The meaning of AHA – Alpha-hydroxy acids

Alpha-hydroxy acids are found in a wide variety of popular cosmetic products, and they continue to be a hot subject on social media. We’re going to look at alpha-hydroxy acids and what they mean for you in this post.

How are alpha-hydroxy acids defined?

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are a class of naturally occurring or synthesized acids that are widely used in cosmetic products.

The meaning of AHA – Alpha-hydroxy acids

Glycolic acid and lactic acid are the most frequently used AHAs in cosmetic products. Citric acid, hydroxycaprylic acid, hydroxycapric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid are additional AHA ingredients found in cosmetics (1,2).

What are AHAs used for?

Cosmetic manufacturers incorporate these ingredients into their products to aid in the reduction of surface wrinkles and fine lines, the improvement of skin tone and texture, the cleansing of pores, and the improvement of skin condition. Additionally, we see AHA-containing products marketed to balance the pH of the skin (1).

Are these components effective?

There is evidence that AHA ingredients can improve the appearance of the skin (1,2). While the ingredients may have the desired effect, it is critical to remember that quantity does not always equal quality.

Utilizing an excessive amount of AHA ingredients (or any ingredient) can be harmful and damaging to the skin. It is critical to adhere to the manufacturer’s suggested use guidelines.

Have they undergone testing?

Unlike many other cosmetic chemicals, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted studies on AHAs to ascertain their safety in terms of enhanced UV sensitivity and skin cell damage (1).

The researchers confirmed that the use of AHA products increases the skin’s sensitivity to UV light damage. They also confirmed, thankfully, that discontinuing product use reverses the sensitivity.

Additionally, the FDA cooperated with the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to determine if there are any long-term harmful effects on skin cancer associated with the use of glycolic acid, one of the most prevalent components in AHA products, and light exposure (i.e., photocarcinogen). Glycolic acid was not determined to be a photocarcinogen by the FDA or NTP (1).

However, as with all things, the dosage makes the poison, so it’s critical to consider the amount of product we use, the frequency with which we use it, and the other components and products we use in conjunction with the AHA-containing goods that may have an effect on the outcome.

What additional information do I require?

It’s critical to remember that your skin’s pH must remain within a certain range to remain healthy and that adding products that alter your skin’s pH level may have negative consequences.

Additionally, products containing AHA ingredients that are administered by licensed medical professionals during medical procedures are distinct from over-the-counter cosmetic products.

It is not recommended to use products with high concentrations of AHA ingredients or with extremely high or extremely low pH levels without consulting a medical professional.

The good news.

As long as you wear sunscreen and other sun protection gear, you can use products containing AHA ingredients safely and confidently. As we enter the bright summer months, learning how to safely use AHA products can help keep our skin healthy and safe throughout the summer.

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