What do alpha-hydroxy acids do?

There is a lot of information on AHA’s, what they do, what they don’t do.

We were wondering what you would most like to know and we guessed – ‘what can they do for me’ so that is what this blog is about. We will try and help you understand how they work so you can make an informed choice when you start searching for your perfect product.

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

A quick overview – AHAs and BHAs mostly come from natural sources although, with technical advancements, they can be made synthetically – mimicking nature.

  • Glycolic acid –from sugar cane
  • Lactic acid – sour milk
  • Malic acid – apples
  • Citric acid – citrus fruits
  • Tartaric acid – grape wine
  • Mandelic acid – almonds

Should I worry about putting acid on my skin?

The truth is we are surrounded by acid and alkaline substances

The protective barrier on our skin – has a ph of between 5 – 5.5 and is essential to keep skin moisturised and hold water in the skin.

What do Alpha Hydroxy Acids do?

AHA’s have a naturally exfoliating and moisturising effect on the skin.

The stratum corneum is the protective layer on the surface of the skin made up mainly of dead skin cells and keratin – it’s necessary as it protects the skin, but if it’s too thick it can look dull and grey.

AHA’s can penetrate this layer and eat away at the substances that bind skin cells together allowing the dead cells to detach and fall away. They exfoliate more dead skin cells than a physical exfoliant by itself.

They also stimulate skin cell renewal and resurface the skin making it smoother and healthier-looking.  It is also believed that they help stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin giving skin elasticity and suppleness.

The best AHA’s for penetrating are the ones with small molecules – glycolic and lactic acid. Although the larger molecules are accepted as being gentler on the skin because they do not penetrate so deeply.

AHA’s are also humectants (a type of moisturiser) – they draw water into the skin. If your skin is on the dry side AHAs might be more appropriate and if you have problems with clogged pores – spots/acne, BHA’s are likely to be better.

Which AHA products should I choose?

Our first recommendation is to check clinical trials, Independent test results and customer and press reviews before you buy.  Have they proven it works?

You might wonder why you should do this – isn’t it enough that they contain AHAs? Well here’s the tricky bit.

The key to a successful product is actually quite scientific – you need enough AHAs to work but they also respond better at certain PH levels.  So, it is not enough to have a product which contains AHAs – you want to be sure that the lotion or cream you are buying is the right PH and contains the right amount of AHAs to work.  Think of it like this:

% of AHA + Perfect PH level = Efficient and Proven product

Transforming Body Lotion and Alpha Hydroxy Acid, Lactic Acid

At AMELIORATE we want our KP products to exfoliate, soften, smooth and moisturise so we use Lactic Acid. When used at optimum levels at the right PH it delivers all 4 benefits and is proven to smooth the bumps caused by Keratosis Pilaris. We know our Transforming Body Lotion and Cream and Smoothing Body Exfoliant work because we always research our products and share the results with our customers and then the customer reviews speak for themselves.

This product is INCREDIBLE!!!! The tops of my arms and thighs were bumpy and felt horrible to touch no matter how much I exfoliated and moisturised then I discovered this and it’s just fantastic !!!! Worth every penny!!

 Cathy, 15/10/2017

  • Clinically proven to significantly increase moisture levels in the skin for 12+ hours
  • 87% agreed that the appearance of their skin had improved and felt smoother*
  • 97% said their skin felt moisturised*
  • 95% said their skin felt softer*
  • 82% felt AMELIORATE worked faster and more effectively than their normal product*
  • 90% agreed that when applied to their face it left their skin feeling softer, smoother and moisturised***
  • Improved the appearance of bumpy ‘chicken skin’ (Keratosis Pilaris)*
  • Improved the appearance of ingrown hairs**
  • Soften, smoothes and conditions

*Tested on 77 people with rough, dry, bumpy ‘chicken skin’ (Keratosis Pilaris) in a 4 week independent consumer trial

**Tested on 60 people with ingrown hairs in a 2 week independent consumer trial

***Tested on 104 people in a 4 week independent consumer trial

Robert Minshull

Robert Minshull

Writer and expert

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