Everything you need to know about AHAs – and how to use exfoliating acids in your routine to get glowing skin

The secret to naturally radiant skin? Regular exfoliation – and we don’t mean scratching away at your face with a harsh scrub.

Incorporating exfoliating acids like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) into your skincare routine is the smartest way to a brighter, fresher, more youthful complexion – and they're as easy as anything to incorporate into your routine.

Here’s everything you need to know about these skin-smoothing ingredients...

How do AHAs work?

AHAs are water-soluble molecules that penetrate the upper layers of the skin and break down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to then be whisked away to reveal a softer, smoother appearance.

What should I be looking out for?

The most common types of AHAs are glycolic, lactic and mandelic, and you’ll also find acids derived from fruit, such as citric, malic and tartaric.

Are they suitable for my skin?

Most skin types, whether dry or oily, can benefit from using AHAs, although if you’re new to using them, it’s best to introduce the product gradually into your routine to avoid any risk of irritation. And always follow with an SPF in the morning.

How should AHAs be used?

AHAs can be found in a wide variety of skincare products, from everyday cleansers and toners to serums and wash-off treatments. One way of getting a quick brightening effect is to use a mask that contains AHAs, such as Balance Me AHA Glow Mask.

This mask contains a trio of glycolic, lactic and malic acids along with kaolin clay to reveal a clear, glowing complexion in just 15 minutes. It can be used up to three times a week for maximum results.

If you fancy trying out this brilliant Balance Me mask, you’ll find a travel size tube inside the latest OK! Beauty Box. The mask alone normally costs £14, but new customers can get it, along with five other products, for just £7.50 when they sign up for the monthly subscription service.

The treats inside this month’s box are worth over £60 in total, so it’s perfect for getting your glow on.