Ingredient Feature: Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Ready for an AHA Moment?
Many of us lose the radiant glow of youth once we reach a “certain age.”
Which may mean it’s time for an AHA moment.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids, which are increasingly popular ingredients in moisturizers, cleansers, toners and masks. Derived from fruit and milk sugars, these natural acids are credited with reducing the effects of sun damage, or “photoaging,” in effect minimizing wrinkles and fine lines, as well as cleansing and refining pores, exfoliating dead cells and improving the overall condition and appearance of skin.
AHAs are yet one more example that there’s rarely anything new under the sun. Indeed, it’s been said that Cleopatra bathed in sour milk (lactic acid) to improve her complexion. Rinses with apple cider vinegar once brought a glow to the faces of ancient Romans. And those of us with freckles might remember applying fresh-squeezed lemon juice in hopes of evening out our skin tone.
Though it’s tempting to follow the adage, “If you can’t say it, you shouldn’t use it,” alpha hydroxy acids come from readily understandable sources: citric acid (oranges and lemons), glycolic acid (sugar cane), lactic acid (milk), malic acid (apples and pears), and tartaric acid (grapes). Basically, we’re talking fruit salad.
Thymes employs citrus AHAs to help restore vibrancy to skin
At Thymes, we employ citrus AHAs in our new Bergamot Vert collection and in Thymes Essentials AHA Foot Cream to help restore vibrancy to skin. Gently exfoliating, our AHA fruit complex is a smoothing blend of bilberry, sugar cane, sugar maple, orange and lemon extracts, combined with moisturizing shea butter, glycerin and vitamin E.
So how do AHAs work? Mainly as an exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal new skin. With daily use, AHAs are believed to help reverse the visible signs of aging, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin.
One reviewer on Thymes.com had this to say about Thymes Essentials AHA Foot Cream: "This stuff is like heaven on your feet…. [It] made my hard, summer, flip flop feet into soft, winter, sock feet in less than a week. I have tried them all and this is tops!!"
Another called it the "best foot cream in the market," writing: "This product cures even the roughest feet. I am a lotion freak and have purchased from top of the line products to drug store brands and found this brand to be the best by far."
We anticipate a similarly enthusiastic response for our new Bergamot Vert AHA Body Lotion.
The benefits of AHAs are easy to understand; still, it's important to remember the science behind them. Concentrations of AHAs vary in today's skin care products: higher levels (above 10%) require professional application by a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician, while lesser levels (5–8%, at a pH of 3–4) are considered safe for consumer use.
Yet, even at their most mild, AHAs aren't recommended for everyone. Some users report developing an increased sensitivity to the sun's rays. Daily use of sun protection, including hats and lotions with adequate UVA/UVB sunscreens, is a good idea for everyone, no matter the skin type, particularly while using AHA-enhanced skin care products.
To learn more about AHAs and whether they're right for you, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's page on Alpha Hydroxy Acids.
If you'd like to enhance the radiance of your complexion with an AHA formula, try our skin-rejuvenating Bergamot Vert AHA Body Lotion and Thymes Essentials AHA Foot Cream.
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