If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I luuurve me some AHAs. (That’s alpha hydroxy acids to the uninitiated.) In fact, if I had to rely on just three ingredients to slap on my skin it might be retinol, AHA and vitamin C, but we all know you can’t create a masterpiece with just three crayons. Much like how your body needs a varied, vitamins and mineral-packed diet to function, your skin needs various ingredients too – which is why I hate it when brand’s hail one particular ingredient as the solution to turning back time.
Still, in saying that, one of the town’s big boys is a good AHA like lactic or glycolic acid. Essentially, they do a great job of exfoliating your skin to reveal a smoother, fresher-looking complexion while speeding up cellular turnover so it heals and repairs itself faster. For example, if I’ve got a dark mark left behind from a killer pimple, slathering it with AHA will ensure it disappears much faster than if it was left to it’s own devices.
For the record, BHA (also known as salicylic acid) isn’t an AHA. While AHA works on the surface of your skin, BHA gets deep inside the pore and exfoliates it from the inside out to help keep them clean and clear. If you’ve got acne-prone skin or struggle with blackheads, using a BHA lotion is an essential and Paula’s Choice make some very good ones.
But ja, getting back to AHAs… I always have an AHA cream in my life and right now I’m using and enjoying Dermalogica’s Skin Renewal Booster. I like that it contains soothing aloe juice as well as both lactic acid (an AHA) as well as a smidge of salicylic acid (BHA) and collagen-boosting retinol. I don’t, however, rely on this as my retinol source. For that, I use a serum as I’m hard guns about turning back the hands of time.
I really like that the AHA components sits nice and high at the top of the ingredients list so you’re really getting it in a decent concentration. I also love that the product has a lovely and light, easily absorbed fluid texture so you can wear it under your moisturiser (if you need more hydration) and a sunscreen.
At R780 for 30mls, this isn’t an affordable option for every reader but, unlike so many other expensive products that cross my desk, it is a goodie that can make a visible difference to your skin. In saying that though, you don’t have to break the bank to buy an AHA product. Uriage Hyseac K18 and Environ’s Intensive Alpha Hydroxy Gel are all serious winners and under R200 a pop. Just bare in mind that Uriage’s lotion doesn’t have the same feather-weight texture as Dermalogica’s booster and neither product contains the ‘extras’ – things like BHA and retinol.
Anyway, now that we’ve mentioned Environ, you should know they’re one of my favourite brands and one of few who really get AHAs right. They’re also one of the few I can ever think of when I’m asked about AHAs for body in that their Derma-Lac lotion (just over R200 for 200ml) is the shizzle’s nizzle of exfoliating body treatments.
Infused with exfoliating lactic acid, hydrating glycerine and skin softening urea, Derma-Lac does an excellent job of blitzing keto pilaris (those little bumps allergy prone people often get on the back of their arms) and ingrown hairs. I always apply it to my legs after I shave them and will slap it on my bod the night before I’m due to scrub off a fading self-tan as it helps to loosen things up a little.
The only downer? Derma-Lac’s texture is the teensiest, tiniest bit sticky (and I really do mean teeny tiny) but not enough to put me off. Especially since I’ve yet to find anything else that does it’s job better in a way that I can afford.
Keen to try it yourself? You’ll find Environ goodies at selected salons including the Sorbet group, making it nice and easy to get a hold of.