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4 Alpha Hydroxy Acids to Fade Dark Spots

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Sheetal Rawal, Founder, Apsara Skin Care

Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care

By: Marty S.

Chemical acid peels have become so popular these days. The treatment sounds so simple, doesn’t it? After a chemical solution is placed on your skin, you just need to wait for it to shed the dead cells on the upper layers of your skin and reveal the youthful, glowing layers underneath. And yet, the process isn’t foolproof. Sometimes, you experience redness long after the procedure or your skin may develop a new blemish because of it.

You don’t have to get a chemical peel to get youthful skin and fade the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. Instead, you can harness the power of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which can be just as effective as a chemical peel without any unnecessary side effects. Today, we will be going over 4 alpha hydroxy acids that you should know if you want skin that is free of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. These alpha hydroxy acids can easily be incorporated into a home remedy, which we will link to below. Alternatively, if you want to learn more reasons why you should avoid chemical peels, click here.

1. Glycolic Acid Can Minimize the Appearance of Dark Spots & Wrinkles Fast

By far one of the most, if not the most, popular alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid is a staple in many skin care products. Like all AHAs, glycolic acid works by dissolving the bonds that connect the dead cells on the upper layers of your skin. By doing so, glycolic acid can improve cell turnover and help promote more youthful, radiant skin. What makes glycolic acid so special, however, are two things. First, glycolic acid is the smallest AHA on a molecular level. This means that glycolic acid can more easily penetrate your skin and encourage exfoliation on a deeper level. Second, glycolic acid can stimulate the production of collagen, which is key to preventing premature aging and minimizing the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and blemishes. Thus, when compared to other alpha hydroxy acids, your results with glycolic acid may be better due to a higher rate of cell turnover and renewal.

A lot of people use AHAs like glycolic acid to diminish signs of aging, but glycolic acid is a powerhouse that has other significant uses. Glycolic acid can minimize acne by unclogging your pores of any trapped dirt, oil, and bacteria, which is what might be causing your acne to develop. Glycolic acid is also thought of as a humectant, meaning it helps your skin attract moisture and reduce dryness. On top of that, glycolic acid is considered gentle on your skin and may even work for those with sensitive skin.

Glycolic acid is capable of doing so much for your skin, but it is not a difficult product to acquire. Glycolic acid is naturally found in sugar cane. Dark brown sugar is an excellent choice if you want to experiment with glycolic acid. Here are a few brown sugar home remedies that will get you started.

"...the Apsara products did work, and they faded lots of dark spots that I had on my face. They are pretty much, I would say, almost gone."

2. Malic Acid Can Diminish Blemishes & Balance Out Your Skin

Glycolic acid certainly is potent, but it is worth getting to know the other alpha hydroxy acids on our list. If glycolic acid is too harsh for you, you should use a different alpha hydroxy acid on your skin. Malic acid, for example, is an AHA that is a mild exfoliant and is beneficial for those with sensitive skin. This is partly due to the fact that malic acid can restore your skin’s natural pH. Maintaining your skin’s pH allows your skin to protect itself from irritation, redness, dryness, et cetera. While malic acid isn’t as strong as glycolic acid, it can still slough off the dead cells on the upper layers of your skin so that your complexion exhibits no fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Better yet, combining it with other alpha hydroxy acids can promote more cell turnover and exfoliation.

Malic acid is found naturally through apple and apple cider vinegar. We love using apple cider vinegar in a home remedy because it can help you fade blemishes and get glowing skin.

3. Tartaric Acid Can Fight Free Radical Damage & Fade Dark Spots

Though not as common as the other three in this list, tartaric acid can be used to fade dark spots and exfoliate your skin. Similar to malic acid, tartaric acid is a mild exfoliant that works best when you combine it with other alpha hydroxy acids. Plus, tartaric acid has antioxidant properties. As an antioxidant, tartaric acid helps neutralize the damage done by free radicals, which may be causing your dark spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, or blemishes.

Tartaric acid is found in grapes and tamarinds. In fact, tartaric acid is an essential component of wine. To learn how to make an easy tartaric acid home remedy, click here.

Looking for a way to fade dark spots, hyperpigemtation, and melasma at home? This glycolic acid brown sugar home remedy is made from all-natural ingredients and can be made with ingredients from your pantry. Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

4. Citric Acid Can Brighten Up & Even Out Your Skin

Even if you are unfamiliar with alpha hydroxy acids, you might have utilized citric acid in one form or another. As its name suggests, citric acid is found in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Many people use citric acid to brighten their skin, maintain an even skin tone, and minimize dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. However, citric acid also has antibacterial, astringent, and antioxidant properties. In addition to citric acid’s ability to exfoliate your skin, this particular alpha hydroxy acid can eliminate acne-causing bacteria, minimize the appearance of open pores, reduce excess oiliness, and neutralize free radical damage.

Citric acid can help you get rid of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma, but be careful. Overusing citric acid on your skin may irritate it and lead to redness, dryness, and swelling. Luckily, the citric acid home remedy found here uses just enough so that your skin looks more glowing without any negative side effects.

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Go natural. It is good karma!