Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from fruit acids and are among some of the best ways to exfoliate your skin. By breaking down the bonds that hold the cells together, they help slough off the dead skin cells, loosen dirt, makeup, and clogged pores to reveal smooth skin beneath. There are several types of fruit acids that you can find in skincare products today, and they also can be easily made with a few fresh ingredients at home.
Just be sure you are following any fruit acid treatment or mask with the proper sunscreen, the last thing you’ll want to do is subject those fresh skin cells to sun damage!
5 AHA Face Mask Recipes
1. Lactic Acid
Lactic acid is one of the more gentle fruit acids, ideal for sensitive skin and fighting acne. Lactic acid is commonly found in milk and other fruits, this yogurt and grapefruit mask can be applied weekly for optimal benefits. Lactic acid is a great introduction to alpha hydroxy acids and can be a good test to your sensitivity to fruit acids.
2. Tartaric Acid
Tartaric acid is naturally found in grapes and bananas, and when applied topically it can smooth the skin, enhancing your skin’s natural glow. Champagne, which is derived from grapes, is an easily available source of tartaric acid, and this detoxifying treatment is a great choice for a light alpha hydroxy mask. Or try this anti-aging wine mask.
3. Citric Acid
Citric acid can be found in various citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes. Citric acid has many benefits for the skin, from lightening pigmentation and acne spots to improving the overall texture of skin. Try this lemon and milk facial mask to inject some citric acid into your beauty routine. Often citric acid can be found in astringents and skin lightening products.
Avoid limes, though, as exposure to sunlight 48 hours after lime juice touches your skin can set up some predisposed people to a nasty dermatitis.
4. Malic Acid
Malic acid is most abundantly found in apples. It can reduce signs of aging, help alleviate acne, brighten skin tone, and promote collagen production. Serving as a humectant, malic acid also retains moisture and can be used for sensitive skin types as it has a balanced pH and typically won’t affect your skin’s natural pH level. You can enjoy malic acid as a treatment in an apple cider vinegar peel.
5. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is one of the most effective rapid exfoliators available, making it a common choice in most anti-aging products. It’s derived from sugar cane and has tremendous success regenerating the surface layers of the skin. Using a few ingredients from home, this glycolic acid mask can be applied once a week.
Glycolic acid use should be a gradual increase in intensity, so limit in length of time on skin in the beginning, or extend the frequency of application if you find your skin sensitive. Many people with sensitive-skin or rosacea-prone skin can have a bad reaction to glycolic acid so avoid it if you fall into this group.
Glycolic Acid Facial Mask
- 2 tablespoons raw organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- juice of ½ lemon
You’ll want the sugar to be as fine as possible, so if it’s coarse you’ll want to use a coffee grinder or blender to break it down. Then combine the sugar and honey in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix well. Apply to the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water after 5-10 minutes. In the beginning start with just 1-2 minutes and gradually increase time.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.264