Good Morning All!
In researching my Eco-Chic Boutique beauty line, I kept coming across lots of acronyms. Some of the most used were AHA and BHA.
Laughingly I said to myself – A-ha! B-ha ha ha & LMNOP 🙂
I stopped laughing however; when I read deeper about what the heck AHA and BHA were! Raised my eyebrows and said hey! That’s great! Except for….. (we’ll get to the except for in a bit)
AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid.
Alpha hydroxy acids are derived naturally from fruit and milk sugars. The most commonly used alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic acid (sugar) and lactic acid (milk) because they have the special ability to penetrate the skin. They also have the most scientific data on their effectiveness and side effects. The following are the 5 major types of alpha hydroxy acids found in skin-care products and their sources:
- glycolic acid – sugar cane
- lactic acid – milk
- malic acid – apples and pears
- citric acid – oranges and lemons
- tartaric acid – grapes
Alpha Hydroxy also has been found to help the skin to produce collagen.[Excerpt from Wisegeek.com about Collagen] Collagen works hand-in-hand with elastin in supporting the body’s tissues. Basically, it gives body tissues form and provides firmness and strength; elastin gives the same body tissues much need flexibility. Often, collagen is discussed in relation to the skin. It works with keratin to provide the skin with strength, flexibility, and resilience. As people age, however, collagen degradation occurs, leading to wrinkles. As such, it is an important substance for those looking for ways to fight the visible effects of aging on the skin. Some skincare professionals actually advise people on ways to stimulate the production of collagen in skin cells.
BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) There is only one beta hydroxy acid – salicylic acid (found in Aspirin). The main difference between alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble only, while beta hydroxy acid is lipid (oil) soluble.
OK Now back to the AHA part….the exfoliation benefits, stimulating the production of collagen and that except for part I mentioned earlier….
OK So AHA is Alpha Hydroxy Acid, key word being “Acid”. Alpha hydroxy acids found in skin-care products work best in a concentration of 5% to 8% and at a pH of 3 to 4. AHA is very beneficial to help slough off skin cells making it a very effective exfoliant. AHA helps exfoliate those dead cells to reveal the fresh “new” skin underneath and also helps stimulate your skin’s production of that all important collagen. Here is that “except for” part…
AHA / BHA based products have two main side effects. They can cause skin irritations in hyper-sensitive people and can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun by up to 50%. Photosensitivity can cause skin irriation, rashes and premature photoaging (aged skin due to sun exposure). *Sigh* Just when you think you find a “Holy Grail” of beauty, there’s a tarnish to the grail’s shine. There are some FDA guidelines that provide some wise counsel in using AHA/BHA products.
FDA Guidelines Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Because of concerns over the side effects of alpha hydroxy acids, the FDA announced in 1997 that alpha hydroxy acids are safe for use by consumers with the following guidelines:
- The AHA concentration is 10% or less
- The final product has a pH of 3.5 or higher
- The final product must have an effective sunscreen in the formulation or warn people to use sunscreen products
So there you have it. I make sugar scrubs (glycolic acid) that of course provide the great exfoliation qualities of a basic AHA however; I have taken careful measures to ensure that my sugar scrub formulation adheres to the FDA guidelines and provides a safe yet effective product for you. My sugar scrubs all contain the multi-beneficial and healing Argan Oil which contains the qualities of a natural sun screen, deeply penetrates the skin and serves as a natural preservative for the product. The Argan oil also deeply penetrates and moisturizes your skin as you scrub. Leaving your skin feeling impossibly silky and smooth.
I’ll be adding those scrubs in the next day or two. So I hope that you enjoyed today’s article and found it as helpful information in choosing your next AHA/BHA based product purchase. Because, whether you purchase from my beauty line or not, I still care about your beauty and health.
Have A Gorgeous Day!
All The Best To You!!!
~ Patti (Yeshuazgirl)