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Skincare alert: Dermatologist shares a comprehensive beginner’s guide to AHAs

With increasing awareness about what is right for the skin and what’s not, skincare regimes have evolved over time. Beauty trends are now more focused on overall wellness and clean, minimal ingredients designed to target and treat problem areas.

As such, chemical exfoliation is one of the most popular beauty trends to have emerged over the past few years, with experts and influencers going gaga over its many benefits. According to Healthline, “chemical exfoliants are acids that get rid of dead skin cells.”

A type of chemical exfoliant, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, commonly referred to as AHAs, are one of the “most recommended and reliable exfoliating ingredients in modern skincare”, according to aesthetic, skin and wellness expert Dr Kiran Sethi.

She took to Instagram to list out the many benefits of this versatile exfoliator.

What are the main benefits of AHAs?

These exfoliants are water-soluble and work on the skin’s surface. However, with the plethora of acids available, it could be confusing to pick the right one. Consider the fact that AHAs exfoliate the top layers of the skin to minimise dullness and even out texture, and begin with a gentle formulation such as lactic acid or mandelic acid. Some AHAs also stimulate collagen production, while others have antioxidants and hydrating properties.

How often can you use AHAs?

Chemical exfoliants are known to carefully remove the thin layer of dead skin cells for a brighter appearance and also stimulate the production of collagen, revealing fresher skin after every use. Always start slow, use any AHA only twice a week until your skin is used to it.

Which skincare ingredients work well with AHAs?

Exercise restraint and ensure that you are careful with the usage of AHA products. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen whilst stepping out under the sun and wear protective clothing as much as possible. Using peptides-enriched products with AHAs will also help improve efficacy, causing less irritation.
When should you avoid using AHA products?

The expert recommended that you should avoid using AHA products in tandem with retinoid ones.