Since their introduction to the Cosmetic Industry in the early nineties, alpha hydroxy acids have taken skin care to new heights. Finally, here was something that could do what was promised, something that could actually improve the skin instead of just temporarily affecting the way it looked. This web page will provide you with all the information on alpha hydroxy acids you need, as well as safety tips to observe with the purchase of a skin care product containing AHAs.
A few years before alpha-hydroxy acids were used, tretinoin (Retin-A) was making headlines with its ability to fade wrinkles and age spots, but there were many drawbacks. Persons on Retin-A experienced extreme irritation, redness, and dryness. Furthermore, because of increased sun sensitivity, users had to either stay out of the sun entirely, or wear a sunblock whenever they went outdoors.
With the introduction of alpha hydroxy acids, people who wanted the benefits of Retin-A, without the side effects turned to alpha hydroxy acids. However, because research of the acids was still in its elementary stage, cautions were not taken in the monitering of products that contained alpha hydroxy acids. With the increased demand of the AHAs, cosmetic companies were producing their own alpha hydroxy formulations as fast as they could. Problems began to arise when products that were unsafe began to burn, and sometimes-even scar, the consumers.
What went wrong with these products? Apparently, many companies created creams with high concentrations of these acids-up to 50% or higher, or they would create mixtures of various alpha hydroxy acids, which would increase the acidity level. At these unsafe levels, alpha hydroxy acids can damage rather than help the skin. With continued research, experts determined that glycolic and lactic acids (two types of alpha hydroxy acids), were safe in cosmetic products as long as theyre used in concentrations of no higher than 10%, and with a pH level of no less than 3.5 (to help counteract the acidity level).