AHA (or alpha hydroxy acid) peels are used on the skin to get rid of wrinkles, dark spots, freckles and uneven pigmentation. After an AHA peel the skin is left refreshed and glowing.
Some of the ingredients used in these peels today have been used by women for over 2,000 years. Cleopatra was said to regularly bathe in sour goat’s milk to improve the appearance of her skin, and in today’s AHA peels, lactic acid from sour milk is one of the key ingredients.
How do AHA Peels Work?
The combination of different ingredients, including naturally occurring acids from fruits such as citric acid from oranges and lemons, malic acid from apples and pears and tartic acid from grapes, works wonders on the skin exfoliating away dead skin cells to reveal fresher, more youthful looking skin.
Glycolic acid, which is derived from sugarcane, is also a well-known source of alpha hydroxy acid often used in AHA peels.
What are the benefits of AHA Peels?
AHA peels can treat a range of different skin imperfections including wrinkles and fine lines, acne scarring, dry spots, skin pigmentation and freckles.
AHA peels are often used with other treatments for assisting those with acne.
Unlike other treatments, AHA peels are not only for the face, but they can also be used on the neck, arms, hands and chest. For optimal results, some people combine them with microdermabrasion.
Professional AHA peels versus DIY solutions
You can buy over the counter AHA peels, however the concentration of AHA in these peels is no more than 10% which won’t really have a major impact on the appearance of your skin. Professionals who are trained in using and applying these treatments use AHA peels that are closer to 30%, and certain physicians use AHA peels with a concentration of up to 70%.
Getting an AHA peel
When you go in for an AHA peel, your skin will first be cleansed before the peel is applied. While the peel is on your skin you may feel a tingling or stinging sensation, and some people experience numbness. All of this is normal and will fade once the peel is taken off. AHA peels are typically not painful and do not require the application of an anesthetic.
For a few days after the peel your skin may appear red and some flaking may also occur. The most important thing to remember is to always use a high quality sunscreen after treatment, as during the first week or so after your skin will be hypersensitive to the sun.
Many people opt for AHA peels because they are fast and easy to have done, and you can return to your normal daily activities as soon as you leave the clinic. It’s certainly the ideal, effective skin care treatment for busy people.