It’s a Numbers Game!

What do the percentages listed on alpha hydroxy acid products really mean? Some skin care manufacturers and dermatologists want consumers to think they are getting higher percentages of AHAs in their over-the-counter products by listing them as 20%. The percent of glycolic acid in an over-the-counter alpha hydroxy acid product is federally regulated and cannot exceed 14%. So, how can some skin care providers claim to have 20% or more? It’s simple; the formulation is misrepresented.

Here is the truth about AHA solutions and how the percentage of glycolic acid is determined. A 100% glycolic acid (also known as AHAs) solution is not possible.  Most anti-aging skin care formulations use a 70% glycolic acid solution.  AHAs must be suspended in a base like a cream, lotion or gel. That makes up the remaining 30% of the product.  When using a 70% glycolic acid solution, 20% of 70 equals 14. That means that the ACTUAL amount of AHA is really 14%, not 20%.  Misrepresenting the formula leads consumers to believe they are getting a higher percentage.

At Alpha Skin Care, we are honest and forthcoming about the percentage of AHAs in our skin care products.  We make a 10% lotion, cream and oil-free gel, a 12% cream and a 14% AHA serum. We list the percentage right on the front of the box.  We want to help consumers to know what you’re buying.   The more you know, the more likely you are to choose Alpha Skin Care.

For more information, go to or enjoy the video.



About Barbara Goldstein

I am the Director of Corporate Communications for Scott's Liquid Gold and Neoteric Cosmetics. I am the third generation to work in this family business founded and based in Denver, CO. We will celebrate our 6oth anniversary in 2011.
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2 Responses to It’s a Numbers Game!

  1. Grace says:

    I found Alpha Hydrox (again after several years) after being kindly linked by a fellow member of a (unnamed) Beauty Board. I was able to experience the sale, for whichh I am thankful. More important than being able to dispose of (most) of my beauty regimen and replace with my new AH is the hand-signed “Thank You” card (by Dot) from your company. That…in and of itself (well…along with the explanation that my purchase is helping AMERICAN families) will keep me coming back. Yet another reason not to set foot iin that superbig box store basically owned by China!!!

    • bgoldstein says:

      Thanks for your support. We ARE a small American manufacturer based in Denver, Colorado. Every bit of support is priceless to us. Dot sits within a few feet of my desk. I will share this with her. She will be delighted. Thanks again for you faith and trust in us.

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