Cleopatra –  the sole female of the ancient world to rule alone and control the largest territory; she could alleviate a famine, build a fleet, suppress an insurrection…all while rocking her beauty routine – which probably included AHAs!

Alpha Hydroxy Acids, aka AHAs, that are used in cosmetic formulations usually come from food products: glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from apples, lactic acid from sour milk (An Egyptian milk bath anyone?), citric acid from citrus fruits and of course my favorite, tartaric acid from wine.

So how do AHAs work?  They penetrate deep into the dermal layer of skin loosening the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together to that they are more easily released, thus increasing exfoliation of the skin.  Since most people are walking around with about 30 EXTRA layers of dead skin, this helps increase glow and penetration of all those fabulous products you are applying.  Exfoliation not only helps to stimulate faster production of new skin, but it helps to unclog pores which makes AHAs excellent ingredients to help combat breakouts.

Often overlooked are other amazing benefits of AHA such as the increased stimulation of fresh collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are the architecture of our skin making it firm, toned and have that “bounce back” quality of baby skin.  AHAs also act as a humectant drawing water deep into the dermal layers making it plump and moist.

So which AHA works the best?  Each one has their own slightly unique benefits but glycolic acid is preferred due to its small molecular weight.  This mean the molecule can penetrate deeply where it can do its best work.  Stronger glycolic acid peels from 20 to 70%, typically performed once per year where the trend but they can increase inflammation levels of the skin meaning there’s more chances of hyperpigmention and scarring.  These are being replaced with lower level peels (5%-10%) that you do at home more consistently which seems to yield even better results without the injury.  Our favorite DIY is the Garden Spa’T’s Bilberry Satin Smooth that delivers an effective punch of glycolic acid.  This treatment can be mixed with an overnight moisturizer until the skin is conditioned to receive it full strength.

There are also treatments targeted towards specific skin conditions such as the Eminence Exfoliating Peels.  These are swiped on the skin before bed and specifically treat hyperpigmentation, breakouts, aging skin and yes…even sensitive skin!  There really is an AHA for everyone!

So if AHAs are all the holler…why isn’t EVERYONE using them?  Well – we were wondering the same thing!  Perhaps the benefits are just unknown to consumers or they are confused about which type to use, their strengths or applications.  They may also increase sensitivity in the skin, especially during the first three months of use.  A slow ramp up is recommended and of course always wear sun protection.  Also, when using any new product, a patch test (usually on the inner wrist) is always recommended to determine if there is an allergy (as opposed to just a sensitivity).  And of course, if you are already on a topical such as a Vitamin A derivative (Retin-A or retinol), discontinue use and consult your doctor before beginning AHAs.

The characteristics of AHAs make them possibly the #1 active ingredient on the market to reduce acne and wrinkles particularly those caused from sun damage. The result? – glowing, taught, clear, more even toned, soft supple skin…Cleo – eat your heart out!

Cleopatra –  the sole female of the ancient world to rule alone and control the largest territory; she could alleviate a famine, build a fleet, suppress an insurrection…all while rocking her beauty routine – which probably included AHAs!

Alpha Hydroxy Acids, aka AHAs, that are used in cosmetic formulations usually come from food products: glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from apples, lactic acid from sour milk (An Egyptian milk bath anyone?), citric acid from citrus fruits and of course my favorite, tartaric acid from wine.

So how do AHAs work?  They penetrate deep into the dermal layer of skin loosening the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together to that they are more easily released, thus increasing exfoliation of the skin.  Since most people are walking around with about 30 EXTRA layers of dead skin, this helps increase glow and penetration of all those fabulous products you are applying.  Exfoliation not only helps to stimulate faster production of new skin, but it helps to unclog pores which makes AHAs excellent ingredients to help combat breakouts.

Often overlooked are other amazing benefits of AHA such as the increased stimulation of fresh collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are the architecture of our skin making it firm, toned and have that “bounce back” quality of baby skin.  AHAs also act as a humectant drawing water deep into the dermal layers making it plump and moist.

So which AHA works the best?  Each one has their own slightly unique benefits but glycolic acid is preferred due to its small molecular weight.  This mean the molecule can penetrate deeply where it can do its best work.  Stronger glycolic acid peels from 20 to 70%, typically performed once per year where the trend but they can increase inflammation levels of the skin meaning there’s more chances of hyperpigmention and scarring.  These are being replaced with lower level peels (5%-10%) that you do at home more consistently which seems to yield even better results without the injury.  Our favorite DIY is the Garden Spa’T’s Bilberry Satin Smooth that delivers an effective punch of glycolic acid.  This treatment can be mixed with an overnight moisturizer until the skin is conditioned to receive it full strength.

There are also treatments targeted towards specific skin conditions such as the Eminence Exfoliating Peels.  These are swiped on the skin before bed and specifically treat hyperpigmentation, breakouts, aging skin and yes…even sensitive skin!  There really is an AHA for everyone!

So if AHAs are all the holler…why isn’t EVERYONE using them?  Well – we were wondering the same thing!  Perhaps the benefits are just unknown to consumers or they are confused about which type to use, their strengths or applications.  They may also increase sensitivity in the skin, especially during the first three months of use.  A slow ramp up is recommended and of course always wear sun protection.  Also, when using any new product, a patch test (usually on the inner wrist) is always recommended to determine if there is an allergy (as opposed to just a sensitivity).  And of course, if you are already on a topical such as a Vitamin A derivative (Retin-A or retinol), discontinue use and consult your doctor before beginning AHAs.

The characteristics of AHAs make them possibly the #1 active ingredient on the market to reduce acne and wrinkles particularly those caused from sun damage. The result? – glowing, taught, clear, more even toned, soft supple skin…Cleo – eat your heart out!