AHAs and the Sun

shutterstock_149502233 At Alpha Hydrox we want to help you to make good, well-informed decisions about skin care products and how to use them.  We have recently found that there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and whether or not they increase sensitivity to the sun. We thought we would take this opportunity to clarify the information.


AHAs are natural exfoliates.  They are derived from natural ingredients like sour milk, grapes and sugar cane.  When used in skin care products, these natural fruit acids loosen the glue-like bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface of skin.  If you are not using AHAs as part of your skin care routine the top layer of cells is fairly thick.  This thick layer of dead cells is the body’s natural way of providing protection from the sun.

When you begin using an AHA treatment product, it gradually exfoliates the layer of dead cells from the skin’s surface.  AHAs allow newer, fresher, healthier cells to come to emerge.  That’s a good thing. The newer, healthier cells are what makes your skin look younger and more radiant. Skin feels softer and smoother.  Fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots are less noticeable. As unwanted cells are removed, however, so is your natural protection from the sun.

sheer silk AHAs do not make you more sensitive to the sun.  They simply remove the layer of dead cells.  There are ingredients that do make you more sensitive.  For example, retinoids, also known as retinol or Retin-A can cause significant sun sensitivity.  Many people will stop using retinoids in the summer for that very reason.  Although, sun exposure any time of year is equally  damaging.


If you are using an alpha hydroxy acids as part of your daily skin care routine you must wear a sunscreen to replace what is lost from the dead cells.  Some people think that if you are using AHAs at night, you do not need to wear a sunscreen during the day.  At Alpha Hydrox, we suggest that you wear a sunscreen every day year round. We all know that the sun can damage skin and accelerates the aging process. Why take chances when wearing a sunscreen is so easy?  You can still enjoy feeling the sun on your face.


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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31 Responses to AHAs and the Sun

  1. Nasima white says:

    Dear Barbra Goldstein
    I have been a loyal customer of your products my whole life, however recently I saw the pure torture misery and pain inflicted upon helpless animals by conducting horrific medical experiments required by cosmetic and drug industry in house of horror labs..
    Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion- 6 fl oz
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    Alpha Hydrox AHAI was heart broken to find your company also use live animals in labs for those gruesome tormened experiments. .
    I will request you to stop those experiments on live animals where animals are mutilated made blind cut wound and then decapitated. .
    I will not buy my favorite brand any more unless its created with humanity and compassion. .
    Thank you

    • Good morning. We want you to know you are 100% mistaken. We do not, nor have we ever tested on animals. We understand that animal testing is a big concern in the cosmetic industry. That is why it is the first question we address under Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Here is the link on our website. http://www.neotericcosmetics.com/alpha-hydrox/faqs.html. Animal testing goes against everything we believe as a company. It is your prerogative to support the brands that you prefer but it is not right to make false claims about companies and their ethics. Before making any false accusations about any company, it would be wise to be sure you know the truth.

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