Alpha Hydroxy Acid: What It Is And Why It’s Great For Your Skin

By: Clara Siew / June 8, 2020
Categories : Skincare

Choosing an acid-based exfoliant that works for your skin can be arduous. How exactly does acid treat skin and what is alpha hydroxy acid? Beauty Insider answers your questions and more!

Why an acid-based exfoliant?

First of all, not only do acid exfoliants help you get rid of dead skin cells, but they also make your skin look younger and smoother. They also promote blood flow and collagen production to improve your skin’s overall health in the long run. On the other hand, physical exfoliants like microbeads and harsh scrubs only work on the surface and can actually damage the texture of your skin. Acid-based exfoliants are way more effective and provide a deeper exfoliation without damaging the texture of your skin.

What is AHA?

AHA is the coined abbreviation for alpha hydroxy acid. It is water-soluble and made from natural substances like sugar cane. It works by peeling away the surface layers of your skin and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Skin looks smoother and brighter almost immediately after use.

Who is AHA for?

AHAs are preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate the skin’s surface and have the added benefit of improving the circulation of moisture throughout all layers of the epidermis. They are also good for those who want to even out their skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and clogged pores. Low-level AHAs are even suitable for people with dry or sensitive skin!

5 AHA Products We Love

Here are some of our favourite AHA-based exfoliants!

1. Juliette Armand AHA Smoothing Cream

This AHA Smoothing Cream has a high concentration of AHA that is able to function not just as an exfoliant, but as a moisturiser too! This facial rejuvenation cream is ideal for all skin types. It restores the skin’s smoothness while maintaining a healthy pH level for the skin. The Aloe Vera present also acts as a cooling agent to soothe the skin during exfoliation.

Buy Now: Juliette Armand AHA Smoothing Cream $108 at Insider Mall.

2. Muldream Vegan Green Mild AHA PHA Ampoule

This power-packed ampoule by Muldream contains a mild form of AHA and PHA to gently exfoliate the skin and boost cell turnover. We love the fact that it’s vegan too! Plus, it’s great for reducing the appearance of large pores and regulating sebum production.

Buy Now: Muldream Vegan Green Mild AHA PHA Ampoule 55ml, $42.50 at Insider Mall.

3. Dr. Glo AHA Clarifier

With a low concentration of glycolic acid, this clarifying toner is suitable even for sensitive skin types. In addition to having a mild AHA, it also contains natural herbal extracts to soothe inflammation and revitalize the skin.

Buy Now: Dr. Glo AHA Clarifier $89.90 at Insider Mall.

4. Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid

This AHA Power Liquid by Cosrx has developed somewhat of a cult following in recent years. That’s because it really truly works! It’s one of the more effective AHA liquids on the market and it’s budget-friendly too! It contains a blend of natural apple fruit water and glycolic acid to eliminate dead skin cells and purge the skin of impurities.

Buy Now: Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid 100ml, $18.50 at Insider Mall.

5. Esse Probiotic Refining Cleanser

Vegan, cruelty-free and organic, this AHA-based cleanser by Esse ticks a lot of awesome boxes! It contains mild levels of citric acid, as well as probiotics, sunflower seed oil and orange peel oil.

Buy Now: Esse Probiotic Refining Cleanser $49 at Insider Mall.