Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are derived from fruit and milk sugars.They work mainly as an exfoliant by causing the dead skin cells of the epidermis to slough off and allowing regrowth of new skin cells.By exfoliating, AHAs help stimulate production of collagen and elastin, which in turn can improve wrinkling, roughness and mottled pigmentation.Generally speaking, AHAs in skin care products work best at concentrations between 5% to 8% and at pH levels of 3 to 4.At this time cosmetic manufacturers are not required to provide concentration information on labels. If the AHA ingredient is listed as the third or fourth ingredient on the label, it more likely contains the proper concentration.The only way to know the pH of a product is to test it with a pH strip.
Here are the 5 major types of alpha hydroxy acids found in skin-care products and their sources:
glycolic acid - sugar cane
lactic acid - milk
malic acid - apples and pears
citric acid - oranges and lemons
tartaric acid - grapes
When you choose AHA products, whether they are moisturizers, cleansers, eye cream, sunscreen, or foundations, pick one product that has AHA as your exfoliant, then select other skin care products or cosmetics that don’t contain AHAs to reduce the possibility of skin irritation.AHAs in a moisturizer base may be the best choice.Cleansers with AHAs are as effective because AHA must be absorbed into the skin to be effective.Sunscreens with AHAs are not stable at the pH required to make AHA work successfully.It is recommended that sunscreen be applied liberally when using an AHA product to avoid sun damage. It should contain zinc oxide and have an SPF of at least 15 for UVA and UVB protection. As a single ingredient, zinc oxide is the broadest range sunscreen on the market with a long history of safe use. It is not irritating and compatible with sensitive skin.
Applesauce Face Mask
This at-home remedy works especially well for oily skin. Oily skin is caused by over-active glands, which produce too much sebum. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands. It is necessary as it helps lubricate your skin and carries away dead skin cells. When the skin is oily, too much sebum is being produced. The skin becomes dull and greasy and pores may become clogged. Fruit acid masks are very effective in oily skin care. They remove the excess oil and dead skin cells, without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
You will need one apple cut into quarters plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon dried herbs for oily skin, such as parsley, sage or rosemary -- or use other preferred herbs. The lemon juice will act as astringent, helping tighten large pores and brighten the face, while the malic acid from the apple will exfoliate your skin, sloughing off dead skin cells to make way for new skin.
Heat the apple in a pot of water until it softens enough to mash the pulp.Remove apple from pot and mash.Strain liquid and set aside.Discard the pulp. Add the lemon juice and herb to the liquid. Mix well. Apply the mixture to your face.Wait 5 to 15 minutes. Rinse off the mask and apply a moisturizer to the face.
Aside from her university studies in nutrition and sciences, and over three decades of formulation research and experience, Stephanie Rountree, the company founder of EdenSong Essentials, has an additional background in legal research, contracting, editing, technical writing,development of handbooks, screenplays, fictional and non-fictional.
Stephanie's other interests and passions include photography, gardening, yoga, ballet, mosaics, music, and Asian culture, to name a few. She especially enjoys taking photographs of landscapes, flowers, herbs, as well as unique architectural structures.
In this blog, Stephanie will discuss and share her biggest passion, raw edible natural organic skin care and other artistic topics. She invites your questions and comments.
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