Last Updated: 17th Sept 2017
AHAs, otherwise known as “Alpha Hydroxy Acids” are a chemical exfoliant which works by helping loosen up the upper dead skin cells, allowing them to fall off easier and revealing brighter skin underneath.
Unlike BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) often only refer to one ingredient, Salicylic Acid, there are many more AHA ingredients such as:
However Glycolic and Lactic acid’s are most commonly found in skincare products due to their stability and proven effectiveness.
AHA’s are a great ingredient for most skin types and are often recommended over physical exfoliation because they are a lot gentler (when at lower concentrations!) on the skin.
Even those with dry skin can benefit as AHA’s can help your skin hold onto water better keeping is moisturized.
It is useful for brightening your skin and improving uneven skin tone. AHA’s have been shown to improve elastic fibers in the skin and increase the density of collagen and skin thickness, making it also a great anti-aging ingredient.
Two things to note when using AHA products:
An ingredient with brightening and anti-aging benefits? It's clear why AHA chemical exfoliants are so popular. With that being said, we've rounded up the internet's top 10 AHA products which you can start off with to reveal the brighter skin underneath!
Without further ado, here's your top 10 AHA products:
A toner with 5% AHA, a concentration that’s strong enough to see good results with consistent use. Along with the AHA, is the inclusion of Aloe Leaf Juice and Witch Hazel Leaf Extract which both contain anti-inflammatory and soothing properties which can be great for those with sensitive skin.
Another no-nonsense toner from Cosrx with a minimal ingredient list (only 10 ingredients!). Using Glycolic Acid as their AHA, they’ve paired it with Niacinamide, another brightening and skin strengthening ingredient to help bolster the brightening effects. Along with other moisturizing ingredients, it’s not hard to see why this is a fan favorite everywhere.
One of the early Korean Beauty favorites that has a great reputation on the /r/AsianBeauty subreddit. An 8% AHA product with Glycolic Acid, it also contains Panthenol and Achillea Millefolium Extract, both ingredients that have demonstrated to aid with wound healing. Making it particularly good for those fading the aftermath marks of recent acne.
A pricy Sephora beauty community favorite that contains Lactic Acid as it’s AHA ingredient. Formulated with a range of other plant extracts, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Leaf Extract sticks out to us due to its acne-fighting and brightening properties.
A popular western AHA pad product with both Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid paired with Witch Hazel Water for its soothing and anti-inflammatory effects. With 60 pads, that gives you enough uses for the effects of AHA to really take place.
An AHA gel with minimal ingredient list from the well-known Paula’s Choice. With Glycolic Acid as it’s AHA it’s also loaded with ingredients that also help with moisturizing, on paper it looks ideal for those with dry skin.
Another popular AHA product from Paula’s Choice with a strong 10% AHA for those who need that boost. Using Glycolic Acid as it’s AHA it’s also packed with a range of other great ingredients such Licorice Extract and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate that with brightening the skin.
A very highly rated product on all corners of the internet. It combines both chemical exfoliation with physical exfoliation due to the texture of the pads. Containing an AHA trio of Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Tartaric acid, it’s unlikely there will be a shortage of brightening here.
An AHA from one of the most popular skincare brands as of late, it contains duo of Glycolic Acid and Citric Acid alongside the use of Aloe Leaf Water - it reminds us a little of Pixi Glow Tonic. At 7% concentration of Glycolic Acid, it’s brightening effects won’t be hard to see with consistent use.
A serum from the popular Drunk Elephant brand. It contains both a trio of AHA (Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid & Lactic Acid) and BHA (Salicylic acid), making it both great for those looking to treat pimples and blackheads while brightening their complexion.
That sums up our round up of the internet’s top 10 AHA products! We recommend using AHA for almost anyone looking to give their skincare routine that extra oomph to it, with brightening and anti-aging effects it's hard to say no.
If you’ve any of the products above in the past, let the community know what you think by leaving a review on Skincarisma!