Alpha hydroxy acids, including lactic acid, glycolic acid and citric acid, are a common component in skin rejuvenating products. Princeton University's health services department says the acids help by cleaning out your pores, removing dead skin cells and revealing newer, unblemished skin 2. The university also says the acids may reduce fine lines and help keep your skin hydrated.
Alpha Hydrox Toner Astringent
The toner from Alpha Hydrox is formulated for normal to oily skin, according to skin care expert Paula Begoun. It contains glycolic acid and other skin cleansers to help tone your skin's surface and remove any leftover debris deposits, such as makeup, that may be left after you've washed your skin. Additional ingredients, including herbal extracts and vitamins, may help nourish and condition your skin.
Amlactin 12% Moisturizing Lotion
The Best Alpha Hydroxy Acid Lotions
Amlactin offers prescription-strength alpha hydroxy in its over-the-counter body lotion, which was chosen by InStyle magazine's editors as the best body treatment product 3. Dr. David Leffell, a dermatologist at Yale University who reviewed the cream for the magazine, said its effects are comparable to prescription treatments thanks to its high concentration of lactic acid. Standard humectants and emollients also help moisturize skin.
Arbonne NutriMinC Facial Serum
The strength of alpha hydroxy acid in the form of lactic acid is combined with salicylic acid in Arbonne's serum. Begoun tested it and rated its performance very good. The two acids may accelerate skin cell turnover while keeping blemishes at bay by unclogging pores. Begoun concludes that the treatment is packed with beneficial, skin-nourishing ingredients, including herbal extracts and wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.
- The strength of alpha hydroxy acid in the form of lactic acid is combined with salicylic acid in Arbonne's serum.
- Begoun concludes that the treatment is packed with beneficial, skin-nourishing ingredients, including herbal extracts and wrinkle-fighting antioxidants.
Decleor Alpha Morning Cream
Leg Firming Creams
Decleor's skin cream holds two forms of alpha hydroxy acids--glycolic acid and lactic acid. Skin care expert Begoun notes that the cream's base has the right pH levels to allow the acids to work effectively on your skin cells. Emollients and skin conditioners also may help firm and plump your skin's look by boosting hydration and moisture levels on the skin's surface.
- Decleor's skin cream holds two forms of alpha hydroxy acids--glycolic acid and lactic acid.
- Skin care expert Begoun notes that the cream's base has the right pH levels to allow the acids to work effectively on your skin cells.
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- "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me"; Paula Begoun; 2009
- Princeton University Health Services: Skin Care
- InStyle Magazine: Amlactin
- Soleymani T, Lanoue J, Rahman Z. A practical approach to chemical peels: a review of fundamentals and step-by-step algorithmic protocol for treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(8):21–28.
- O'connor AA, Lowe PM, Shumack S, Lim AC. Chemical peels: a review of current practice. Australas J Dermatol. 2018;59(3):171-181. doi:10.1111/ajd.12715
- Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on the skin. Molecules. 2018;23(4). doi:10.3390/molecules23040863
- Tran D, Townley JP, Barnes TM, Greive KA. An antiaging skin care system containing alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins improves the biomechanical parameters of facial skin. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015;8:9-17. doi:10.2147/CCID.S75439
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Alpha hydroxy acids. Updated May 7, 2019.
- Andersen F. Final report on the safety assessment of glycolic acid, ammonium, calcium, potassium, and sodium glycolates, methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butyl glycolates, and lactic acid, ammonium, calcium, potassium, sodium, and tea-lactates, methyl, ethyl, isopropyl, and butyl lactates, and lauryl, myristyl, and cetyl lactates. Int J Toxicol.1998;17(1_suppl):1-241. doi:10.1177/109158189801700101
- Babilas P, Knie U, Abels C. Cosmetic and dermatologic use of alpha hydroxy acids. J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2012;10(7):488-491. doi:10.1111/j.1610-0387.2012.07939.x
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Beta hydroxy acids. Updated November 15, 2017.
- Moghimipour E. Hydroxy acids, the most widely used anti-aging agents. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2012;7(1):9–10.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sunscreen: how to help protect your skin from the sun. Updated August 29, 2019.
- Weller, Richard P. J. B., Hamish J.A. Hunter, and Margaret W. Mann. Clinical Dermatology. Chichester (West Sussex): John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2015. Print.
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.