A new wave of anti ageing products are harnessing the power of hydroxy acids to keep skin fit, healthy and looking young. But what are they and how do they work? Chris Henry investigates…
Hydroxy acids, with names such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs), Polyhydroxy Bionic Acids and NeoGlucosamine, are appearing on a range of high-quality anti ageing products and cosmeceuticals.
They are a group of natural acids found in foods such as citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), lactic acid (found in milk), malic acid (found in apples), tartaric acid (found in grapes), and others.
It’s been discovered that these ingredients have remarkable, proven effects when used topically on the skin.
These various alpha hydroxy acids are applied to the skin for moisturising and removing dead skin cells, for treating acne and improving the appearance of acne scars, for improving the appearance of photo-aged skin, and firming and smoothing skin.
So what can they do for you? Here’s a short guide…
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
The main benefit of an alpha hydroxy acid is its ability to exfoliate the skin. They essentially remove the “glue” from the upper layer of skin that holds onto the old, dead skin cells. By effectively removing that top layer of skin, the alpha hydroxy acids serve to help new skin grow.
Polyhydroxy acids were discovered to have similar effects as alpha hydroxy acids but often with less side effects – particularly skin irritation. These acids have been found to be compatible with clinically sensitive skin, including rosacea and atopic dermatitis, and can be used after cosmetic procedures.
Polyhydroxy Bionic Acids
The next generation of polyhydroxy acids do a lot more than exfoliate sensitive skin. They are also an antioxidant and will help protect from environmentally damaged ageing.
NeoGlucosamine® is a non-acid amino sugar technology that gently exfoliates the skin to promote cellular turnover, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles, and exfoliates hyper-pigmented spots and acne for a more even skin tone.
You may think acids are something to be avoided; ingredients which are harsh and bad for skin. Next time you’re looking for an effective, proven skin care solution you may want to look at acids in a whole different light and give them a try.