What’s on a Label?

Search alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) on Google and you will find pages and pages of information. Most agree that alpha hydroxy acids are naturally occurring, nontoxic acids that have been used to help improve the appearance of skin for centuries. Most also agree that alpha hydroxy acids really work! Many do not, however, agree on what percentage of AHA is needed to be an effective skin care ingredient. There is also little or no consensus on how percentages should be expressed. You can find over-the-counter products claiming percentages anywhere from 4% to 50%! Unfortunately, cosmetic labeling can be very misleading. Since AHAs are the cornerstone of the Alpha Skin Care line of products, we want to help clarify some label information and share what you need to know when shopping for an alpha hydroxy acid product.

Here are four pieces of information you should know when reading labels on AHA products.

The Type of AHA

Glycolic acid is the alpha hydroxy acid most commonly used in anti-aging skin care products. Glycolic acid is a natural fruit acid derived from sugar cane. The reason glycolic acid is the AHA used most often in skin care products is that is the smallest AHA molecule. This means that it can more easily get into your skin. It also yields the most dramatic results. For the best results when using an alpha hydroxy acid, look for formulas with glycolic acid.

The Percentage of AHA

For an AHA to be effective, the percentage of AHA should be between 8% and 14%.  A product with less than 8% AHA is little more than a moisturizer. Products that claim to have more than 14% are considered a chemical peel and really should be administered in a dermatologists office. We make AHA products that are 10%, 12% and 14% glycolic AHA. Don’t be fooled by misleading information that suggests an AHA product has 25% or higher. It simply is not true, and if it were, the product would not be safe for you to use.

The AHA Solution

Now you know what percentage is effective but, it is a percentage of what? AHAs are an ingredient that needs a carrier like a cream, lotion or gel. That means that no AHA solution is made up of 100% AHAs. When companies refer to the percentages on labels and packages the percent is usually based on a 70% AHA solution. Here is an example; 8% of a 70% solution is really 5.6% (70 x 8% = 5.6). So an 8% AHA  is really 5.6% of the overall formula. We make a cream, lotion, gel and serum so there is a product for all skin types.

The pH Level

Finally, you should know the importance of pH levels when reading cosmetics labels. To be effective, the pH level for an AHA should be between 3.5 and 4.0. If the pH level that is too low will be too acidic and irritating. A pH level of more than 4.0 is too alkaline to be effective and acts more like a moisturizer. Be wary of alpha hydroxy acid products that do not list the percentage of AHA or pH levels. They could have too little AHA to be effective or may not be properly formulated.

From the beginning in 1992, Alpha Skin Care (formerly Alpha Hydrox) has always put complete information on the box. The type of AHA, the percentage, the solution, and the pH level are featured prominently. We want our consumers to be educated and well-informed about the products that they buy. We believe, that given accurate information, people will make the best buying decision possible and in skin care, the best decision is Alpha Skin Care.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

AHAs and the Sun

 At Alpha Skin Care, we want to help you to make good, well-informed decisions about skin care products and how to use them.  We have found that there a lot of confusion regarding alpha hydroxy acids, commonly known as AHAs and whether or not they increase sun sensitivity. We thought we would take this opportunity to clarify the information.

AHAs are natural exfoliates.  They are derived from natural ingredients like sour milk, grapes and sugar cane.  When used in skin care products, these natural fruit acids loosen the glue-like bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of skin.  If you are not using AHAs as part of your skin care routine the top layer of cells is fairly thick.  This thick layer of dead cells is the body’s natural way of providing protection from the sun.

When you begin using an AHA treatment product, it gradually exfoliates the layer of dead cells from the skin’s surface.  AHAs allow newer, fresher, healthier cells to come to emerge.  That’s a good thing. The newer, healthier cells are what makes your skin look younger and more radiant. Skin feels softer and smoother.  Fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots are less noticeable. As unwanted cells are removed, however, so is your natural protection from the sun.  

AHAs do not make you more sensitive to the sun.  They simply remove the layer of dead cells.  There are ingredients that do make you more sensitive.  For example, retinoids, also known as retinol or Retin-A can cause significant sun sensitivity.  Many people will stop using retinoids in the summer for that very reason.  Although, sun exposure any time of year is equally damaging.

