|What are AHA’s :
AHAs (=Alpha Hydroxy Acids), is an acid that can be both found chemically but also naturally in natural products (especially in many fruits, honey…) helping our skin to exfoliate.
They encourage skin cell turnover, repair, reduce sun spots, helps with hyperpigmentation, blackheads and so much more.
Naturally derived AHAs are gentler than a basic “chemical exfoliation” or even than a “physical exfoliation”.
|Why choose naturally derived AHAs for exfoliation?
Synthetic AHA’s can break down cells that are still healthy. I especially suggest you to stay away from synthetic glycolic acid. Thus, opt for natural based AHAs that will respect your cell’s own process of breaking down.
|Physical exfoliation vs Chemical exfoliation ?
It is when you use grainy substance such as scrubs to physically rub the old skin cells off. Sugar, salt, are the popular ones.
I do not recommend you using grainy formulas as physical exfoliators because can scratch your skin.
You can use Konjac sponge as a gentle physical exfoliator.
In Chemical exfoliations acids are used such as AHAs (which can be found synthetically or naturally), mainly used to get rid of dead skin cells. Strong formulas of chemical exfoliations, “chemical peels”, can be applied by a dermatologist.
Whereas weaker formulas can be found in the marketplace easily.
|How AHA works?
AHA is actually a “chemical exfoliator”.
As we know, exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the upper layer of the skin. This process occurs naturally in a healthy skin. However, this natural process can slow down with age. With age, dead skin layer builds up on the surface of the skin and can lead to clog pores, blackheads, and other skin issues.
Natural AHA helps loosen the inter-cellular fluid and allows the top layer of dead skin to “fall away” easily.
Thus, a glowing healthier looking skin appears on the surface.
However, note that an over-exfoliation can be harmful to the skin.
|Natural Sources of AHA’s :
1) Lactic Acid – from dairy products (milk, yogurt, buttered milk…)
2) Citric Acid – from citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes…)
3) Tartaric Acid – from grapes, passion fruits, berries…
4) Malic Acid – from apples
5) Glycolic Acid – from sugar cane juice, papaya, sour milk, tomatoes and pineapples.
6) Glucnoic Acid – from sugar cane or corn (not recommended, because this known to be the most irritating for the skin)
|1) Lactic Acid
Lactic Acid is mainly found in dairy products (milk, yogurt…) and in some fruits (such as kiwis, papayas…) and vegetables (such as cucumbers…)
Natural Lactic Acid benefits:
– helps with acne
– filled with probiotics (helping skin aging, eczema, acne…)
– has anti-aging and moisturizing properties
|Lactic Acid Mask Recipe
– 1/2 pureed kiwi
– ½ cup of unsweetened organic yogurt
– extra: ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (if you want your skin to be more moisture)
Mix all the ingredients until you have a homogeneous paste. Apply the mixture to your skin and leave it for 10-15 minutes (if you added olive oil you can go up to 30 minutes).
Rinse with warm to cold water and then apply your moisturizer.
-Can be applied weekly
|2) Citric Acid
Citric Acid is mainly found in citruc fruits (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits…).
Citric Acid benefits:
– Citric Acid, more than other AHAs, is especially known for lightening scars and acne spots
|Citric Acid Mask Recipe
– 1/4 cup of pureed organic grapefruit
– 2 cup of unsweetened organic yogurt or full fat organic milk
Mix the ingredients until you have a homogenous mixture. Then apply the mixture to your face and leave it for around 15 minutes.
Rinse it off with warm to cold water and apply your favorite moisturizer.
|3) Tartaric Acid
Tartaric acid can be naturally found in grapes, apples, and strawberries.
Tartaric Acid benefits:
– anti-aging properties
– hydrate the skin
– add a natural skin glow
|Tartaric Acid face mask:
– 2 pureed strawberries
– 4 pureed grapes
Mix the ingredients until you have a homogenous paste. Apply the mask on your face and neck. Let it sit for around 15 minutes. Then rinse it off with warm to cold water.
|4) Malic Acid
Malic Acid is mainly found in apples, but also in some fruits such as grapes, peaches, blackberries, blueberries.
Malic Acid has many benefits:
– anti-aging properties (by promoting collagen production)
– helps with acne and eczema
– helps brightening your skin tone
|Malic Acid face mask:
– ¼ of an apple (puree it)
– 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
-Mix until you have a homogeneous paste. Apply the mask on your face. Leave it for around 15 minutes. Then, rinse it off with warm to cold water. Finally, apply your favorite moisturizer.
|5) Glycolic Acid
Glycolic Acid is mainly derived from sugar canes, and can also be found naturally in honey.
I do not recommend using sugar or other grainy substances because they can scratch your skin.
But you can use raw organic honey as a source of glycolic acid.
P.S: do not use synthetic glycolic acid, because they can break down cells that are still healthy.
Glycolic acid and especially honey can help:
-aging signs (fine lines and wrinkles)
|Glycolic Acid Mask Recipe:
-Apply honey on your face. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse it off with warm to cold water. Then apply your favorite moisturizer to your skin.
This honey mask can be applied daily.
|-All of these masks can be applied 1 a week. Do not over-exfoliate by over-doing them. Especially mask where you use lemon, lime, apple cider vinegar.
The last mask, (honey mask), can be applied daily.
-Always do patch test before introducing a new ingredient in your skincare. Patch test at least before 24h before any decision of use to any ingredient.