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If you've spent any time browsing the skin-care aisle at the pharmacy, you've probably noticed plenty of products containing alpha hydroxy. Alpha-hydroxy acids come from fruits that contain sugar, and include lactic or glycolic acids. This smoothing ingredient is a beauty boon whether you're 15 or 40, since it helps fight skin problems from acne to wrinkles.
Alpha Hydroxy For Fresher Skin
If you're lucky enough to make the occasional spa visit, you might be familiar with glycolic-acid peels. These face-loving favorites leave skin super-smooth by eliminating dead skin cells and fighting the inflammation that causes redness and other discoloration. Glycolic acid is often available in higher strengths in spa or department-store products, and lactic acid is quite popular with dermatologists. Fortunately, these acids have now made their way into more budget-friendly drugstore skincare lines.
Alpha Hydroxy for Acne
Alpha-hydroxy acids dry out blackheads, pimples and whiteheads. They cause the outer layer of skin to peel, revealing a fresh, smooth new surface. The acids continue to do their work after blemishes dry up. Alpha hydroxy not only leaves a better-looking epidermis; those with acne scars will be glad to hear that the smoothing effect helps minimize the appearance of scarring as well.
Alpha Hydroxy for Anti-Aging
You don't have to be ancient to start noticing the effects of hormone changes and other aging issues on your skin. Skin gets thinner and loses its elasticity as we get older, in addition to those not-so-fine lines. Prescription and over-the-counter alpha-hydroxy-containing products can help. Watch for redness, peeling and other signs of irritation, since aging also causes some women's skin to become more sensitive.
Alpha Hydroxy for Everyone
You can benefit from alpha-hydroxy acids even if you don't have any major skin issues. Dermatologist Richard G. Fried headed a 1998 study in which a 10-percent glycolic-acid lotion improved skin's texture in just 12 weeks. It also cut back on redness, a problem for women of all ages. Creams and lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids may even give you smooth enough skin to skip makeup once in a while!