Knowing Your Ingredients: Hydroxy Acids

What are Hydroxy Acids? I mean, they are everywhere these days. Don’t be scurred, they are a lot more beneficial then they will lead you to believe.

Hydroxy acids are naturally occurring (well, at least they should be) acids that are found in everyday foods you may eat. Acids are basically sugars that are oxidized. Meaning, at some point, the sugar has lost some electrons making it more acidic versus neutral (though sugars are not really neutral). Whatever. Anyway, lets look at some acids:

Sugar Cane -> Glycolic Acid

Milk -> Lactic Acid

Citrus Fruits -> Citric Acid

Apples -> Malic Acid

Willow Bark ->Salicylic Acid

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are the first four on the list in which they really only penetrate the cutaneous (skin) level. Meaning, they penetrate the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and dermis (underlayer of skin). These parts of the skin are more water prone. AHAs are excellent for dry and sensitive skin types, allowing for less drying of the skin. You would think they would dry it out, but they do the exact opposite. AHAs are good for most skin types, but very beneficial to dry and sensitive.

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) is the last one. BHAs are considered to be milder though you usually need less to work versus AHAs in which you use more. Hmmmm… Anyway, BHAs are can penetrate the subcutaneous layer (where blood vessels and fat dwell) primarily because its more fat soluble versus AHAs which are not. But that would make sense, since fruit, sugars and dairy are found in liquid mediums (think orange juice, apple juice, milk, sweetened beverages, which all contain high amounts of water), whereas willow bark is known to be an oil and a natural preservative. For this reason, BHAs are primarily found in acne products because it can get to the layer where acne starts. It also makes sense why its also cautioned when using it because it can enter the blood stream since blood vessels are in the fatty layer.

You can find HA’s, mostly AHAs in everyday products you use. They are popping up everywhere. Ive used them in skin peels (they are awesome, but try to do them in the winter or rainy seasons where the sun is not as strong) and shampoos. They can also be found in foot peels like Babyfoot. Just be careful: AHA’s can be used by (almost) anyone while BHAs cannot. Always read labels. I was able to use AHAs while pregnant while BHAs are strictly prohibited, even when nursing.

So if your scared, try them out. They are a lot better for you than you think. Heres to the #vamplife

One Day, It Will Happen

Tasia B.

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2 thoughts on “Knowing Your Ingredients: Hydroxy Acids

  1. I have found a body lotion with 21% AHA, Alpha Hydrox Silk Wrap Body Lotion and it’s great for winter leaving me smooth all day. I agree with keeping away from the peels during the summer months. I always have mine done during the winter in preparation for warmer months.

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