Acid in your skin care? While it sounds scary and may be the last thing you would expect in quality skin care, Hydroxy acids, or ‘Fruit acids’ are one of the most successful ingredients in the history of the beauty industry. All the way from ancient times when our ancestors used lemons and berries to beautify their skin, to today’s modern clinically based skin care, hydroxy acids have been used in Exfoliators, Anti-Aging Serums, Toners, Cleansers, Scrubs and Masks to help remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, allowing faster regeneration of new skin cells.
What Are Hydroxy Acids?
There are two types of hydroxy acids used in organic skin care – Alpha Hydroxy Acids (or AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (or BHA).
Being the perfect blend of both gentle and powerful, AHAs and BHAs deeply exfoliate the surface of the skin and is usually used in products to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, treat hyperpigmentation, even skin texture and unclog pores. Sometimes these acids are used in smaller concentrations in order to balance pH in a product. Hydroxy acids can help decrease redness and irritation due to acne, rosacea, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions.
How Naturally Obtained Hydroxy Acids Help in Organic Skin Care
While AHAs are water-soluble acids derived from fruits, BHAs on the other hand, are oil-soluble. Both AHAs and BHAs should be used in products in their right concentrations for them to be a success. Here’s a list of some of the key hydroxy acid rich botanicals we use in our products here @ PVO:
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Key use: Mild Hyperpigmentation, Age spots and Dark spots, Melasma, Scars, Fine lines and Wrinkles, Uneven skin tone and Acne.
Citric Acid from Lemons
Citric acid can be obtained from fruit extracts of lemons, oranges, bilberries, berries, etc., and balances skin pH levels while neutralizing free radicals. The acid is abundant in Vitamin C, which makes it a great anti-aging ingredient in organic anti-aging serums. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, deep expression lines and scars. The active botanical is also added in our Sun Protect SPF 30+ to enhance the effects of sun protection, when used along with UV reflecting non-nano Zinc Oxide minerals.
Interestingly, citric acid is also classified as a BHA.
Tartaric Acid from Tamarind
Tartaric acid can be found in many fruits such as citrus, grapes and tamarind. We use Tamarind Extract in our BioScience Peptide Complex as it is full of anti-microbial and healing properties. Enzymes and Tartaric acid in tamarind help remove dead skin cells. Tamarind also contains nutrients like thiamine, phosphorous, copper, Vitamin C, pyridoxine, limonene, etc., which makes it a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, leaving your skin with an even tone and a healthy glow.
Malic Acid in Oranges
Malic acid is predominantly found in Apples, Citrus fruits like Oranges, Blackberries, Apricots, etc. It is used to even skin tone, reduce hyperpigmentation, and create a smoother texture to the skin. This skin active also improves skin hydration and reduces wrinkles, making it a superior ingredient in organic hydrators and anti-aging serums.
Hydroxycinnamic Acid in Bilberry
Bilberry, a relative of blueberry, are called a superfood for a reason. They are great for the skin too! Bilberries are rich in Hydroxycinnamic acid, Vitamin A, C, B6, Magnesium, Zinc and several other potent antioxidants like Quercetin fight free radicals and support faster skin repair. The hydroxy acids in Bilberry balance pH and fight acne, while Zinc decreases oil production and prevents formation of comedones. Bilberries also improve the net collagen content of the skin, to support effective mature skin care.
Glycolic Acid in Milk
Glycolic acid is predominantly extracted from milk, grapes, sugars, etc. Our Organic Facial Masks and Exfoliators with key ingredients like Papaya and Honey also contain milk solids, which are very effective at exfoliating skin by dissolving the cellular glue and helping to remove superficial dead skin. It also boosts hydration by improving natural hyaluronic acid content, reduces hyperpigmentation and stimulates collagen production.
Beta Hydroxy Acids
Key use: Acne, Toning, Unclog pores, Calm Sensitive Skin and Soothe Sun Damage.
Salicylic Acid from White Willow Bark
Salicylic acid, naturally extracted from the bark of the White Willow tree, is the most common type of BHA used in organic skin care. Extracts of White Willow Bark are infused in our Pore Perfect Line (for Oily Skin), SBR Line (for Sensitive skin), as well as our Organic Cleansers and Hydrators to help unclog pores and treat inflammation. Being oil soluble, it penetrates deep into the pores to help prevent formation of comedones, acne, blackheads and blemishes. It also tones the skin and helps to shrink enlarged pores. A balanced salicylic acid formulation calms the redness and hypersensitivity of pitta skin, or by sunburn/ sun damage.
Never use synthetically derived AHAs and BHAs for your skin. When using hydroxy acids, a lot of the product’s effectiveness also depends on your skin type. Though our products contain wild gathered ingredients in a scientifically proven, effective and balanced ratio, which makes it suitable to be used for all skin types, we recommend you take our dosha quiz for best results. If you have sensitive skin, always make sure to do a patch test to see how your skin will respond. It is also highly advised to always use a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen, especially when you are using AHA infused products.