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INTO IT: AHA’S // ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS

INTO IT: AHA’S // ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS

We’re sure you’ve heard a lot about incorporating acids into your skincare regime, but do you know your AHA from your BHA? And did you know that AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid? We’re sharing the 411 on everything you need to know about AHAs, and why they deserve a place in your beauty stash.

What is an AHA?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are chemical exfoliants for the skin. Made from natural ingredients such as sugar cane, milk and grapes, their water soluble acids will help to speed up the skin’s natural shedding process, resulting in a brighter and renewed complexion. As they slowly exfoliate skin, they’re perfect for those with mature skin types.

As they’re water-based, they also lend themselves to hydrating products. However, as always, when starting with any kind of acid skincare product we’d recommend starting with a small concentration and building up.

The difference between an AHA and BHA is that a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) penetrates much deeper below the skin’s surface. This means that BHAs are perfect for blemish-prone skin types, helping to treat oily skin. Plus, with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, these are perfect for helping to counter blackheads and whiteheads.

When should I use AHA skincare?

As AHA products can impact on sun sensitivity, we tend to use ours as part of our evening skincare routine, and follow up with an SPF the morning afterwards.

Read More: our guide to the best sun cream

What acids are AHA’s?

There are lots of different types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids. These include:

Best AHA Skincare Products 2019

  1. THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% PEELING SOLUTION
    £6.30 Buy now with HQhair

    THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% PEELING SOLUTION

    First up on our list of the best AHA skincare products is this potent product from The Ordinary. Commonly referred to as “The Red One”, this brightly coloured acid exfoliant contains a 30% concentration of AHAs (Glycloic, Lactic, Tartaric and Citric Acis) as well as 2% Beta Hydroxyl, AKA Salicylic Acid.

    Tasmanian Pepperberry will help to counter irritation, Hyaluronic Acid will counter dryness and Vitamin B5 will encourage healing. However, this is a pretty strong acid, so it’s advised that you use this in the evening and twice a week at the absolute maximum, and follow with an SPF before heading out.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best The Ordinary products

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. MURAD REJUVENATING AHA HAND CREAM
    £25.00 Buy now with HQhair

    MURAD REJUVENATING AHA HAND CREAM

    A resurfacing and regenerating product shouldn’t be saved just for your face. As hands are one of the quickest areas of the skin to age, it only makes sense to apply the same theory that your facial skincare uses to your bodycare too.

    Murad have developed an AHA hand cream, which uses the same principles of other Alpha Hydroxy Acid skincare products but added them into a lightweight hand cream. The mix of Glycolic and Hyaluronic Acids easily sinks into skin and leaves hands feeling nourished and soft from first application.

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. PAULA'S CHOICE RESIST SKIN REVEALING BODY LOTION WITH 10% AHA
    £31.00 Buy now with HQhair

    PAULA'S CHOICE RESIST SKIN REVEALING BODY LOTION WITH 10% AHA

    OG skincare acid brand Paula’s Choice have developed some of the best AHA skincare products you can add-to-stash. This 10% AHA body moisturiser mixes acids with antioxidants, so that your entire body can benefit from slayin’ skin from head to toe.

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. NIP+FAB GLYCOLIC FIX LIQUID GLOW 6%
    £19.95 Buy now with HQhair

    NIP+FAB GLYCOLIC FIX LIQUID GLOW 6%

    An AHA skincare product developed for youthful or teen skin, this NIP+FAB toner features 6% Glycolic Acid to ensure you’re glow goals.

    To further exfoliate skin, BHA Salicylic Acid gets to work deep beneath the epidermis, while Allantoin and Vitamin B5 soothe, protect and rehydrate.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best NIP and FAB products

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. MIO SKINCARE DOUBLE BUFF DUAL ACTION ENZYME EXFOLIATOR
    £23.00 Buy now with HQhair

    MIO SKINCARE DOUBLE BUFF DUAL ACTION ENZYME EXFOLIATOR

    Get your buff on with Mio Skincare. This body exfoliator uses a mix of both chemical and physical exfoliants to make sure that skin appears renewed instantly, without harshly damaging skin.

