Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

October 4th, 2007 by Tonya Zavasta

Alpha hydroxy acids are seen as the fountain of youth among beauty professionals. This anti-aging treatment offers intense exfoliation. Almost every skin care product boasts that it contains AHAs. Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is an umbrella term for a variety of fruit acids including glycolic, citric, lactic, malic, and tartaric acids, which are derived from fruit and milk sugars and served up in creams and lotions. These acids work much better from the inside when we eat fresh organic produce. AHA will exfoliate your skin. But do not forget that these are acids we’re talking about — too much can cause a burn. Using these acids as a daily product or a chemical peel results in noticeable redness, dryness, and flaking. Many women tolerate these signs as a price for beauty. The price is too high, in my view, and the attained beauty very short-lived. Their  complaints include severe redness, swelling (especially in the area of the eyes), burning, blistering, bleeding, rash, itching, and skin discoloration. An industry-sponsored study found that people who use AHA products have greater sensitivity to the sun, raising the specter of a greater risk of photo-aging and skin cancer.The “positive” results people perceive when using chemical peels are from the swelling and edema they cause. These will diminish wrinkles and make the skin smooth, but the long-term condition of the skin is hurt dramatically because of this deep irritation. AHAs are capable of penetrating the skin barrier. AHA products work in a manner similar to that of chemical peels, increasing cell turnover rate and decreasing the thickness of the outer skin. The degree of this effect depends on the product’s pH level (a measure of acidity), the AHA concentration, and the AHA vehicle cream, as well as how the product is used (frequency of use and where it is applied on the skin). Apart from your manner of use, you have no way to control the process. I like to be in control.One study looked at the effects of glycolic acid on the production of sunburn cells (markers for UV-induced skin damage). The study followed one group who were treated with non-AHA products while another group used the product with AHA. The study found that the people who received an AHA product and applied it to the skin while in the presence of UV radiation experienced twice the cell damage of those who were treated with the non-AHA product during UV radiation. A fruit mask is one ideal way to benefit from AHA with no side effects.Facial brushing is an easier, more natural way to remove dead layers of skin and achieve the exfoliating effect AHA produces. A brush is also the most cost-effective way to rejuvenate your skin. With dry brush exfoliation you are in total control of the process, which allows you to be gentle with and attuned to your skin’s response. New cells grow continually, so if you eat raw foods while using a skincare regimen including dry brushing, your new skin should begin to show results in about three to four weeks.Newcomers to the raw foods lifestyle often assume that related beauty and skin care regimens will prove a hassle, involving exotic ingredients and fussy procedures. Not always! As I’ve shown here, sometimes you can simply brush off your troubles!
More about face brushing read here:
http://www.beautifulonraw.com/Facial_Dry_Brushing_Exfoliate_Your_Face.html 

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