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What Is AHA In Skincare

Aug. 18, 2022

What is AHA

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) are the first generation of hydroxy acids, mainly used for non-sensitive skin, and can exert anti-aging effects on all levels of the skin, including superficial release peeling and dermal remodeling effects.


AHA is a group of acids naturally present in fruits and foods, so it is also called fruit acid.

What Is AHA In Skincare

The role of AHA

Anti-dandruff effect

Salicylic acid is currently used in the treatment of plaque psoriasis and scaling. Whereas salicylic acid can induce dermal thinning and exacerbate glucocorticoid-induced skin atrophy, AHA can increase dermal biosynthesis and antagonize glucocorticoid-induced dermal thinning. Both AHA and BHA products are used twice daily. AHA is well tolerated. AHA is an effective anti-dandruff agent and is preferred over salicylic acid when it is necessary to antagonize dermal thinning caused by topical glucocorticoids.

keratolytic (relaxation) action

Glycolic acid can accelerate desquamation and exfoliation of dansyl chloride-stained skin. AHA can also improve peptide barrier function by increasing ceramides in the stratum corneum.

Anti-aging effect

AHAs have commonly used as exfoliants, but their benefits are not limited to exfoliation. AHA (Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid) has been shown to increase the synthesis of dermal GAG and collagen fibers, improving the quality of elastic fibers. Both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that glycolic acid can promote the proliferation of fibroblast m cells and stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen protein, and can also indirectly induce collagen synthesis. Stimulation of epidermal keratinocytes with hydroxyseric acid to produce cytokines and exposure of skin fibroblasts to these cytokines increases collagen synthesis in fibroblasts. An increase in the composition of the dermal matrix results in firmer, plumper skin and reduced fine lines and wrinkles.

What Is AHA In Skincare

Effects on melanosis

Histologically, AHA reduces melanin aggregation in the epidermis. Numerous in vitro and human clinical studies support this set of results, and AHA-containing formulations can reduce melanin production, or promote a more even skin tone.


Superficial keratolytic action (superficial peeling application)

Lactic acid and glycolic acid are commonly used in superficial peels (superficial peels) among AHAs. Compared with other chemical peels, trichloroacetic acid and salicylic acid, AHA has great advantages as a peeling agent.


As a superficial peel, AHA is safe and effective for all skin types and most conditions. High concentrations (up to 70%) of free AHA peels that do not adjust pH can be quickly and briefly (less than 5 minutes) applied to skin exfoliation to accelerate the renewal of epidermis and dermis These high-intensity AHA peels require a doctor's office Topical treatment for multiple skin types, anti-aging and smooth rejuvenation.


Medium-strength AHA peels (eg, up to 7% strength) for cosmetic use in spas and salons,


The concentration and pH of household AHA peels are generally 3%.

What Is AHA In Skincare

Inflammatory rosacea improves after AHA9 peel

What Is AHA In Skincare

Reduced acne inflammation and hyperpigmentation after 6 AHA peels

What Is AHA In Skincare

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