Alpha-hydroxy acids are naturally occurring acids that are derived from plant sugars. Fruits like lemons, oranges (Citric Acid), sugar maple, and sugar cane (Glycolic Acid) are truly amazing for the skin! Natural glycolic acid for example is highly effective for supporting collagen production; which helps your skin stay strong and wrinkle free. Citric acids on the other hand are wonderful exfoliators and ideal for evening the skin’s pigment and reducing the appearance of age spots and acne.There are six types that are naturally derived from three main sources: sugar cane, milk and fruit.
Here are three beauty benefits this sweet stuff has to offer:
Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin. So when you apply products with sugar or sugar derivatives, they’ll actually help hydrate your skin and keep moisture within.
AHAs penetrates the skin and breaks down the “glue” that bonds skin cells, encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin. Glycolic acid is typically used to treat sun-damaged and aging skin. Because glycolic acid and all AHAs — exfoliate the top layer of skin, it’s important to always follow with a sunscreen if going out during daylight hours to avoid damaging newly tender skin.
Finally, sugar’s small particles make an excellent topical exfoliant, and are used in a number of body scrubs to exfoliate dead surface skin cells and reveal the glowing, healthy-looking skin underneath. Sugar scrubs also have a few benefits over salt scrubs. For one, small sugar granules are generally gentler than salt, which can cause microscopic tears in the skin; two, because of sugar’s natural humectants properties, these scrubs are more hydrating than salt scrubs, which can strip skin of natural oils.
Many generic body scrubs use synthetic plastic microbeads which cause serious harm to our planet’s water systems. Once they are washed down the drain, these plastic microbeads sink to the bottom of lakes, rivers and oceans and stay there. On the other hand, natural physical exfoliants like sugar - found in our formulas dissolve completely in warm water before even reaching water treatment facilities. At Ojai Sugar® Sustainable Skincare, we use organic raw sugar – another win for the environment!