What are AHAs & Favorite Products with AHAs

 Important disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on this topic but have been doing research on this for a while and have tried a few products over the course of the years. If you wish to try any of the products mentioned in this post, please make sure to read instructions carefully and try them at your own risk. If you are expecting, I would contact the manufacturer and consult your OB and/or a dermatologist before trying a new product (or continuing one).  When in doubt, always consult a trained professional.

Ever wondered what in the world are Alpha Hydroxy Acids, what are their purpose in skincare, and what products you should try? Then look no further! In this two-part post (I will cover BHAs in next week’s beauty post), I will give you a short background on what are AHAs, the difference between AHAs & BHAs, and what are some of my favorite products.

Before we delve into the world of AHAs, these are some of the tips I followed when I was a newbie to the world of acid containing products:

  • Do a  small ‘patch’ test first to see if your skin tolerates the product well and to see if you have any adverse reactions
  • Use the product as directed: if it says to leave it on no more than 5 minutes, don’t leave it on longer thinking it will give you a faster result
  • Start with a product that contains a low concentration of AHAs and work your way up if your skin tolerates them well
  • Have patience with results; as with all skincare products, to see results you need to use a product consistently to see an improvement in your skin’s texture and appearance
  • ALWAYS wear SPF at all times, but especially after using a product with AHAs (or BHAs) as they can leave your skin vulnerable to UV rays

What are AHAs?

AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are a group of acids that are generally derived by food such as glycolic acids (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus), mandelic acid (bitter almonds and wild cherries), and tartaric acid (from grape wine). The main difference between α & β acid is that AHAs are water soluble and BHAs are lipid soluble.

Products that contain AHAs are a great addition to your skincare routine as they have been proven beneficial for reducing fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, general hyperpigmentation, or just to improve dull looking skin. The right product and acid concentration can do wonders for your overall skin tone and texture.

My all-time favorite products containing AHAs

In the widget below, I’ve linked some of my favorite products that contain AHAs. You may have seen on my IG account how much I love Peter Thomas Roth’s anti-aging cleanser; it’s one of my favorite cleansers along with Mario Badescu’s glycolic cleaners. If I don’t use either one of them consistently, I’ve noticed that my skin starts to look dull and lacks glow/dewiness. I have tried many cleansers in the past and nothing can compare to these two cleansers.

Another favorite is Drunk’s Elephant’s night serum; I started using this one about a year ago and I have been hooked since. I started noticing a drastic improvement in my sun spots/hyperpigmentation within 2 weeks. I keep a bottle by my bed and a travel size version in my suitcase-it’s that good!

Doctor Dennis Gross peel pads are another favorite that I have been using consistently for at least two years. They were recommended by the talented MUA that did my makeup for my engagement pictures and wedding day; she swears by them and gave me a couple to try. Being latina and with my skin color, I tend to suffer from hyperpigmentation and scarring from picking at blemishes (I know, I know, I need to stop this bad habit asap); DDG’s peel pads along with DE’s night serum have been very helpful in fading them over time.

Pregnancy has done quite the number on my overall skin tone and texture; I am so glad I have found some products that I can trust in addressing my skincare needs.


What are your favorite skincare products that contain AHAs?



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