Google search alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and you will find pages and pages of information. Most agree that alpha hydroxy acids are naturally occurring, nontoxic acids that have been used to help improve the appearance of skin for centuries. Most also agree that alpha hydroxy acids really work! Many do not, however, agree on what percentage of AHA is needed to be effective in skin care. There is also little or no consensus on how percentages are expressed. You will find percentages listed anywhere from 4% to 50%! Unfortunately, cosmetic labeling can be very misleading. Since AHA’s are the cornerstone of the Alpha Hydrox skin care line, we want to help clarify some label and packaging information. Here are a couple of things you should know when shopping for AHA’s.
For an AHA to be truly effective, the percentage of AHA should be between 8% and 14%. A product with less than 8% is little more than a moisturizer. Products that claim to have more than 14% are considered a chemical peel and really should be administered by a dermatologist. There are two other pieces of information to consider when reading labels related to AHA’s.
Now you know what percentage is effective but, it is a percentage of what? AHA’s are an ingredient in a solution that makes up a cream, lotion or gel. That means that no AHA solution is made up of 100% AHA’s. When companies refer to the percentage on labels and packages the percent is usually based on a 70% AHA solution. Here is an example; 8% of a 70% solution is really 5.6% (70 x 8% = 5.6). So an 8% AHA is really 5.6% of the overall formula. Don’t be fooled by misleading claims.
Finally, you should know the importance of pH levels when reading cosmetics labels. To be effective, the pH level for an AHA should be between 3.5 and 4.0. If the pH level that is too low will be too acidic and irritating. A pH level of more than 4.0 is too alkaline to be effective and acts more like a moisturizer. Be wary of alpha hydroxy acid products that do not list the percentage of AHA or pH levels. They could have too little AHA to be effective or may not be properly formulated.
From the beginning in 1992, Alpha Hydrox has put the percentage of AHA on the front of the box and pH level on the back. We want our consumers to be educated and informed. We believe that if given accurate information people will make the best buying decision possible and in skin care, the best decision is Alpha Hydrox. That’s why we call Alpha Hydrox “The One That Works!