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:
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.
Feel free to add your recipes for AHA skin care.
Welcome! I'm Stephanie (Jo to close friends), founder of EdenSong. Aside from my university studies, I have a natural passion for all things organic. I enjoy living and learning about natural ways, all things health related, cooking, gardening with herbs and flowers, photography, DIYing, yoga, bicycling, ballet, traveling and being with family and friends. A quirk of mine is my near obsession of Asian culture, particularly Korean history and its language. Would you like to know more? Find out about us.
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