We constantly think how to achieve more radiant, youthful skin. There is no magic to it – it starts with a consistent at home skincare regiment. The first step is cleansing and exfoliating. Exfoliating ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids, AHA, are powerful yet gentle skin exfoliants. Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding AHA to your skincare routine.
What is AHA?
AHA, also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids, is a class of chemical compounds that has commonly been used in cosmetic products as a chemical exfoliant since 1992. Generally speaking, AHA ingredients are used for the purpose of brightening dull, lacklustre-looking skin, improving skin texture, clearing pore congestion, and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. The way any acidic exfoliator works is by gently dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells, making it easier to remove them.
There are a few types of AHAs, such as glycolic acid, which is usually derived from sugar cane, and lactic acid, which is a chemical by-product of anaerobic respiration – the substance that gives the body muscle burn. Citric acid, which is extracted from oranges and lemons, is another popular acid used in skincare products.
How to use AHA containing products?
Like any other acid, the use of AHAs depends on the concentration and the measurement of the acidity or basicity of the substance – pH. The lower the value of pH is, the more acidic the solution is in nature. It has been decided that AHA ingredients are safe for at-home use in skincare products when formulated at lower concentrations (30% maximum) and controlled pH.
MZ Skin Radiance & Renewal Instant Clarity Refining Mask contains 10% Alpha Hydroxy complex, which aims to deeply exfoliate, stimulate cell turnover, as well as even out skin tone. Lactic acid in particular is used to treat hyperpigmentation and reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles. It is one of the mildest acids suitable for sensitive skin. For best results, apply generously onto clean face, neck and décolleté, leave for 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly with warm water. It is a more intense peel treatment that is recommended to use no more than twice a week.
Who is AHA suitable for?
AHA is mostly suitable for normal to dry skin types since it targets removing the outer layer of dry, dead skin cells and make the skin look brightened and feel softer.
Nonetheless, for oily skin type AHA products can be especially beneficial when included in cleansers because gentle exfoliation can loosen the upper layers of dead skin cells without irritating the skin. AHA is especially effective for treating acne scars and help soothe inflammation. AHA is also suitable for dryer, more mature skin types because it gentle and hydrating at the same time.
For a daily, light exfoliation, we recommend MZ Skin Cleanse & Clarify Dual Action Cleanser and Mask. It contains highly effective blend of AHAs that helps gently exfoliate, refine pores and boost cell renewal without overly stripping the skin. As a cleanser, massage onto the face and neck to remove make-up and debris; rinse thoroughly. As a night-time mask, apply a thin layer of the product over face, neck and décolleté and leave for 10 minutes for a mild peel; rinse thoroughly. Suitable for all skin types.
The trick to any skincare acid is cautiously experiment and see what concentration and pH works best for your particular skin type. Important to note: the exfoliating effect of AHA could possibly make the skin more sensitive to UV rays so we recommend using effective high-SPF sunscreen for extra protection. AHA products are safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.