Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Why it's Dermoi

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are extremely well studied cosmeceutical active ingredients that have been used for decades. AHAs are very effective exfoliants that have the ability to even skin tone and texture. For this reason, they are commonly used to manage congested, bumpy skin and to restore skin radiance.

Scientific studies on AHAs also confirm their anti-aging effects. AHAs have the ability to boost collagen production and increase collagen density in the dermis; a key task to reduce and prevent the appearance of wrinkles. In addition, AHAs brighten the skin tone and can be used to treat all forms of hyperpigmentation, such as melasma, sunspots, and acne marks.


Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are a class of cosmeceutical skincare acids. They have been used for generations to treat a variety of skin concerns and conditions such as acne and photoaging.

AHAs exfoliate the skin. The skin’s outer layers are composed of dead skin cells called corneocytes. The skin naturally sheds its outer layer in specific cycles; however, it is possible for dead skin cells to build up on the surface of the skin causing dullness, acne, and uneven texture.

Exfoliation removes excess dead skin cells from the surface of the skin promoting a clear, radiant complexion. AHAs exfoliate the skin by breaking apart the bonds that hold dead skin cells to each other and to the surface of the skin.¹

Exfoliation with AHAs has benefits over traditional, physical exfoliation with scrubs. This is because scrubs can cause micro scratches and inflammation in the skin.

AHAs also show improvements in skin that has aged from environmental elements, such as photoaging. They have shown measurable decreases in skin roughness, discolouration (hyperpigmentation), and collagen density.¹ With daily use, AHAs will increase the thickness of the dermal layer and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.²

Common AHAs found in many skincare formulations include Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Mandelic Acid. Depending on their concentration, AHAs may cause some stinging or itching on the skin. They must also be used with a broad-spectrum daily sunscreen.


1. Kornhauser A, Coelho SG, Hearing VJ. Applications of Hydroxy Acids: Classification, Mechanisms, and Photoactivity. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2010 Nov 24;3:135-42.
2. Green B, Yu R, Van Scott E. Clinical and Cosmeceutical Uses of Hydroxyacids. Clinics in Dermatology. 2009;27(5):495-501.

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Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

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