Emma Kate & Co.

Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Understanding AHAs

Much like feminism and Kylie Jenner's lips, AHAs seem to be 'the thing' these days - the bees knees, the cat's pyjamas. And similarly to such crazes, they seem to be causing a lot of confusion. How DOES  the youngest Jenner get her perfect pout? And what does AHA even mean?



AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid. As soon as I hear the word acid, I can't help thinking that maybe it's something I shouldn't be slathering all over my face. However there's no need to fear. In simple terms they're basically chemical exfoliants. This means that instead of scrubbing away at your face until it's red raw, you can use an alpha hydroxy acid. AHAs loosen the bonds on dead skin cells, removing them to reveal the bright healthy skin underneath. 
As a result of this they can reduce acne scarring and other signs of hyper-pigmentation such as sun damage. 

The two most common types of AHAs are:

1) Glycolic 

This is found in sugar canes and is incredibly common in skincare products. It's molecules are the smallest and so are able to penetrate the skin quicker. Pixi Glow Tonic and Alpha H Liquid Gold both contain glycolic acid. 

2) Lactic

Lactic acid is the second most common and is found in sour milk (bit odd I know). This is considered to be slightly gentler than glycolic.

However other types include citric (from citric fruits), malic (from apples) and tartaric (from grapes). 

It is very important to be aware that skin can become irritated from AHAs and so they should only be introduced slowly into your routine. They can also cause sensitivity to the sun. This means that it is essential to protect your skin with an SPF when using such products in order to reduce sun damage. If you don't, you are ultimately doing more bad than good as UV rays account for a whopping 80% of skin ageing.  





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