Using an acid on your face sounds scary – it sounds harsh and destructive. But actually, there’s a set of naturally occurring acids that are ridiculously effective for your skin and are also super gentle. Today we’re looking at alpha hydroxy acids, fondly known as AHA’s, and they are sensitive skin-friendly acids that help accelerate skin cell renewal to brighten, sweep away dead skin cells and smooth the skin’s surface. We love this ingredient as it’s a gentle way to exfoliate without viciously scrubbing at the face, and it also means we’re showing off new, fresh skin after every use with no redness. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us.
AHA’s typically work best as leave on product as the acids take time to activate and eat away the dead skin cells. To avoid irritation, we love to use them in face masks and to leave them on for 15 minutes to allow the acids to work their magic before rinsing. Forget your make up highlighter, it shocks us every time how immediately effective using them on your face is for that instant glow.
Lactic acid and citric acid are examples of AHA’s that are super easy to find. Lactic acid is naturally found in dairy products like yogurt and milk, which is why we love to use these ingredients in many of our face masks (like our Avocado, Honey and Yogurt Face Mask) as it’s a guaranteed skin brightener. We also love citrus ingredients in our face masks for this very reason – see, there is a method to our madness! See our Kiwi and Orange Face Mask, which is also rich in Vitamin C and moisturising Sweet Almond OIl. Pai’s Copaiba Deep Cleanse Face Mask is also rich in AHA’s and is a great deep cleansing, nourishing face mask.
We hate to be nagging Nancy’s but just a word of warning: because AHA’s remove the top layer of the skin, your skin’s sensitivity to the sun will increase during the 12 hours post using the product, increasing the chances of sunburn. So make sure to limit sun exposure and wear your SPF! There’s no point in showing off young, fresh new skin to immediately damage it with the sun’s harmful rays.
Stay tuned for part two where we look at BHA’s, AHA’s friendly neighbour.
– Dominika Minarovic