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Hydroxy Acids

Hydroxy Acids


There are three types of hydroxyacids.

Alpha, Beta and the newer generation Polyhydroxyacids.


Examples of AHA include:

  • Glycolic acid

  • Lactic acid

  • Mandelic acid

  • Citric acid

AHAs remove the surface skin cells and increase the moisture levels in the skin by increasing the amount of water retaining hyaluronic acid. Something we try to achieve with artificial skin boosters.

Clinical improvement such as smoothing of the skin  occurs within 2 weeks.

Correction of ageing is achieved in 14-16 weeks.

By 6 months, there is a 25% increase in skin thickness.


  • Tropic acid

  • Salicylic acid

SA is lipid-loving and therefore is particularly useful in acne.

As such, SA is attracted to the overactive sebum/oil producing glands (sebaceous glands) where it removes any bacteria friendly keratin plugs and decreases their overall size so they collect less dirt.


PHA are larger than the other HAs and penetrate the skin gradually. This means they are less irritating than either AHA or BHA.

The other advantage of PHAs is that they can be used in patients with sensitive skin and in combination with retinoids.

Examples are:

  • Gluconolactone

  • Lactobionic acid

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