Why AHAs Are Important in Anti-Aging Skincare!

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  My week is off to a great start.  I was able to attend a special event at the International Dermal Institute headed by Jane Wurwand who is the founder of Dermalogica.  Such an amazing and inspirational woman!  Her motivational speech was beyond fantastic and she has a lovely sense of humor and heart.  Also, I found out I won the giveaway hosted by Maiko from SkinConciergeMaiko! Yay!  Check out her blog for other awesome reviews and tips. 🙂

Alright, enough about that.  Let’s get right to the topic of today’s post which is alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs.

What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

Technically speaking, alpha hydroxy acids “are a group of water-soluble carboxylic acids that work to release the desmosomes that hold skin cells together.”  Hmmm. I fear I lost you guys. 🙂 In plain English, they are naturally occurring mild acids used as chemical exfoliants that help shed off dead skin cells.  They are hydrophilic (attracted to water) and are pH dependent meaning they require a lower pH to be effective.

Why are they Beneficial?

AHAs are highly coveted and present in many anti-aging products/treatments for the following reasons:

  • Allows for easier exfoliation
  • Increased cell turnover (hello glowing skin)
  • Stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin (something that decreases over time)
  • Firm the skin
  • Smooth and improve skin texture
  • Reduce lines and pigmentation
  • Leads to a more youthful appearance and feel
  • Increase ceramides (hydration)

*Note: Overly and aggressively exfoliating the skin can result in sensitive itchy red skin.

What are the Different Types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

  • Lactic acid– derived from milk
  • Glycolic acid-derived from sugar
  • Citric acid- derived from citrus fruits
  • Tartaric acid- derived from grapes
  • Mandelic acid- derived from bitter almonds
  • Malic acid- derived from sour apples

*A special note on AHAs:  Overly and aggressively exfoliating the skin, with or without AHAs can result in sensitive itchy red skin.  Also, when using AHAs, you’re more sensitive to the sun and more prone to burning so sunscreen is crucial! 

I hope you found this information helpful and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. 🙂

Have a good Tuesday,

Stephanie

 

Beauty Benefits of Tamarind Water!

tamarind

Since healthy skin works from the inside out, here’s another idea inspired by drinks I grew up with that are great for beating the summer heat: tamarind water, also known as agua de tamarindo!  

Tamarind is a sweet and sour fruit that is rich in tartaric acid, which is a powerful antioxidant and a good source of iron, thiamin, niacin and vitamin C.  Antioxidants can help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, guarding your cells from damage and vitamin C helps the body repair itself.  Tamarind can be found in any market that appeals to Hispanic, Asian and Indian cultures.  To make tamarind water, follow below.

10-15 tamarind pods

Water (about 10 cups)

Sweetener of choice

1) Take the tamarind pods and remove the outer shell and any veins (strings) that may be attached.  Discard the shells and veins.

2) Place the inner portion of the tamarind (looks like seeds) inside a pot and boil for about 25-30 minutes.

3)  After 25-30 minutes, remove from stove and let it cool down completely.

4) Once the tamarind water has cooled down, squeeze the remaining pulp from the seeds with clean hands and discard the seeds.

5) Next,  blend the water and pulp in a blender and pour into a pitcher after running it through a sieve.

6) Lightly sweeten to taste (emphasis on the lightly!) and enjoy!  You can always add a bit more water to dilute some of the tartness without having to add tons of sugar.

Hope you enjoyed this post!