What is AHA, what it does for skincare and its side-effects

It may sound like a chemical compound but is highly useful for the skin

AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acids that are a class of chemical compounds that consist of a carboxylic acid substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon. In other terms, AHAs are a group of plant and animal-derived acids that are used in a variety of skincare products. These products include right from daily anti-aging products such as serums, toners, and creams. So AHA can be produced naturally or synthetically.

However, AHAs are well known for their use in the cosmetic industry often found in products that are made for reduction of wrinkles, soften strong defining lines, and improve the overall feel of the skin.

What do alpha-hydroxy acids aka AHA do for the skin?
One needs to understand that the human skin has two main primary components, the avascular epidermis, and the underlying vascular dermis. And the AHA is a group of organic carboxylic compounds that are typically similar to that found in food products like glycolic acid which is found in sugar cane, lactic acid which is found in sour milk, malic acid which is found in apples, citric acid which is found in citrus fruits and tartaric acid which is found in grape wine.  All these are naturally useful for the skin to make it better and glowing.

However, the source of the AHAs in cosmetics is predominantly synthetic or from bacterial or fungal fermentation. But remember for any product, be it the natural fruits or its synthetic form, to be effective on the skin it must penetrate into the skin where it can act on living cells. And glycolic acid, having the smallest molecular size is the greatest bioavailability and easily penetrates the skin.

The use of AHAs is primarily for exfoliation in skincare
The alpha-hydroxy acids are in the natural form or their synthetic helps in promoting collagen and blood flow. The application of products containing AHA also helps in correcting the discoloration that takes place from scars and age spots, it helps in improving the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles, is highly helpful in preventing acne and breakouts, most importantly, it brightens the complexion and increases product absorption to the face.

The usage of products with AHA helps greatly in promoting the natural collagen production on the face and skin in general. Collagen is a protein-rich fiber that helps keep the skin plump, smooth and as you age, these fibers break down. One of the other causes of its lessening is sun damage resulting in sallow and sagging skin.

Back to top button