What Are Alpha Hydroxy Acids: What They Do And Why You Want Them In Your Skin Care

With all the rave around the beauty benefits of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, what are alpha hydroxy acids? In this post, we will break down what AHA'a are and why you want them in your skin care. Knowing what’s in your skincare can make the difference between restoring your skin to its natural, healthy glow or tanking your skin to a wasteland of dead skin cells and irritation. Don’t just read the buzz words on the label, learn about what you’re putting on your face and you can bring your skin back to life. 



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Mama's Little Helpers

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are some of the most beneficial ingredients in skin care. Alpha Hydroxy Acids, or AHAs, are chemical compounds derived from both plants and animals that are used in a plethora of skincare products. There has been extensive research on AHAs, including by the FDA, that support the power, efficacy, and safety of their use in skincare products. AHAs have been in skincare for centuries, and may even be a cornerstone of skincare history. Exfoliating and facial peels have been traced back to ancient Egypt where it’s believed they used acidic face masks and minerals to clear dead, rough skin. AHAs unearth new, fresh skin cells which leads to a more even facial tone, a natural glow, and a softer skin surface. There are a few AHAs commonly found in skincare: citric acid, glycolic acid, hydroxy caproic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. The two most popular, and most-researched, are derived from organic sugars and milk. Glycolic acid is found in organic sugar cane, while lactic acid is found in milk. Glycolic and lactic acids are less likely to cause irritation on your skin and have shown the most benefits when studied. You probably have heard of lactic acid before because it’s also naturally occurring in our bodies! If your muscles are overworked or tightened, you can get lactic acid build-up that you usually need to massage and balance out.

Restore + Repair Your Skin Naturally

AHAs are used in skincare products for a variety of reasons but ultimately are used to restore and repair your skin. Products that contain these different AHAs can be used for chemical peels, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, evening skin texture and tone, correcting the pH of your skin, and cleansing blocked up pores. Although they’re most known for being a key ingredient in chemical peels, AHAs can be used in lower dosages for gentle exfoliation and rejuvenation. AHAs dissolve the lipids (fat) in your skin cells and can separate the dead and dull from the new and fresh. The only major caution with using AHAs is that it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun (due to its exfoliating nature). But, there’s nothing wrong with adding more SPF into your routine! We all need more SPF, but that’s for another day. As another caution, you probably shouldn’t pair an AHA-based product with retinoids. It would be like attacking your skin with exfoliation and sandpaper and can lead to irritation, redness, flaking, and peeling. 


Glycolic Acid

Although glycolic acid is often used for smoothing skin, our formulations are created with lactic acid to reduce the intensity level on your skin. AHAs are active ingredients and are often applied and left on for a certain amount of time for their effect to take place. Not only can lactic acid be more gentle on your skin, but lactic acid has a variety of its own unique benefits. Lactic acid is one of the top two most researched AHAs that has proven to be one of the most beneficial AHAs in skin care. It’s known for balancing the pH of your skin, which is extremely important not only in anti-aging but also the health of your skin’s microbiome. Lactic acid is both an exfoliant and a humectant. A humectant is a substance that forms hydrogen bonds with water molecules. Essentially, this bonding moisturizes the skin by attracting moisture like a magnet. Not only this, but it’s packed with probiotics. Basically, it’s a moisturizer and exfoliant in one - which is a pretty damn good bargain. 

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Goats Milk + Goats Kefir Contain Naturally Occurring Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Two of the animal byproducts that have a high content of lactic acid are Goats Milk and Kefir, which is one of the many reasons we use them to formulate our products. Goats Milk & Kefir are naturally packed with AHAs. The potency of AHAs in your skin care comes from the concentration of acid in the product you’re using. For our formulas, we don’t need to worry about adding in the correct amount, or over adding, because AHAs are naturally occurring in our basic ingredients. If you use a product that has too many concentrated AHAs, your skin can experience a burning sensation and become irritated and inflamed. It can also cause increased sensitivity to the sun and a higher likelihood of sunburns. Using our MOONMAG skincare, we want you to feel something happening on your skin without being in pain or irritated. We use just enough lactic acid from Goats Milk & Kefir to cleanse out dead cells and turnover new, healthy cells without causing any peeling or flaking on your skin. Since we’re not creating chemical peels we use lactic acid in our creams, cleansing milks, lotions, scrubs, deodorants, and soaps for a gentle, but effective rejuvenation. Due to its mildness, you can use lactic acid all over your body and face. 


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TIPs When Using Alpha Hydroxy Acid Skin Care

If it’s your first time using a MOONMAG skincare product, you could experience some initial tingling or redness. This is completely normal and should go away after a few minutes. It means that the lactic acid is doing its job, as well as the magnesium oil found in our creams and lotions. Before applying one of our lotions or scrubs on your whole body or face, spot check on your neck or arm to test the sensitivity of your skin to AHAs. In MOONMAG's Crater Face Coffee Scrub and MOON Masks, you may experience additional redness as the coffee grounds and clay blend combinations can increase blood flow to the surface. MOONMAG skincare products are designed to leave you with minimized wrinkles and fine lines, a smooth, even skin tone and texture, and glowy, healthy skin. AHAs are a necessity that makes MOONMAG skin care miraculous! You can learn all about MOONMAG SkinCare Products in our Ultimate Guide To Natural Beauty.

To browse our Goat Milk & Kefir facial products, check out this collection.