We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Alpha-hydroxy acids AHAs are a group of plant and animal-derived acids used in a variety of skincare products. These include daily anti-aging products, such as serums, toners, and creams, as well as occasional concentrated treatments via chemical peels.
TAKING THE ACID TEST: ALPHA-HYDROXY VS. BETA-HYDROXY
The Ordinary | AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Everything You Need to Know About Using Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha Hydroxy acids AHA's are a class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in fruits, milk, and sugar cane. Although they are called acids they are not to be confused with strong industrial acids such as hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. The AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic products are glycolic acid which is derived from sugar cane and lactic acid the substance that gives you muscle burn when you exercise. Other AHAs used include citric acid from oranges, lemons, etc. Products containing AHA ingredients may be for consumer use, salon use, or medical use, depending on the concentration and pH acidity.
Patch tests are an easy way to help predict if you may experience a negative initial reaction to a new product. It is recommended to perform a patch test before incorporating any new product into your regimen. We have outlined a general method for conducting your own patch test below based on the type of product. For more product specific information, review our Patch Testing Guide. Products Skincare Exfoliators.