Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Amazing Alpha Hydroxy Acids (aka AHAs)

Lately I've noticed that some of my favorite products include AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids).  AHAs are used in a variety of products throughout the cosmetic industry, as they can help reduce wrinkles, & improve skin's appearance & texture, among other things.  There are  many different acids that fall under the category of AHAs, & these acids can be naturally occurring (ex: lactic acid) or synthetic (ex: glycolic acid).  The previously mentioned products are some of my favorite because they work amazingly on some skin problems that I have been experiencing.

Skin Problem #1: Keratosis Pilaris more commonly referred to as chicken skin (little bumps on the arms that are sometimes itchy &/or red).  I've suffered from keratosis pilaris for years, & while it's not really noticeable to other people, it really bothers me.  I've done a lot of research on this topic & have read numerous times that AHAs are one of the best (if not THE best) way to treat keratosis pilaris since it will improve the skin's texture & will help to remove dead skin.

Solution #1: Dermadoctor KP Duty Body Scrub ($44.00 for 16oz at Sephora)

This scrub is a 'medi-exfoliant' that contains glycolic acid, lactic acid, & azelaic acid, which are all AHAs.  The physical scrub along with the chemical scrub aspects really remove dead skin.  On Sephora's website it explains that it can also be used on ingrown hairs, & shaving bumps.  In addition to the AHAs in the scrub there are calming ingredients like green tea to reduce any redness or irritation scrubbing might cause.  I began using this scrub a few years ago, after receiving a sample from Sephora.  It works really well on keratosis pilaris, I use it about 2-3 times a week at the end of my shower.  I usually just use it on my arms, but it can be used all over your body.  I have used it before when experiencing shaving bumps & it worked well on those too.  This is by far my favorite scrub I have ever tried, & I have tried a lot of scrubs!

Solution #2: St. Ives Naturally Smooth Body Lotion ($4.43 at, available in drugstores, grocery stores, & super stores like Target as well)
This lotion uses natural citrus AHAs to increase skin cell turnover.  On their website they explain that the AHAs they use have cell renewal, firming, & smoothing properties.  Furthermore it says that users will have younger looking, & smoother skin within a week.  This is the newest one of the listed products that I have tried.  To be honest I brought it because I needed new body lotion, & I wanted something cheap, the tagline of Natural Fruit AHA Complex on the bottle really sold me.  I cannot say enough about how amazing this lotion is.  Like I said I've been using the above scrub for a while & while it did help with my keratosis pilaris, using these two products together has made it completely disappear.  Since using this all the bumps on my skin are gone, & my skin is incredibly smooth & firm.  I would recommend this to anyone, not just people suffering from keratosis pilaris.  The one complaint I would have about the lotion is it's scent, which almost smells like wine, I initially really didn't like it, but it has grown on me, luckily the scent isn't too strong & it wears off after an hour or so.

Skin Problem #2: Dry Heels My mother has a thing about keeping feet, especially heels, smooth & free of dead skin, & she has passed this onto me.  I work hard to keep my feet looking nice, even more so now that we're in sandal season.

Solution #1: True Blue Spa Cracked Heel Treatment - Heel of Approval ($20.00 for Spa Size at Bath & Body Works, right now buy 2 get 2 free on True Blue products)

This foot lotion uses glycolic acid to help break down the dead skin that accumulates on feet.  Also it's a thick cream that really moisturizes deeply, which is aided by the Shea Butter it contains.  This is my favorite foot cream, & the only one I use.  I put it on after I soak & pumice stone my feet so can it really moisturize my feet, I also put it on at night before I go to bed help keep my feet smooth in between pedicures & pumice stoning.  When I wake up after I put it on at night it looks like I just pumice stoned the dead skin away.

DISCLAIMER: When using any products with AHAs you MUST wear sunscreen as they make your skin more susceptible to sunburn.

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