With alpha-hydroxy acids in nearly every skin care product on the world stage, it is very hard to choose which one is suitable for your skin. What all AHA’s have in common is their ability to exfoliate the skin, but they all have different properties that make them very different products.

AHA cleansers are very useful for every day exfoliating at home. AHA’s are also available in much stronger percentages in the skin clinics in the form of a chemical peel.

For every day maintenance and the prevention of fine lines/wrinkles, open pores and pigmentation, AHA’s should be an essential part of your everyday skincare regime.

What is the best Alpha-hydroxy Acid cleanser for normal skin?

Our Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser is the best cleanser for normal skin. It exfoliates the dead skin cells at the surface, unclogs pores and smooths dull rough skin. It will eliminate the appearance of very fine wrinkles and should be used twice daily. It is also an excellent make-up remover at the end of the day if required.

What is the best AHA for dry/sensitive skin?

Mandelic or Lactic Acid cleansers are the best choice for patients with extremely sensitive skin. A patient with very sensitive skin will find it difficult to tolerate a Glycolic Acid cleanser and they may have to avoid this type of cleanser completely, use it sparingly or introducing it extremely slowly. These cleansers can be very irritating in patients with very sensitive skin so patients with severe rosacea, eczema or other sensitive skin condition have to be very careful. PHA( poly-hydroxy acid) cleansers are also a good alternative for patients with extremely sensitive skin.

However, patients with papulopustular rosacea who also get pimples along with redness and sensitivity need to also exfoliate their skin and patients with eczema also get acne vulgaris. These patients should also try our Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser but maybe only 3 nights per week to start and often they have to follow the cleanser with the application of something like aqueous cream afterwards which should stop the irritation. Our Repair & Renew Gel (a combination of Glycolic Acid and Mandelic Acid) is also a very efficacious AHA product, the Glycolic Acid being the workhorse with the mandelic acid being gentle enough to counteract the irritation of the Glycolic Acid.

The best Alpha-hydroxy Acid cleanser for pigmented skin?

Our Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser is also very useful as an every day cleanser for skin with hyperpigmentation. It exfoliates the dead damaged cells at the surface of the skin making way for new healthy skin cells to take over. For best depigmentation results It should be used in combination with our Vitamin C 20%Anti-blemish Crème and a broad spectrum sunscreen.

What is the Best AHA for mature/post-menopausal skin?

Post-menopausal skin can be quite dry so sometimes an AHA cleanser like our Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser is too irritating/drying.  While it really brightens up skin it is best to use it at night only as a make-up remover and maybe use a gentler cleanser like Lactic Acid or Mandelic Acid in the morning. Alternatively our Glycolic Acid Foaming Cleanser can be used twice daily but the patient will need a rich moisturizer to counteract any dryness.

If the skin is drying out with the glycolic acid cleanser then you could try our Repair & Renew Gel which will give a more tolerated exfoliation and follow with our Retinol 1%.  This is an excellent combination product that will peel off the dead skin cells and visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles making skin look fresh and address dyspigmentation.  While glycolic acid will penetrate the skin deeply, mandelic is a much more gentle product so will help counteract any possible irritation.