AHA (alpha hydroxyl acids) are an essential part of our exfoliating routines. They are great. They help to make your skin bright, treat acne, reduce hyperpigmentation and redness. But they also can lead to over exfoliating, irritation and damaged protective barrier.
So, what’s the alternative?
Some skin types react better to enzymes derived from papaya or pineapple, which provide similar effect to AHA, but not quite. But the recent kid on a k-beauty block has been flower acids – milder, gentler versions of AHAs. They’re taking beauty world by storm, it’s efficacy being backed by a growing body of research. In fact, it’s so good that we formulated our newest toner – All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner with it! So today we wanted to talk about flower-derived AHA, what it is, why it’s good and address a common question that people always ask – if it’s so mild, will it do anything for the skin? Continue reading to find out.
What is flower AHA?
First, what is flower AHA? While the majority AHA have natural origins, flower AHA – as the name clearly indicates – is derived from flowers. It can be just one type of flower or several.
Let’s start with one type.
Hibiscus flower extract is the most popular form of naturally-derived AHA. For centuries, hibiscus has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and used in teas and health cocktails. But it turned out, hibiscus extract has impressive skin benefits. Specifically, it contains malic acid and citric acid that gently exfoliates and brightens as well as helps with hyperpigmentation and improves overall skin clarity. While it’s a very mild acid, it still provides same benefits as conventional AHA and even helps to repair UV damage.
Now, onto the blend.
Some products may contain an AHA blend derived from several flower extracts, In case of our All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner these are:
In addition to Hibiscus benefits, Viola extract helps the skin to look and feel younger by providing essential vitamins and minerals. Rosehip extract clarifies and Celosia extract has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well as the ability to strengthen skin barrier and stimulate cell growth. Flower power? It sure is.
Needless to say that when compared to conventional AHA’s flower acids were found to be more gentle on the skin, more hydrating, provide greater cellular renewal and even reduce appearance of wrinkles by inhibiting breakdown of elastin and boosting production of hyaluronic acid. Gentler nature of flower acids also means it has wider usage – extracts can be added into skincare products we use daily – such as toners or lotions without risking to damage the skin.
Will it do anything for my skin?
One of the common questions that people ask after learning about flower AHAs is – well, if it’s that gentle, will it actually do anything for my skin? The question comes from an outdated belief that the product (especially exfoliating product, which acids are) must give a burning or stinging sensation as an indicator of a product doing its job. But that just isn’t true. Stinging feeling means that your protective skin layer is being thinned out (at best) or even destroyed all together. Even though strong AHA peels might give you an instant satisfaction of brighter (when redness goes away) and smoother skin, stressing your skin regularly can easily backfire in the years to come.
The bottom line. We strongly believe that the best way of going around skincare is being gentle. Less is always more. That’s why we always recommend to opt for milder products suitable for daily use – it’s an indicator that AHA in that product is very mild and percentage is relatively low. Instead of harsh exfoliators, try gentle products with acids and use them consistently. At the end of the day, incremental changes add up and with diligence and patience, you’ll notice healthier, clearer and brighter skin emerge.