    Small spheres of Pumice, Lava and Bamboo will physically remove anything – including fake tan – while AHA’s and Papaya Fruit work on  gently resurfacing skin over time. To counter any harsh ingredients, Mio have included Sweet Almond, Shea and Fig Extract to deeply nourish skin for lasting hydration.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best Mio Skincare products and the best body scrub

    Buy now with free delivery
  6. PIXI GLOW TONIC
    £18.00 Buy now with HQhair

    PIXI GLOW TONIC

    The cult PIXI toner has easily made its way onto our list of the best AHA skincare products. with the key aim of brightening skin, this toner loved by Beauty Editors and Influencers worldwide (not to mention us) features a 5% concentration of Glycolic Acid to help renew skin from first use.

    To counter the high percentage of Alpha Hydroxy Acid, PIXI have included Aloe Vera and Ginseng to soothe, calm and nourish skin.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best PIXI products easily

    Buy now with free delivery
  7. FIRST AID BEAUTY SKIN LAB RESURFACING LIQUID (10% AHA)
    £44.00 Buy now with HQhair

    FIRST AID BEAUTY SKIN LAB RESURFACING LIQUID (10% AHA)

    If you’re after a quick fix, then the Radiance Pads by First Aid Beauty will be the perfect solution. These 60 individual cotton pads have been designed to sweep across skin to help refresh complexion.

    Cucumber and Indian gooseberry gently tone skin, whilst lemon peel and liquorice root will help to ensure that skin doesn’t lose its natural moisture.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best First Aid Beauty products

    Buy now with free delivery
  8. AMELIORATE INTENSIVE FOOT TREATMENT
    £15.00 Buy now with HQhair

    AMELIORATE INTENSIVE FOOT TREATMENT

    Cult bodycare brand AMELIORATE have brought Alpha Hydroxy Acids right down to the tips of your toes. The skin on your feet gets a pretty hard time, so make sure you give them the pamper they deserve need with this resurfacing skincare treatment.

    Lactic Acid chemically exfoliates even the hardest and roughest of skin types, gradually helping return feet to their softest state with continued use.

    Of course, as with any chemical exfoliant, AMELIORATE have also added moisturising ingredients such as Urea, Shea Butter and Glycerine to help restore any moisture lost during the exfoliating process, and Sodium PCA locks it in for up to 12 hours. Plus, Farnesol works as a deodorising ingredient, removing the buildup of bacteria.

    Buy now with free delivery
  9. KMS THERMASHAPE QUICK BLOW DRY
    £15.50 Buy now with HQhair

    KMS THERMASHAPE QUICK BLOW DRY

    Next up on our list of the best AHAs is the KMS Thermashape Quick Blow Dry. Didn’t think you could get AHA hair products? Think again. Unlike skincare products, this product uses an AHA structure complex including Polyquaternium-11 and Methylal to help dry hair more quickly by ensuring water evaporates more quickly.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best hair dryer

    Buy now with free delivery
  10. GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD MASK
    £44.00 Buy now with HQhair

    GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD MASK

    Last on our list of the best Alpha Hydroxy Acid products is this bestselling GLAMGLOW mask. Supermud mixes Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic Acids to create an anti-blemish formula in the form of a face mask.

    The perfect AHA for blemish prone skin, this gently and effectively helps to remove product build up and reveal regenerated skin.

    Continue Reading: our guide to the best GLAMGLOW products and the best face mask

    Buy now with free delivery

Reckon you’ve found the best AHA skincare products to add to your beauty collection?

Shop AHA skincare products

Looking for more information? Read our guides to the best of beauty in our “into it” feature

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Rebecca

Rebecca

Writer and expert

When in doubt: add glitter. I'm obsessed with shimmer eyeshadows and always layer up my highlighter.


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