Alpha Hydroxy Acid Lotions

Alpha hydroxy acid lotions are known as AHAs and are also available as an alpha hydroxy acid gel.

AHAs are applied topically. This simply means the way to use AHAs is to apply the lotion or gel directly to the skin.

AHAs are wonderful because they are cheap, easy to use, and most importantly, they actually work.

Unlike many of the wrinkle remover cream fairy tales, AHAs are well and truly proven. There is ample scientific research that the unwanted effects of aging can be alleviated with AHAs.

fruit antioxidants

Skincare experts (as opposed to marketing executives) generally acknowledge there are only a couple of true anti-aging ingredients in any genuine wrinkle remover cream - retinol and alpha hydroxy acids.

The medical advice from doctors at MedicineNET is "slather on alpha-hydroxy acids . . . AHAs . . . reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly around the eyes. New evidence shows that in higher concentrations, AHAs may help stimulate collagen production."

AHAs can be glycolic acid, lactic acid, or fruit acids. In nature they are derived from plants or from milk. However, the cosmetic industry usually uses synthetic AHAs.

Discover more about alpha hydroxy acids

What makes alpha hydroxy acid lotions so effective?

The secret to their power is that they are useful exfoliants - they break down the top layer of the skin and reveal brighter and more youthful looking skin underneath.

Usually regular application for a period of 4-6 weeks will make your skin appear younger. The way AHAs work is slow and subtle. They will make discoloration, age spots, fine lines much less visible - not quite the same as invisible.

Alpha hydroxy acid

It is wise to start using AHAs in your twenties, before harsher exfoliants or microdermabrasion become necessary. It will keep your skin cells turning over quickly and encourage smooth, supple skin.

By avoiding sun damage, religiously applying sunscreen, and following an effective skin care regime, it may be possible to continue getting sufficient exfoliant benefit from AHAs well into one's 50s or 60s.

There are no worrying side effects from alpha hydroxy acid lotions. Remember though, the reason AHAs make your skin look glowing and youthful is because they slough off the top surface layer of the skin. This top layer does provide a little bit of sun protection so after exfoliating with AHAs your skin will be more sensitive to the sun. You can easily avoid this increased risk of sun damage by wearing suncreen - something you should always do anyway.

See FDA advice on alpha hydroxy acid lotions

Best alpha hydroxy acid lotion?

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion

The research shows that to be an effective wrinkle remover cream, the AHA concentration must be between 5% and 10%.

It is also suggested you look for a pH between 3 and 4.

It is an added bonus if the product also contains other beneficial ingrediants to support your skin and fight aging. For example, look for water-binding agents, antioxidants, and anti-irritants.

"Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion, Night" is a popular alpha hydroxy acid lotion with perfect profile - a pH of 3.3, and an AHA concentration of 8%. It has no irritating fragrance but plenty of vitamin-based antioxidants. It even gets a tick of approval from "cosmetics cop" Paula Begoun.

Best alpha hydroxy acid gel

Some women prefer gel to lotion - the fact is everyone has different skin and will respond differently.

The silky, spreadable texture of gel can simply feel better than a creamy lotion. Also, some of the gel products have stronger concentrations. This can range all the way up to what is really a home peel.

For example, Dr Jeffrey Dover, the dermatologist who wrote the wonderful skin care bible "The Youth Equation" suggests the Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini-Peel. A lot of women are getting spectacular results with this, although for many it is TOO strong.

How strong you go will depend on skin type and desired results. For some women, using a lotion twice a day will yield double the results. Others may need to only use it every second day if they have very sensitive skin. Remember, the whole point of the AHA is to exfoliate that damaged top layer WITHOUT IRRITATION.

My personal fave is of both the best alpha hydroxy acid gel and lotion is Midnight - Night-time agedefying lotion with glycolic acid. This gives the right combination of brighter and softer skin but is gentle enough to use every night. I found this one through the publicity it got from celebs like Oprah, Demi, and even Angela Lansbury.

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