Thursday, November 18, 2010

AHA! - Peeling With Fruit and Milk

Yes, tomato is a fruit!
AHA is short for Alpha Hydroxy Acids. These acids can be derived from a number of different plant sources – among them: sugar cane, apples, citrus fruits, grapes, tomatos (and probably more). AHA's can be mixed and matched in a variety of combinations. For skin care, they will sometimes be paired with lactic acid and a moisturizing agent. You will find AHA's in peeling creams, masks and other skin-revitalizing products.

How Can Acids Possibly Be Good For Skin?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids help to exfoliate and rejuvinate the skin, making them ideal for acne-prone skin as well as mature skin (they are wrinkle-fighting). AHA's have multiple beneficial qualities: 
- they encourage collagen production 
- they help to increase the thickness of the skin 
- they speed the sloughing off of dead skin cells 
- they speed the generation of new skin cells

Tomatos and Milk
The AHA's in my products are sourced from fruit and milk. To be specific: Tomatos (INCI: Solanum Lycoperiscum) and milk (INCI: Lactic Acid). There is also an added moisturizing agent called Propylene Glycol (INCI: propylene glycol) – an organic compound also known as a "double alcohol".  

But Do They Work?
Darn straight they work! They are so effective that my suppliers include warnings about responsible dosage and periods of use. For a short-term course of use, a higher concentration (up to 10% of the product) can be used. The LisaLise 7-Day Skin Renewal Serum has a 7% dosage. And, as the name indicates, its intended use is for a maximum of 7 consecutive days. Further: it is strongly recommended to take a break of 2 full months between each 7-day course of high-dose use. AHA's are that powerful! For a daily use product (for example, a night cream) the recommended dosage is 1%. And no, AHA's are not one of those things where 'more is better'. Correct dosage is always paramount in skin care!

Use Responsibly
Finally, there is an additional precaution to following a high-dose course of use. The skin becomes temporarily photo-sensitive, meaning you need to be very serious about staying out of the sun. Despite all this, the efficiency of AHA's is undisputable, and when used responsibly, a very effective way to renew the skin using natural, plant-based ingredients. I have followed a 7-day course 4 times a year for the past several years and feel a noticable difference every time.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are AHA's safe to use while pregnant or nursing?

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi, That's a great and incredibly important question. Offhand, I don't know of any precautions with AHA's except for the obvious dosage ones I mentioned already. I would however, like to research this in more detail and get back to you. This is obviously something that needs a comprehensive answer.

Lise M Andersen said...

Hi again,
I've checked with my supplier about use of AHA's during preganancy and nursing and they confirmed my expectations: products with AHA's are safe for use during pregnancy and nursing.
I don't think I would recommend using anything on your breasts if you are nursing though. That probably goes without saying, but, there, I said it anyway. :)