September 20, 2012


What is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)?

If you read through the descriptions of the Murad skin care products, you’ll notice that everything from acne treatment products to anti-aging skin care products mention Alpha Hydroxy Acids (usually called AHAs) in the ingredient listing. In fact, it’s usually listed as one of the most important ingredients in the product. And, if you research other skin care products, you’ll notice that AHAs are often considered to be one of the most important skin care ingredients overall to look for. Hopefully, though, you’re not the kind of person who will just buy a skin care product with a particular ingredient because everybody has told you to. So, what is an AHA and why is it important to skin care?

Facts About Alpha Hydroxy AcidsThe Origin of AHAs

AHAs are natural acids that are found in everyday foods. After all, long before there was medicine there was food. There are actually many different types of AHAs, but you’ll usually hear five specific ones prioritized. Citric Acid is found in citrus fruits. Malic Acid is found in apples. Tartaric Acid is found in grapes. The two most common AHAs utilized in skin care products, however, are Glycolic Acid (found in sugar cane) and Lactic Acid (found in sour milk).

What Do AHAs Do for the Skin?
AHAs have a number of benefits to the skin, including balancing overall skin tone and moisturizing. However, their largest benefit is as a topical exfoliating agent. AHAs slough away the dead, dry and unhealthy skin cells at the surface of your skin. This increases cell turnover and ultimately causes newer, fresher, healthier skin to appear more rapidly.

Exfoliating Facial CleanserRelated Product: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Smoothes texture while cleansing impurities with a trio of gentle exfoliating acids. Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic Acids provide clarity, brightness and improve cell-turnover by dissolving dead skin cell buildup.

Customer Review
“This is my favorite Murad product. I use it three times a week instead of my Refrashing cleanser. I work it up then let it set on my skin for a couple minutes before rinsing it off then smooth perfection! Great with any of the lines.” SpaMom1020, Arizona


What is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)?
You may also hear skin care experts mention Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), almost always talking about Salicylic Acid. The difference between an AHA and a BHA is that an AHA is water soluble only. That means that it will only work on the surface of your skin and can’t penetrate the surface oil of your skin to work at a subdermal level (beneath the skin). BHAs are oil soluble. That means that Salicylic Acid and other BHAs can penetrate beneath your skin’s surface to exfoliate dead skin cells within your pores and hair follicles.

Exfoliating Acne GelRelated Product: Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel
Glycolic and Salicylic Acids penetrate deeply for maximum effectiveness. Cell turnover is stimulated, breakouts are controlled, pore-clogging impurities are eliminated and clarity is restored.

Customer Review
“This product made my skin so soft and clear!!! I think it even help lighten some of my scars and brown spots on my face. I have used SEVERAL acne products and this surpasses them all by far! It doesn’t stink or dry out your skin like other products!” Maddie07, Northern California

Why are AHAs Important in Anti-Aging Skin Care?
While there are many anti-aging skin care concerns, most people looking for products for aging skin will be looking for an anti-wrinkle treatment. There are a number of steps to take to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including boosting collagen, staying hydrated and minimizing environmental damage. However, an often overlooked step in minimizing the appearance of wrinkles is to remove the dry, dehydrated skin on the surface so that the more hydrated, firmer skin beneath becomes visible. The more hydrated your skin is, the less visible wrinkles are. By regularly using AHAs to exfoliate away dry and deeply wrinkled surface skin, you can ensure that the firmer, less-wrinkled skin is what is visible on your face.

Home Facial PeelRelated Product: Murad Intensive Resurfacing Peel
Debris and exhausted cells are swept away to reveal youthful-looking skin while Glycolic and Salicylic Acids stimulate cell proliferation. Skin looks younger and feels smoother after just one treatment.

Customer Review

“I’m loving this product– use it 2-3x/week and my skin always has a wonderful glow afterward. There isn’t a lot of the uncomfortable tightening and my skin doesn’t feel dry or dehydrated when I’m done. I recommend this product to anyone hoping to clean away what a long busy week leaves behind.” AC45, New Jersey

Why are AHAs and BHAs Important in Acne Skin Care?
Acne is caused by clogged pores, so if you want to reduce, minimize and ultimately get rid of blemishes for the long term, you need to eliminate clogged pores. AHAs remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin that clog pores. They also help to accelerate the period of time that it takes for an actual blemish to heal and for an acne scar or a post-acne mark to heal. An acne treatment that includes BHAs will be even more effective, stopping pores from clogging from the inside where the damage typically occurs.

Why are AHA’s Important in Overall Skin Care?
The surface of your skin takes a great deal of damage daily. Smog, pollution, UV rays, chemicals and toxins touch our faces daily. All of these factors mean that the top layer of your skin can often be the layer that doesn’t reveal your radiant glow. To always look your healthiest, you want your newest, freshest skin to be the focus of your complexion. A continual process of encouraging cell turnover and exfoliating away ensures that you will always look your best.


Related Content

Customized Skin Care Regimen

Acne Treatment Products

Anti-Wrinkle Products

Post-Acne Mark and Acne Scar Products


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