If you are using an alpha hydroxy acids as part of your daily skin care routine you must wear a sunscreen to replace the natural protection that is lost with exfoliation.  Some people think that if you are using AHAs at night, you do not need to wear a sunscreen during the day.  At Alpha Skin Care, we suggest wearing a sunscreen every day year round. We all know that the sun can damage skin and accelerates the aging process. Why take chances when wearing a sunscreen is so easy?  You can still enjoy feeling the sun on your face.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

AHAs – Nature’s Skin Care

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

Alpha hydroxy acids are the corner-stone of Alpha Skin Care line of products. AHAs as they are commonly known, are naturally occurring acids derived from fruit, milk and nuts. Long ago, women took baths in sour milk to soften skin. Cleopatra was said to have used old wine on her face to keep her skin looking youthful, and again generations later with women in France being said to have washed their faces with old wine. In the more modern era, masks made with fruit and yogurt have been on shelves for a few decades. All of these are examples of alpha hydroxy acids being used to improve the look and feel of skin. Six primary sources of alpha hydroxy acids.

What do AHAs do?

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) make skin softer, smoother and younger-looking. They help to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkle and even skin tone and texture.  AHAs improve the appearance of skin in two ways; as an exfoliant and as a moisturizer or humectant, both are essential to effective skin care.

AHAs exfoliate by gently loosening the glue-like bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. Exfoliation stimulates and accelerates cellular rejuvenation by tricking the skin into making new skin cells. Removing dead skin cells sends a message to the body that it needs to produce skin cells allowing newer, healthier cells to come to the surface. AHAs also help support collagen production making skin feel skin plump and firmer. Alpha hydroxy acids help skin look and feel fresh, renewed and glowing.

Getting rid of dead cells helps AHAs to also act as a humectant. Moisture penetrates the skin better and binds more moisture together for a longer period. Skin that is well hydrated and full of moisture is fuller, softer and more elastic. Lines and wrinkles are smoother and less noticeable.

In 1992, Alpha Skin Care (formerly known as Alpha Hydrox) was the first skin care manufacturer to make alpha hydroxy acid products available to all. 27 years later, millions of women have used our AHA products and now you know why as well. Alpha hydroxy acids are natural ingredients, readily available, safe to use and they really work. If you want softer, smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin, try Alpha Skin Care.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.

Exfoliate the Right Way

At Alpha Skin Care, we know that winter can make caring for your skin extra tough.

No matter how many cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens you are using, if you are not exfoliating, your skin is not getting the most out of your skin care routine. Exfoliation is simply the removal of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. Removing these cells in turn increases cell renewal and polishes the surface of your skin. Without regular exfoliation even the most beautiful skin will not show its true vibrancy.

Many people turn to harsh abrasive scrubs or loofahs to exfoliate their skin, but this can do more damage than good, especially in the winter months. It is possible to over-exfoliate, so scrubbing and rubbing already dry-irritated winter skin only causes more of the same. A gentler option that is perfect for every season is a light chemical exfoliant.

Alpha hydroxy acids or “AHAs” are one of our cornerstone ingredients at Alpha Skin Care. We offer multiple products with AHAs for every skin type – in gels, serums, creams, and lotions. Choosing an AHA product for exfoliation rather than a harsh scrub or loofah will be much more gentle on your skin, and even more effective.

Some of the benefits of AHA exfoliation include:

  • Increased Cell Renewal
  • Smoother, Softer, & Brighter Skin
  • Increased Collagen Formation & Skin Thickness
  • Treating Acne, Dry Skin, & Clogged Pores
  • Fewer Wrinkles & Lines
  • Treating Hyperpigmentation & Irregular Pigmentation
  • Increased Effectiveness with Other Skin Products

The older we get, the slower our bodies shed skin cells and generate new ones; consequently, exfoliation becomes increasingly important. Try an AHA exfoliant from Alpha Skin Care today! To ensure the most effective results be sure to follow the instructions on the package.

For more information on Alpha Skin Care visit our website.