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Alpha Hydroxy for your Skin

Updated on October 31, 2013

What is Alpha Hydroxy?

What can it do to improve the look of your skin and hopefully, make you look younger in the process?

Discover the various types of alpha hydroxy acids, where they come from, and what they can do to give you truly beautiful skin.

Test your Knowledge!

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Alpha Hydroxy Defined

The term alpha hydroxy refers to a group of various fruit acids used to treat the skin and skin conditions.

Alpha hydroxy products (a/k/a AHA or alpha hydroxy acid) are derived from a variety of different sources and provide different resolutions to skin care issues. So, depending on what it is you want to do with your skin, that decision will determine which AHA will work best for you.

Skin conditions that can be treated, corrected or controlled with AHA's include - but are not limited to -

  • Exfoliation
  • Reverse UV ray sun damage
  • Diminish fine lines and wrinkles
  • Even out skin tone and correct blemishes
  • Smooth skin
  • Hydration/moisture
  • Rebuild collagen fibers under surface layer of skin
  • Increase turnover rate of healthy cell production
  • Antioxidant fighting free radical damage
  • Total rejuvenation
  • Treatment of skin conditions (acne, rosacea)
  • Increase elastin/tightening effect
  • Reduction of pore size
  • Healthy glow restored
  • Accelerate effects of other products for more intensive skin treatments

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of these issues. Nice to know there's help!


Glycolic Acid

Origin: Sugar cane or synthetically produced


  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Moisturizer
  • Evens out complexion
  • Accelerates effectiveness of other products for more advanced skin care treatment(s)


  • Rids skin of dead skin cells on top layer of skin to reveal new healthy cells underneath
  • Used to control skin problems such as acne
  • Smooths skin, evens out complexion
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles


Citric Acid

Origin - Citrus fruits


  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Fights free radical damage
  • Encourages rebuilding of collagen


  • Due to high antioxidant properties, this AHA is considered to be an excellent choice to fight free radical damage which ages the skin
  • Generally contains vitamin C , another powerful, healthy skin supplement
  • It stimulates collagen production which is another reason to consider it a strong anti-aging tool
  • Due to help with collagen fiber development, it in turn helps increase elasticity in skin, which may result in a firmer tighter appearance for you!


Lactic Acid

Origin - Sour milk (no kidding!)


  • Soften the skin
  • Exfoliation
  • Hydrate and retain moisture in skin
  • Accelerates effectiveness of other skin care products for more intensive treatments or skin issues


  • Best AHA to soften the skin, thereby softening look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Relieves sufferers of hard, thick, tough skin (which may be caused by more serious skin conditions)
  • Exfoliates to removed dry, dead skin cells revealing fresh cells underneath top layer of skin


Combining AHAs

Listed above are the most common varieties of AHAs. There are a few more kinds, but they are less popular when used by themselves and in some cases, are used more for treatment and control of skin care concerns rather than anti-aging, exfoliating and moisturizing the skin.

When certain AHAs are combined, the effect can be dramatic.

Just as the term "acid" suggests, these products are acid-like in nature. If too much AHA is used or if your skin appears to be sensitive to what you are using, discontinue use immediately as a serious "burn" may result.

Even though AHAs are considered to be a part of the chemical peel family, the general intent is not to burn the top layer of skin off your face in one swoop. Most AHAs are to be used with the understanding that it will be used on a frequent and regular basis, therefore, the products used should be more gentle than harsh in nature. If you have ever used an AHA without realizing the type or strength of the topical cream, you may have experienced the pain of the burn that can result. Redness will result from a burn and may take several days to heal.

It is really important to ALWAYS wear a high level sunscreen when using any kind of AHA product.


Alpha vs. Beta Hydroxy Acids

You may have also heard the term "beta hydroxy."

Beta hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid, is mainly used to treat acne, blackheads and whiteheads. This is due to the fact that beta hydroxy is able to get deep into the pores, into the sebaceous oil glands, the root of all acne. Once the beta hydroxy penetrates the pores and glands, it is able to go to work clearing out the dead skin cells which block the glands and pores (resulting in acne/blackheads/whiteheads). Beta hydroxy is excellent in treating oily, acne-prone skin.

AHAs are only water soluble, and are more effective in treating rough, thick or sun-damaged skin, and much more effective when used as an anti-aging treatment.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids


Alpha Hydroxy Products - Your New Best Friends

Alpha Hydroxy (Hydroxl) products are fantastic for your skin because they help exfoliate to reveal fresh, younger-looking skin.

The purpose of using this type of product is to strip away that top, dull layer of skin, containing all sorts of nasty things like dirt, oil and dead skin cells.

Find out which alpha hydroxy works best for your skin and welcome your new best friend!

Thank you for visiting : )

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