ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alpha Hydroxy Acid

Updated on September 27, 2007

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's) are a potent tool in anti aging skin care. They help to gradually lift the veil of dead skin cells, revealing a more youthful glowing appearance in its place. Sound like hype? Actually not, AHA's are something we all should consider in our daily skin care regimen.

There are basically five acids that are considered AHA's and commonly used in skin care. These are Citric Acid, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, and Tartaric Acid. Of these, the most commonly used are Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid.

For an Alpha Hydroxy lotion or cream to be effective several rules need to be followed by the formulator. The pH of the product is optimally at 3 to 4. It drops beginning at pH 4.5. Maximum effective concentration rates are 5 to 10 percent. Now, you may not find the pH on your product label, but you may find the concentration. The FDA will not allow more than 10 percent.

The action of any of the AHA's is a simple loosening, or ungluing of the layers of dead skin cells. This allows them to slough off gradually, revealing the healthy complexion below. Getting these dead cells out of the way makes the skin appear retexturized. This diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids have come to the rescue of sun damaged skin by reducing the tell tale mottling. It does take time. But with patience, religious use of high SPF sunblock, and using a good AHA cream, this mottled appearance for most people is much reduced-along with the dryness and rough look.

There are other things to note on AHA's. There is some evidence pointing to AHA stimulating collagen, elastin, and ceramide production in the skin. AHA's are by nature humectants, and generally allow better absorption of moisturizers. All of these promoting healthy skin.

Some people can be sensitive to Alpha Hydroxy Acids. They may experience itching, stinging, burning, redness, pain, and in severe cases even scarring. Individuals with darker pigmentation can be at a higher risk for pigment changing scars. Some slight tingling/stinging is normal for some, and goes away generally within a minute or so after application. Also, it seems for many your skin seems to build a tolerance for it also, mine has, and I no longer get that few seconds of stinging.

Another very important note that cannot be missed is the issue of photosensitivity (sun sensitivity). When using any Hydroxy Acids it is so important to use a good UVA and UVB sunscreen. Some estimate that the skin may have increased sensitivity to the sun by up to 50 percent. So sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. It would not make much sense to be using an anti aging cream only to be increasing your photo aging by not using the sunscreen. Also there is the danger of having a scarring event with a burning sunburn. Just not worth the risk.

Another Hydroxy Acid to consider is Beta Hydroxy Acid. BHA is a good alternative if you are unable to tolerate the AHA's. It also has a number of other properties worth checking out to see which is right for you.

One thing to consider with any of the Hydroxy Acids, the benefits stop as soon as you stop the treatment. There is no lasting effect, eventually you will go back to the state you were in.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)