Malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables — especially apples — and it's likely your skin care regimen could benefit from using this supplement.
Alpha hydroxy acids like malic acid are frequent ingredients advertised on the labels of a variety of skincare products, treating everything from acne to psoriasis to dry skin.
In an article on skincare treatments, according to WebMD, malic acid
can work as an exfoliant, helping to rid the skin of dead skin cells.
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"It also helps make skin appear smoother and less blotchy. Some all-in-one skin cleansers and exfoliators are gentle enough to be used every day," reports WebMD. "For an effective but gentle exfoliator, look for products containing glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or malic acid."
The idea of using lactic acid and other like substances to treat skin is not a new one. According to Drugs.com, "In ancient Egypt, it was believed that Cleopatra bathed in spoiled milk, which contains lactic acid."
On a chemical level, the fruit acids are part of a type of organic acid that has a "common chemical structure," says Drugs.com. It's from the hydroxyl group in the acids that they came to be called alpha hydroxy acids.
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"Alpha hydroxy acids exert a thinning effect on the stratum corneum," Drugs.com explained. "Specifically, the acids cause an 'ungluing' of cells, causing them to shed instead of maintain their 'stickiness.' The thinning effect of the stratum corneum can be noted up to 14 days after treatment discontinuation."
Alpha hydroxyl acids work on acne "by helping to remove dead skin cells and helping to reduce inflammation," according to the Mayo Clinic. "Alpha hydroxy acids also stimulate the growth of new, smoother skin, which helps reduce the appearance of acne scars."
In general, alpha hydroxyl acids help your skin attain better elasticity, skin tone, and smoothing of wrinkles. They are used in chemical peels to treat acne, rosacea, age spots, scarring, and other skin conditions.
This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.
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