Alpha hydroxy acids are the group of plant and animal derived acids that are used in a variety of skincare products. These products include daily anti-aging creams, serums, toners and also occasional concentrated treatment via chemical peels. Basically, human skin is having two principal components, the vascular epidermis and underlying vascular dermis. So, for a tropical compound to be effective it must pass the epidermal layer and also reach the live cells lying within the dermis. So whatever cosmetic product we are using should have permeability effect through epidermis and dermis of skin. In this article’s main focus will remain on Alpha hydroxy acids and its significance. Lastly, some natural AHA rich masks will also be discussed.
Alpha hydroxy acids are the class of chemical compounds that consist of carboxylic acid which is substituted with a hydroxyl group on adjacent carbon. These can be naturally occurring or synthetic. Alpha hydroxy acids are well known for their use in the cosmetic industry. These are the common components in cosmetics which are used in reduction of wrinkles,softens strong fin lines and often improves the overall appearance of the skin. They are also used as chemical peels. Alpha hydroxy acids commonly used in manufacturing of cosmetic products are typically similar to those found in food products including glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid and tartaric acid which are commonly found in sour milk, apples, citrus fruits and grape wine. Though the source of cosmetic AHA is usually synthetic or from bacterial and fungal fermentations.
Epidermal Effect of Alpha Hydroxy Acids
AHA’s are having a very profound effect on keratinization (keratin is one of the family of fibrous structural proteins which are called scleroproteins). This keratin in cells is responsible for holding moisture in skin and maintaining skin hydration. As AHA affects keratinization it ultimately helps in retaining moisture in skin.
Dermal Effects of Alpha Hydroxy Acids
AHA’s with higher bioavailability tend to show deeper penetration till dermis and show dermal effects. It helps in higher collagen production as well as increases thickness of skin without inflammation. Actually, due to greatest bioavailability AHA’s are very much potent in penetrating the skin most easily.
Effects of Alpha Hydroxy Acids
- It helps in boosting collagen production
- It does correct discoloration of scars and age spots
- Diminish the appearance of surface lines and wrinkles
- Also effective in preventing acne breakouts
- Brightens your complexion
- Regulates required pigmentation and over comes hyperpigmentation
- It increases the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans (a chain of polysaccharides that plays a crucial role in the cell signaling process, including cell proliferation, cell growth, cell adhesion promotion, wound repair and anticoagulation).
Side Effects of AHA’s
- They can accelerate the rate of aging instead of preventing it.
- AHA also causes mild redness, irritation, swelling and itching along with skin discoloration.
- They have the potential of causing irreversible damage to the outermost layer of skin along with creating dead skin patches.
As aforementioned AHAs are having side effects and we want something for our skin that nourishes it and sustains its health instead of making its condition worse. So, thinking deeply about our concerns we can switch towards something which does not have any side effects and also fulfil our purpose. To achieve this, we can definitely try following natural face masks rich in alpha hydroxy acids.
- Lactic Acid – Lactic acid is ideal for acne prone skin and sensitive skin. The main source of lactic acid is from yogurt and fruits like grapes. It is known to have moisturizing and acid balancing properties. Lactic acid is a source of probiotics. You can try yoghurt and grape fruit and yogurt mask. All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of yogurt and juice from two grapefruits and then apply it for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it with warm water and apply something effective to moisturize.
- Tartaric Acid – Tartaric acid is very commonly used as the ingredient in skin care products due to its keratolytic and astringent properties. For making a mask rich in tartaric acid you need things like white wine, banana and raw honey. You just have to mix 2-3 tablespoon of wine into mashed half banana and add honey to it. Remember you have to mix it in a nonmetal bowel. Then you must spread the paste evenly over your neck and face, let it dry. It works by improving overall skin texture and reduces spots giving a very gentle look to skin. After 10-15 minutes rinse the paste with light hands and pat dry your skin.
- Citric Acid – Citric acid is mainly found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and many more. Citric acid is very much beneficial for skin because it has high penetrance into skin making it spotless and reduces coagulation of pores. It also protects your skin against nasty dermatitis and other inflammatory conditions. You can add one teaspoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of cold milk then apply.
- Malic Acid – Malic acid is abundantly found in apples. It is very much capable of reducing aging signs, also helps in reducing acne, brightens the skin tone and most importantly promotes collagen production. You can try applying apple vinegar mixed with lemon juice on your face with a help of round cotton dip. In case you feel any kind of burning sensation then dilute the apple cider with some water.
- Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid are the most effective exfoliators and are frequently added in cosmetic products. This acid is very much effective in regenerating the surface layers of skin. It also helps in lighting the spots due to hyperpigmentation and scar marks. All you have to do is blend the sugar crystals into powder and then mix it with honey and lemon juice. Apply it for 10-15 minutes and then take it off using wet warm cloth. If you feel any kind of burning remove it immediately.
Maintaining youthfulness of skin these days is very difficult but using above natural face masks can greatly help anyone in improving their condition. Moreover, these face masks won’t cause any kind of wrong effects on your skin thus making them easy to use. In case of any query kindly visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com