Everything you need to know about alpha hydroxy acids
The skin-brightening ingredient that could transform your skin.
If you were to compile all your skincare products, chances are at least one of them would contain an alpha hydroxy acid. This active ingredient is one of the most widely studied in skincare, known for its ability to resurface and refine skin, and as one of the most effective exfoliants you can use.
But it’s also quite strong, so knowledge is power when it comes to incorporating it into your skincare routine. That’s why we’ve enlisted endota skin expert and education coordinator Kimberley Conboy to share what alpha hydroxy acids are, how they work, what they do for the skin, and how to use them for luminous results. Keep reading for these insights, and her top endota product recommendations.
So, what exactly are alpha hydroxy acids?
Kimberly explains that alpha hydroxy acids (often referred to as AHAs) are water-soluble molecules usually derived from natural ingredients like fruit, dairy or sugar cane. Their primary focus is to exfoliate, and they do this by melting the intercellular glue that holds our skin cells together, which increases the skin’s shedding process.
endota skin expert and education coordinator Kimberley Conboy explains that hyaluronic acid has a low molecular weight and is able to penetrate even the deepest layers of the skin, activating cellular regeneration in a natural and effective way.
Here, Kimberley breaks down some of the most common AHAs found in skincare.
Derived from sugar cane, glycolic acid is one of the original and most popular AHAs used in topical products.
More gentle than glycolic, lactic acid is also widely used and derives from milk.
Derived from bitter almonds.
Derived from grapes.
Derived from apples and pears.
Derived from citrus fruits.
What benefits do AHAs have on our skin?
AHAs work on the superficial layers of the epidermis, so they’re great for dry, dull and dehydrated complexions, explains Kimberley.
In simple terms, they dissolve the ‘glue’ that holds old cells together allowing them to be exfoliated away, revealing brighter, smoother skin underneath. And while they work quickly for immediate glow, AHAs are an amazing ingredient for anyone who wants to target dullness, pigmentation, fine lines or rough texture in the long term.
What’s the difference between an alpha and a beta hydroxy acid?
If you’ve heard of both alpha and beta hydroxy acids and are thinking, ‘Wait, what’s the difference?’, let us explain. In a nutshell, AHAs work on the outer layers of the skin to brighten and hydrate, while BHAs are oil-soluble and therefore can actively decongest clogged pores.
How can I incorporate AHAs into my routine?
When it comes to AHAs, it’s best to start slowly and build up a tolerance to see optimal results. They are found in a range of products, from cleansers to serums, so what you use will ultimately come down to your skin type, specific skincare concerns and your routine in general.
Here’s some of Kimberley’s top recommendations:
Designed for regular use at home, these AHA-boosted products will ensure your skin remains bright, even and smooth.
This innovative duo works to exfoliate and plump the skin for amazing results in a short timeframe. Step one (Polish) gently buffs and refines the skin through physical exfoliation while step two (Peel) is rich in lactic acid to remove dull surface cells, while firming and plumping.
If you prefer a mild exfoliation, our Glycolic Exfoliating Cleanser contains 15 per cent glycolic and lactic acid, plus jojoba esters to brighten, refine and smooth the skin. Massage the cleanser in for 30 seconds, then rinse for seriously luminous skin.
Breakout-prone skin can also greatly benefit from AHAs, as the ingredient will remove dead cells that can contribute to clogged pores. This Blemish Control Serum is rich in lactic acid and niacinamide, which minimises congestion and brightens the skin beneath, once the blemish has subsided.
Made with glycolic acid and propanediol, this brightening cleanser is an amazing option for dull, lacklustre or bumpy skin. The AHA component will speed up cellular turnover while the lightweight gel texture will leave you comfortable and refreshed.
Complement your at-home routine with a professional treatment option, formulated to visibly transform the skin and amplify results.
Looking to smooth, firm and restore radiance? Our Clinical Peel incorporates healing LED therapy with thorough exfoliation to transform the skin in just one hour. Your endota therapist will even be able to tailor certain steps to align with your complexion goals.
This potent treatment utilises a 15 per cent glycolic acid peel combined with LED therapy to refresh and revitalise the skin’s appearance. You can expect a calmer, brighter, more radiant complexion.
Comprising four 30-minute targeted treatments, our Power Series is amazing for those chasing results in a speedy timeframe. It’s available in a 15 per cent glycolic peel variation, too – amazing for anyone who wants to remove a build-up of dull skin and restore inner glow.
Perfect before a special occasion, this treatment combines the power of LED therapy, a 30 per cent clinical-strength glycolic peel, and the New Age Power Serum Sheet Mask to firm and illuminate tired skin.
Restore balance to both your mind and your skin with the endota Intense Renewal treatment. You’ll enjoy a calming jade stone massage, electro-mesotherapy, LED therapy, a power mask, and an AHA peel for renewed, resilient skin.