How Do I Choose the Best Alpha Hydroxy Lotion?

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  • Written By: Dee Jones
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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Alpha hydroxy lotion can effectively reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and make the skin look younger. Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliates the skin, removing old, dead skin cells and revealing the undamaged, younger-looking skin underneath. Products that exfoliate the skin can leave it vulnerable to sun damage, so it is important to choose an alpha hydroxy lotion that provides sun protection. While it would seem that using a lotion with a high concentration of alpha hydroxy acid would provide faster, more dramatic results, experts recommend using lotions with a 10% or less concentration of AHA to avoid side effects. There are several kinds of alpha hydroxy acid, and glycolic acid is the AHA most commonly found in alpha hydroxy skin-care products.

Anti-aging products that contain alpha hydroxy acid are designed to exfoliate the skin, removing the dead skin cells on the surface. As a result, the younger skin underneath is revealed, giving you a younger, more youthful appearance. This new skin, however, is susceptible to sun damage. When shopping for alpha hydroxy lotions, it is important to choose one that provides sun protection, and preferably has an sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The more time an individual spends outside, the higher the SPF should be.


It is best to use an alpha hydroxy lotion that has a 10% or less concentration of alpha hydroxy acid. While it would seem that lotions with a higher concentration of AHA would result in faster, more dramatic results, these can also lead to side effects like burning, itching, and redness. Exercise care when choosing an alpha hydroxy lotion for acne sufferers. While alpha hydroxy acid can help reduce, and even eliminate, acne breakouts, acne products often contain higher concentrations of AHA, increasing the chances that the user will experience side effects.

When shopping for an alpha hydroxy lotion, consider choosing one with a low concentration of AHA. Most products will have recommended usage directions on the packaging but, when starting out, try using the lotion just once every other day for a week or two. If there are no side effects, irritation, or excessive dryness, begin using the skin lotion once a day, and work up to using the product as recommended. If you experience no serious problems from using the lotion after several weeks or months, consider switching to an alpha hydroxy lotion with a higher concentration of alpha hydroxyl acid.


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Post 2

@spotiche5- Lotions that contain higher levels of alpha hydroxy acid can be very irritating. They are also difficult to find over the counter. For these reasons, it is best that you go to a dermatologist to find the best high concentration alpha hydroxy lotion.

Your doctor will evaluate your skin, and may gradually increase your alpha hydroxy use to a lotion with 30% concentration so you will be less likely to experience red, itchy skin. He or she will monitor any side effects you may have, and adjust the usage accordingly. Over time, you should adjust fine to a more potent alpha hydroxy lotion.

Post 1

I have been using a moisturizing lotion that contains 10% alpha hydroxy acid. After using it for several years, I don't think that it is as effective for reducing find lines and wrinkles as it use to be. Does anyone have some tips for using an alpha hydroxy lotion that contains a higher concentrate of this ingredient?

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