Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA) Exfoliants
Once skin cells reach the outer layer of your epidermis, the stratum corneum, they become flattened, keratin-filled envelopes that are no longer capable dividing.
These envelopes are called keratinocytes, and they are held together by a mix of protein bonds that help give strength to the stratum corneum, which helps your skin form a protective barrier from the outside environment.
Once skin cells reach the outmost layer, they’re naturally shed away to make way for new cells. When we’re younger, new cells reach the surface every two to three weeks. However, as we age, the cell regeneration process takes longer—from six to eight weeks for mature skin.
When skin cells aren’t shed frequently enough, your complexion can begin to appear dull and dry. Additionally, the accumulated dead skin cells can lead to clogged pores and blemishes.
AHAs work to detach dead skin cells by loosening the sticky, glue-like protein bonds that hold them together. This allows dead skin cells to fall away easily, revealing the brighter, healthier skin beneath.
In addition to helping to un glue dead skin cells, several studies have shown that AHAs can aid in increasing your skin’s thickness, improving collagen density and the quality of the elastic-like fibers that give you skin the ability to “bounce back” and remain supple