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Ingredient Deep Dive: What are Fruit Acids and Why are They in My Skincare?

Have you ever noticed things such as bilberry, lemon, orange, pineapple, grape, passionfruit, sugar cane, or sugar maple extracts in your skincare before and wondered why they are there?

These botanical extracts are a natural source of alpha hydroxy acids or AHAs. They are used in products to promote a brighter, smoother complexion by increasing skin cell turnover. These extracts can be found in creams, lotions, gels, peels, masks, and facial washes.

AHAs help speed up the detachment of keratinocytes, the primary cell type found in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin. Cell turnover contributes to a youthful, smooth complexion as new skin cells from deeper layers travel towards the upper layers to form the waterproof barrier of our skin, create our skin tone, and keep our complexion looking vibrant.

As we age the rate of skin cell turnover declines and leads to a decrease in collagen synthesis and elastin. This in turn leads to a loss of firmness, elasticity, lift, and overall glow. The longer skin takes to shed the dryer and duller it may appear.

According to dermatology experts, cell turnover in teens averages 21-28 days, by middle age the rate can slow to 28-42 days, and by age 50 it may be as long as 42-84 days.

The build up of dead cells can also make it more difficult for skincare products to penetrate into the skin.

Exfoliation assists in removing the dull, sluggish cells to help reveal a more radiant complexion. AHAs allow for chemical exfoliation to slough off "stuck" cells and thin the stratum corneum. The result is smoother skin and improved tone and a more youthful, brighter appearance and overall thickening of the epidermis.

Because the stratum corneum thins, AHAs can leave the epidermis more susceptible to UV radiation. Therefore the percentage of AHAs must be used in safe limits in products and said products may contain a warning that the product may increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun.

I include a fruit acid complex in our Be Fresh Face Wash as well as jojoba beads to offer gentle exfoliation in addition to cleansing. The result is that skin feels clean, bright, and hydrated. The fruit acid blend I used contains bilberry (similar to blueberry), lemon, orange, sugar cane, and sugar maple extracts which boast natural AHAs. It's the hero ingredient that elevates that enhances the action of the facial wash and elevates its performance.

The cleanser contains gentle foaming surfactants and a bright, sunshiny aroma of grapefruit paired with floral palmarosa and refreshing tea tree essential oils and is one of our customer favorites. It is excellent for mature skin as well as oily skin types.

So next time you see sweet and fruity extracts in your facial products you might just say AHA! It might be naturally occuring alpha hydroxy acids helping keep my skin looking bright and smooth.

To explore our facial cleansers, serums, and more click here.

aromatic blessings,


Grove GL, Kligman AM. Age-associated changes in human epidermal cell renewal. J Gerontol. 1983 Mar;38(2):137-42. doi: 10.1093/geronj/38.2.137. PMID: 6827031.


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