What is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid?

If you love to learn about skincare you probably often hear the about alpha hydroxy acid, also known as AHA. AHA’s are acids that exfoliate the top layers of the skin. They are well established in skincare to treat fine lines, smooth texture, and improve uneven skin tone. The most common AHA’s used in skincare and where they come from are listed below.

  • Glycolic Acid – derived from sugar cane
  • Lactic Acid – derived from milk
  • Malic Acid – derived from apples and pears
  • Citric Acid – derived from oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits
  • Tartaric Acid – derived from grapes
  • Mandelic Acid - derived from bitter almond

As you can see, most AHA’s are plant-derived except for lactic acid which is from milk. AHA’s are also popular and effective in chemical peels at higher concentrations. Be sure to ask your dermatologist if an AHA peel may be helpful to address your skincare concerns.