What is it?
A group of natural acids found in food, mostly fruit, sugar or milk eg. milk = lactic acid; apples = malic acid; citrus fruits = citric acid; sugar cane = glycolic acid etc...

Where to find it?
They are found in many different skin care products, from night creams, skin peels, toners etc..

They come in different strengths depending on the form eg. 5 - 10% in your products that anyone can access wherever you buy or cosmetics; 10% - 40% as skin peel performed by qualifies technicians and 50% upwards under the supervision of a medical practitioner.

What does it do when it comes to the skin?
It acts as a deep exfoliator by removing the top layer of dead skin and encouraging new cell growth. Some have the ability to increase the thickness of the lower layers of the skin resulting in firmness. And with consistent use over time they help with reduction of pigmentation & sun spots. In the form of glycolic acid it is found more effective for age spots, superficial scars, acne, fine lines.

What affects the body's ability to function well in terms of skin turnover?
Dare I  say that word again! Age...

As we age, the skins ability to remove impurities and replenish old skin cells decreases. Also the oil producing glands begin to slow down leaving you with dry, dull, thick and wrinkled skin. Hormonal changes also inhibit the body's ability to produce collagen and the present collagen stores begin to breakdown.

I personally recommend getting advise from a qualified technician before purchasing any such products, and should you wish to have the skin peels done - don't buy them online.. go in and have it done professionally, you only have one face so look after it!
NB: it is mandatory to use sunscreen as recommended here or you run the risk of developing serious pigmentation issues etc..

Some well-known brands containing alpha hydroxy acids:
Regima Peel & Heal
iS Clinical

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