Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids are found in many skincare products especially for mature and acne prone skin types. AHA’s and BHA’s are naturally found most commonly in fruits, beneficial for the skin (fine lines, sun damage) and in some cases health as well. Alpha Hydroxy acids are mild exfoliants that help break the bonds that holds dead skin cells together aka dry skin, leaving you with smooth, moisturized and renewed skin.
The skin is made up of many layers but the two main layers we are most familiar with are the epidermis and dermis. Alpha Hydroxy Acids exfoliate the top layers of the skin (epidermis) helping promote the growth of healthier skin cells by way of the dermis (second main layer). The second main layer of the skin (dermis), is where most of our moisture, collagen and elastin exist.
Collagen is what helps structure the skin while elastin helps the skin stretch and take form. Naturally derived AHA and BHA’S, as well as synthetic types that professionals use in higher concentrations (such as chemical peels), are ideal for treating wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, acne, sunspots and helps even out your skin tone.
However, you can make your own natural and mild exfoliants using Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids by simply using natural products you can easily find in your house and local food market.
*Please make sure that you are not sensitive or allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned. Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids can cause sun sensitivity and irritation, especially in higher concentrations.*
There are five types of
Alpha Hydroxy Acids:
Glycolic acid is one of the most familiar acids. It’s derived from sugarcane and naturally exfoliates the skin. Ideal for mature skin and fine lines, scars and hyperpigmentation.
Found in milk, yogurt, tomato juice. Like glycoic acid, lactic acid naturally exfoliates the skin while also soothing sensitive skin types. Lactic acid also lightens dark spots left over from acne or scars in general. Yogurt is also astringent ideal for those with oily skin while also moisturizing at the same time.
Bananas, apples, nectarines, pears all contain malic acid which is an antioxidant helping reduce wrinkles and allows the skin to retain moisture while clarifying. Malic acid is great for not only the skin but overall health as well. It’s essential for energy production in the body and is said to be beneficial for those who suffer with fibromyalgia, helping maximize energy levels while reducing pain.
Pineapple, oranges and lemon juices, helps lighten and brighten the skin getting rid of old dead skin cells, also astringent.
Found in grapes, apples, pears, tamarind. Improves wrinkles, evens skin tone and sun damaged skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (Salicylic acid)
There are several types of Beta Hydroxy Acids but in skin care only salicylic is known to be used which is a very familiar ingredient for those who deal with acne and oily skin as well. Salicylic Acid, the only Beta Hydroxy acid used in dermatology, is known to get deeper into the pores and is found mainly in willow bark and aspirin. Unlike the Alpha Hydroxy acids, Salicylic acid penetrates through the skin’s natural oils (sebum), thoroughly cleaning out clogged pores that causes blackheads and breakouts.
Here I will make a simple facial using yogurt (Lactic Acid)
Read More so you can see how it’s made…
Even though summer is nearly drawing to a close some have to deal with oily skin year round. So I usually do this quick and easy homemade face mask which always does the trick for me.
Yogurt (lactic acid) naturally cleanses and exfoliates the skin ridding it of old dead skin cells, it’s also a mild astringent (controls oil, closes pores), and antibacterial, ideal for keeping pimples and blemishes at bay. Oatmeal also tackles dryness and it’s known for dealing with eczema, sunburn, and soothes the skin while also cleansing the skin of oils and dirt.
For this facial you just need 2 basic ingredients:
Regular plain oatmeal and regular plain yogurt, no sugars or flavors
(If you can get Organic Greek yogurt, go for it )
Yogurt usually has a bit of water on the top, use this “juice” to moisten your mask to your liking. To thicken it just add more oatmeal. Leave the mask on for 10-15 mins or until it dries completely.
Honey is naturally antibacterial and moisturizing making this facial an even more fabulous hydrating facial.
I ‘ve been using essential oils in my facials lately and it has become a very interesting and welcoming addition to my regimen. I like to add 1 drop of lavender oil or 1 drop of ylang ylang to this very facial. Lavender oil helps heal the skin while providing you with antibacterial properties ideal for pimples and acne prone skin, which oily skin types deal with on a regular basis. Ylang Ylang is great to help balance any skin type great for oily or dry skin as well.
This Face mask leaves my skin glowing and helps minimize my pores. I can truly see how great the results are when I apply my makeup. You can make this mask with just the yogurt and oatmeal or just add any ingredient ideal for your skin type. Strawberries are also astringent great for oily skin types while a banana can give you an extra boost in moisture.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beautiful Skin By Marsha Gordon, Alice E. Fugate
Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice By Leslie Baumann