August 6, 2020

A Simple Break Down of AHA’s

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

AHA’s are natural chemical compounds that occur in fruits, milk, and sugar cane. They exfoliate the skin and get rid of all dead skin cell build up that sits on top of our skin. Gross, I know! AHA’s are known for building a STRONG FOUNDATION for the skin when used right. They come in different molecule sizes and all penetrate the skin differently. AHA’s have been used for YEARS. Ancient Egyptians were known to take sour milk baths which contained lactic acid in order to soften and smooth their skin. When used correctly, it is safe to use AHA’s daily! When using these acids, it is even more imperative for SPF to be added to the client’s skincare routine since using any acids can cause sensitivity to the skin.


  • Fresh refined skin
  • Dead cell build-up – buff out that top layer
  • Stimulate collagen and elastin by getting to the fibroblast cells​​​​​​​
  • Pore size
  • Pigmentation
  • Tone
  • Builds strong foundation and helps strengthen the skin
  • Softens and smooths out the skin

The Family of AHA’s

  • Glycolic Acid – comes from sugar cane (most common acid that is used)
    • Commonly used and has the best track record
    • Since it has the smallest molecular build up, glycolic acid is known to penetrate the skin deeper than the other acids listed which is what makes it the holy grail for most estheticians. WE LOVE GLYCOLIC ACID!
    • The synthetic form is more common since it is easier to stabilize.
    • Glycolic acid can even teach the skin to retain its own natural moisture.
  • Lactic Acid – comes from milk
    • Lactic acid pretty much does all the same things that glycolic does just at a SLOWER rate. The synthetic form is also commonly used since it is easier to stabilize.
    • This is a great addition to your facials and can even be used to soften the skin before a Dermaplaning treatment.
  • Malic Acid – comes from apples
    • You will find that Malic acid is used in many leave-on exfoliants and rinse-off peels.
    • This larger molecule is known to exfoliate the skin but also delivers antioxidants.
    • Malic acid works GREAT when paired with its other teammates. GO TEAM!
  • Tartaric Acid – comes from unripe grapes
    • This is great for dry skin!
    • Filled with antioxidants and great for fine lines and wrinkles.

**Listed by their molecule size from smallest to largest. The smaller the molecule the more it penetrates into the skin.

As you can see, AHA’s offer tons of benefits! They can be used to treat many skin issues such as pigmentation, melasma, acne, rosacea and others. There are several ways to utilize AHA’s and they are a perfect addition to all skincare routines!