Smooth Skin Starts with AHAs

Clear the way with gentle acids

Alpha hydroxy acids, known as AHAs, deliver amazing results when used in skincare. They basically are your aha! moment when it comes to smooth, even skin. But what are they exactly? We break down what this chemical, well, breaks down.

So, what are they?

AHAs are chemical compounds that, when used in skincare, gently exfoliate the skin’s surface. Basically, they act as a chemical exfoliator (as opposed to a physical one).

Back up. What’s the difference between chemical exfoliators versus physical exfoliators?

Chemical exfoliators gently dissolve dead skin to allow new, smooth skin to surface. (Meaning, they exfoliate without any physical rubbing). Physical exfoliators feature micro particles—like the sugar crystals in our Sugar Face Polish—that gently buff away dry flaky skin. One isn’t better than the other, it’s just a personal preference.

What are the benefits of using AHAs?

AHAs in skincare can help reduce dark spots and acne blemishes, so your skin looks more even. They also leave skin super smooth. And they’re very gentle—the naked eye doesn’t even see visible peeling or shedding.

Which skincare products contain AHAs?

They can appear in everything—from face washes and masks to serums and creams. Even lip care! At fresh we have two products that feature AHAs—a face mask and a lip mask. Our Vitamin Nectar Mask features a concentrated citrus fruit paste (think crushed oranges, lemons, and clementines) jam-packed with AHA fruit acids. These naturally occurring fruit acids are what gently exfoliate the skin’s surface, leaving it super smooth while improving clarity. It’s a rinse-off product, but just 10 minutes with the mask on and you’ll see glowing results.

Our lip mask, on the other hand, is a leave-on product. And the AHAs are found in a blend of sugar and fruit extracts as well as hibiscus flower extract. Together, the natural AHAs retexturize the lips surface, leaving them soft and smooth. It also makes your lipstick applied after look more even, and is gentle enough to use twice a day. We rave about our Wonder Drops here.

Is it true that AHAs can increase your sensitivity to the sun?

Yes. But you should already be using broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF in your skincare routine. We recommend our Black Tea Age-Delay Lotion with SPF 20. Also, all of our Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments are packed with SPF 15. For more coverage, reach for Sugar Sport, which has SPF 30 and has a wide-stick applicator so you can touch up the forehead, nose, and cheek bones (or anywhere the sun hits).

When do I use AHA products in skincare ?

Products with AHAs are usually used on cleansed skin so they can get to work effectively and easily. And a moisturizer is applied after. An example of a typical skincare routine would be to wash the face with Soy Face Cleanser; then apply our Vitamin Nectar Mask (with AHAs); then use a serum like Black Tea (for firming) or Rose (for intense moisture); then add on a moisturizer like our Vitamin Nectar Glow Cream. Don’t forget to top it off with sunscreen (see above).