skin products contain AHAs because they help reduce wrinkles, roughness and dryness and they have brightening effects that support even pigmentation. They are also included in many acne products because they provide a gentle but deep cleansing that helps unclog pores.

Studies show that regular use of AHAs can significantly improve the texture of skin and reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles. Look for AHA products that contain glycolic, lactic, citric, malic and tartaric. Glycolic acids are derived from sugar cane and lactic acid is found in milk. Fruit is the primary source for citric, tartaric and malic acids.  

FDA guidelines require that over-the-counter products contain AHA concentrations of less than 10%. Products with higher concentrations require a doctor’s prescription. AHA products are typically used only once a day (usually at bedtime) and in very small amounts. Use them exactly as recommended on the label. If you are using them for the first time, do a “patch” test on a small area of skin to determine if the concentration is right for you.
Individual results from AHA use will be determined by age, skin type and the concentration of the products that are used. Over-the-counter AHAs are available online and in natural health stores and pharmacies. The two major side effects associated with the use of AHAs are skin irritation and increased sensitivity to the sun. People who are using AHA-based products should use plenty of sunscreen, even on cloudy days.   

Because your skin is the biggest organ in the body, it serves as an indicator of overall health. In addition to topical skin care products, good skin requires a healthy diet, sufficient rest and plenty of hydration. Cigarettes, excessive alcohol use and too much sun exposure can take a toll on your skin.

Because beautiful skin starts on the inside many people also take nutritional supplements to keep skin cells strong. Look for supplements that contain vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin A , vitamin C, primrose oil and tea tree oil. Work with your holistic practitioner to develop the natural skin care regimen that best suits your individual needs.

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