Why skincare experts are obsessed with AHAs
Beyonce. Glowing, of course. Photo: Getty
From breakouts to pigmentation and pesky fine lines, when it comes to tackling skin concerns, these days, it seems there’s nothing AHAs can’t fix. To find out more, we spoke with skin technician Jessica Tebbutt from Body Utopia Hair and Skin Clinic in Sydney.
What’s an AHA?
"AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids as they’re officially called, are ingredients that are derived from sugar, milk and fruit which include Glycolic, Lactic and Citric acids."
How do they work?
“Kind of like a liquid exfoliant, AHAs help to dissolve the glue-y substance that keeps skin cells together,” says Tebbutt. “Except, unlike a straight-up facial scrub which can scratch the skin, AHAs, in particular glycolic ones, boast a smaller molecular size which means they’re able to sink into the skin more effectively for a deeper exfoliation,” she explains. But their versatility doesn’t end there. “As well as helping to slough away at dead surface cells and prevent congestion, AHAs also work overtime to trigger collagen production to minimise the appearance of fine lines for smoother, more plump-looking skin,” she adds.
What are you tips for beginners?
"The beauty of using an AHA is that you don’t need to revamp your entire skincare routine in order to see results."
“If you’re new to AHAs it’s best to start with a glycolic-based cleanser that you can use every other day until you eventually build up to using it morning and night,” she adds.
Hot Tip: For maximum results, Tebbutt suggests you keep your eyes peeled for a cleanser containing 10-12 per cent glycolic which cancels out the need for using a separate exfoliating product altogether.
Three cleansers to get you started
- Invisible Zinc Cleanser With 12% Glycolic, $35. Perfect for beginners.
2. Priori Advanced AHA Gentle Facial Cleanser with LCA Complex, $80. Great for mature skin.
3. Md formulations Facial Cleansing Gel, $85. It’s a gel, so a little goes a long way.
Some words to the wise…
Although a slight tingling feeling is to be expected from any AHA-based cleanser or lotion, it’s best to do a patch test on your hand before applying the product for the first time. Also, AHAs can make the skin more sensitive to the sun, so it’s vital that you slather on the SPF, even in the winter months.
Are you a fan of a particular AHA-based product?
Do you think they’re worthy of the hype?