Definition of alpha-hydroxy acid in English:

alpha-hydroxy acid


  • An organic acid containing a hydroxyl group bonded to the carbon atom adjacent to the carboxylic acid group. A number of such compounds are used in skincare preparations for their exfoliating properties.

    • ‘Chemicals related to vitamin A such as tretinoin (eg Retin A cream) and chemical peels containing alpha-hydroxy acids (eg glycolic and lactic acids) are commonly used for this.’
    • ‘While alpha-hydroxy acids are added to skin creams to reduce the signs of aging, they can also increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun.’
    • ‘To soften skin, use yogurt, which contains the alpha-hydroxy acid called lactic acid.’
    • ‘Nonchemical exfoliators such as alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids loosen dead skin cells so they slough off more efficiently.’
    • ‘Exfoliating scrubs and chemicals like alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoids (including retinol, Retin-A and Renova) can leave skin smooth and glowing because they eliminate dull, dead cells on the skin's surface.’


alpha-hydroxy acid