Monday, November 4, 2013

Alpha Hydroxy Acids and How They Benefit Your Skin (Skin Care Blog Post)

alpha hydroxy acids in skincare


What are alpha hydroxy acids?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are acids found in the food you eat. In skin care, they improve appearance and heal damaged cells. You often find alpha hydroxy acids in moisturizers, peels and exfoliates. Just turn the bottle over and read the ingredients, you'll see familiar words like AHA, glycolic acid and such.

Common alpha hydroxy acids

There are five common types of alpha hydroxy acids: glycolic acid, citrus acid, lactic acid, malic acid and tartaric acid.

Glycolic Acid, one of the mildest of alpha hydroxy acids, comes from sugar cane. Citrus acid comes from citrus fruits like mangos and oranges; lactic acid comes from sour milk like yogurt; malic acid comes from apples; and tartaric acid comes from grapes.

All acids are natural, and are weak acids with small molecular makeup. In other words, they won't cause harm, but still penetrate into the top layer of your skin and act on the living cells there. (Anything OTC must contain a concentration of less than 10% anyway, per FDA regulation.)

Side note: there are also synthetic AHA's, so please read ingredients carefully when you purchase OTC products.

And how do Alpha Hydroxy Acids benefit your skin?

First of all, these acids are all-natural. They are much better than lab-created chemicals.

More so, though, is how these acids exfoliate. They are known to break down the "cement" that holds cells together -- dead cells included.

According to Journal of Biological Chemistry, when glycolic acid entered the keratinocytes, the predominant cell type in the outer layer of skin, it produced an acidic condition that caused a ph-imbalance in the cell, and activated an ion channel (TRPV3). The open channel then allowed an influx of calcium ions into the cell, overloading and killing it. This, then, stimulates new cells to grow.

Pretty cool, right?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids vs. Beta Hydroxy Acid

You've probably seen both contained in various skincare products. These ingredients sound similar, but are are very different, and have different purposes.

Beta Hydroxy Acid, or salicylic acid, is oil-soluble, and penetrates deep into pores. It's better for treating pimples, black heads and white heads.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids, on the other hand, are water-soluble, and are better for brightening, toning, and appearance-related problems.

Product Recommendation: Botanics Hydrating Night Cream

It's new. I've been using this night cream for a week, and it works.

Besides natural AHA's, the Botanics Hydrating Night Cream also contains plant extract and hibiscus. It lathered on smoothly, and left skin shiny and supple the next morning. Although the acid caused minor redness, I've seen improvement in skin's appearance -- it seems less dull -- within the past week.

You can find this night cream at Target, or on Amazon here

alpha hydroxy acids in skincare
Find it here.

alpha hydroxy acids in skincare
It's creamy, but not sticky.

alpha hydroxy acids in skincare
Lathered on smoothly and felt great on skin.

Thanks for reading!


Again, I'm no skincare professional, and although all information in today's skin care blog post was thoroughly researched, I might have made mistakes.


If you see anything incorrect, please note it in a comment below.


Hope all the information helped.


See you next time.

 Skin Care Blog Post Source:

1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Web MD,

2. Treating Wrinkles with Alpha Hydroxy Acids, 

3. Exfoliate for Bright, Smooth and Radiant Skin 

4. Researchers identify cellular basis for how anti-aging costmetics work

5. How do alpha hydroxy acids work? 



  1. It seems really good and worth. I'd love to try it too. Kisses! xo

  2. Thanks for the review. I am in need of a night cream and will look into this. It sounds interesting. Hope you and your girls are doing well.

  3. Sounds very accurate! I use an AHA/BHA face foam and sometimes an AHA moisturizer, my mother has bought the exact same from the botanics line in boots when we were in Bangkok, she got two backs ups of the night and day version!

  4. Thanks for the review! I gravitate towards anything with AHA/BHA. Does wonders for my skin.

  5. always nice to learn sth new...there is so much information about skincare out there but generally I'm believe that natural can be the best thing for us...and if we do use chemical and more aggressive treatment, we should do it under medical supervision.


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