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Basics
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are acids that help with exfoliation of the skin. There are many different types of AHAs but most commerical products contain either glycolic acid or lactic acid.

How they work
At low concentrations (the levels usually used in acne treatment) AHAs cause detachment of skin cells. In doing so, this helps to normalize the way the skin is turning over, decreasing skin stickiness and helping to unplug pores. Long term use can even lead to increased collagen and elastic tissue production.

Types of AHAs
Most AHAs are over the counter and can be found in many differing branded products. Well known cosmeceutical agents containg AHAs include Neotsrata, MD Forte, Glyone, and others.

Potential side effects
The main side effect of AHAs is irritation. This is seen as redness and peeling. Irritation can be reduced by following similar techniques as described with retinoids.


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