Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (also known as AHA's) are chemical compounds that can be either naturally occurring in organisms or synthetically formulated in a laboratory. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are used in common bodily processes, including the construction and deconstruction of glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Alpha Hydroxy Acids function as dermal exfoliants by breaking up the subdermal layers of tissue that hold the skin together, which allows the dead cells to slough off of the top-most layer of the skin.

There are two main types of side effects that can result from exposure to Alpha Hydroxy Acids: irritation and sensitivity to sunlight. Common symptoms of irritation include redness, burning, pain, itchiness, and possible scarring. In addition, AHAs can increase your sensitivity to ultra-violet light by rendering your skin more susceptible to the process of photo-aging.

Although studies conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have concluded that exposure to this ingredient can lead to an reduced tolerance to sunlight, clinical studies on the potential side effects from exposure to this ingredient have yet to be published.

For information about products that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids, see our anti-wrinkle cream comparison chart here, or our anti-wrinkle serum comparison chart here