Beauty Tips: AHAS – What Are They? And Why Your Skin Needs One

AHAS are the ticket to clean, clear skin for many women – and results are fast.

One of the many joys of my work are the questions women ask me about beauty products and what works and what doesn’t. I love spilling the beans.

AHAS are one of those beauty products I am asked about a lot, as there seems to be a lot of mystery and even fear surrounding them. I guess that anything with the word acid in it is bound to evoke fear in the user, particularly given it is applied to the face.

AHAS are alpha hydroxyl acids – but don’t be afraid of the word acid, as they contain weak acids (glycolic, lactic and citric) derived from sugar cane, fruit, citrus or even sour milk and they work to exfoliate the skin and kill off dead skin cells. For many they are the ulitmate anti-ageing weapon.

All sounds a bit full-on, but in fact it isn’t at all. The important thing for me is to use AHAS from time to time, not all year round, more about that later, but the big win with AHAS is they can give you instant gratification, and who doesn’t want that in the social media age?

Renae recently road tested three products from Elucent, an Australian anti-aging skin care range which contains AHAS.

If you have an event on (and who doesn’t right now?), and your skin feels blah, just one day using a cleanser and moisturiser with AHAS will improve the texture of your skin. A week and your skin will be transformed.

For me, using AHAS does make my skin go red temporarily, but this is short term (5-8 minutes), and long term, I am left with smoother skin, and my pores decrease in size. The fine lines around my eyes also become smoother and less pronounced.

I recently road tested three products from Elucent, an amazing Australian skin care range which contains AHAS. I used Elucent anti-ageing gentle cleanser with 2% AHAS, Elucent anti ageing day moisturiser SPF 50+ and Elucent anti ageing night moisturiser with 8% AHAS.

Whenever I use a product with AHAS, my skin tingles at first, but I know this means it is working and dermatologists do say if you don’t experience any sensation on the skin right after application of a product containing AHAS, it may not be working at all, so may not be the right product for you.

I prefer to use any product with AHAS gradually at first, say 2-3 times a week and work up to every day use within a month. I think of it as a treatment course for my skin.

I love the Elucent anti-ageing gentle cleanser, as after just one day using it morning and night, the texture of my skin actually felt so much smoother. After a week, I noticed the skin on my hands was smoother too, as I was using my hands both to apply the anti-ageing cleanser and wash it off, so they were exposed to the AHAS too.

What I like about Elucent is the percentage of AHAs in each product is listed on the product itself – many products that contain AHAS don’t have this, so you’re in the dark. It’s difficult to know what you are actually using and hard to monitor results and know what actually works for your skin. With Elucent, I feel in control as I know what is going on to my skin.

Dermatologists say the ideal PH in an AHA is between 3 and 4, but it varies with each skin type depending on the skin’s age and condition. I was happy with the level in the Elucent range I road tested, but I have oily, slightly sensitive skin that needs regular exfoliation.

My favourite products from Elucent were the Elucent anti-ageing gentle  cleanser which  took my make-up off thoroughly and left my skin really clean, and the day cream, as the SPF of 50+ was such a bonus and a must when using AHAS as they can leave you skin far more vunereble to sun damage. The best thing was I didn’t have to put a sunscreen on in addition, as it was already there within my moisturiser.

So what do AHAS actually do? Well they increase cell turn over by exfoliating away old and dead skin cells so that new ones can re-generate faster. That is why skin quickly looks fresher. There has also been research that has shown AHAS help nutrients better absorb into the skin.

Everyone should try them, but go slowly, and take before & after photos as you will be surprised at the results. I felt much more comfortable with no make-up after just 8 days using the Elucent range, and this is a big bonus right now as I have just started a new exercise regime at F45 at 530am each day with no make-up and boys in the class ( you get it).

Oh, and the best thing about Elucent? The price. Whilst we all love our foreign skin care brands, what a joy to find a local product that works and is affordable. The Elucent anti-ageing gentle cleanser was $21 and the skincare products not much more. Wow.

Disclosure: This review was done in partnership with Elucent, but like all partnerships, if a product doesn’t work for us, we don’t write about it or we disclose the whole truth here. You can read more about Elucent here.

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