Last Updated: December 29, 2022

9 best AHA skincare products.

WRITTEN BY Grove Collaborative • 16 min read

Alpha-hydroxy acids, also known as AHAs, are a skincare superhero. These acid exfoliators do everything from cleaning pores to reducing the appearance of wrinkles to removing dead skin for a healthy, radiant complexion.

There are tons of AHA skincare products on the market, and picking the best one for your skin can be quite a time suck, to say the least. That’s why we’ve gathered up our favorite natural AHA products for you to peruse — and try! From masks and scrubs to cleansers and treatments, there’s something for everyone. And if you find yourself with a question or two, we’ve got answers — check out the FAQ at the bottom for more info on the wonderful world of AHAs.

This list of products was determined by ratings and reviews from Grove members.

1. Mad Hippie AHA Exfoliating Peel

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Tired of age spots and other skin discoloration due to hyperpigmentation? Put this Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum to the test as it removes dead skin cells and brightens your complexion, naturally. This exfoliating face serum uses 10% alpha hydroxy acids (9% glycolic plus 1% lactic acids) to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the feel of …

1.02 oz
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2. Yes To Glow-Boosting Exfoliating Tonic 10% Fruit Acids

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Enhance your skin’s appearance to help skin look brighter and more balanced with this Yes To Glow-Boosting Exfoliating Tonic 10% Fruit Acids. This facial toner uses the natural powers of grapefruit and 10% fruit acids, including lactic acid, glycolic acid, and willow bark extract to promote the glow of an even skin tone. It’s SLS-free, …

4 oz
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3. Acure Resurfacing Glycolic & Unicorn Root Cleanser

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Sometimes life really is all rainbows and unicorns, especially when it comes to Acure Resurfacing Glycolic & Unicorn Root Cleanser. This cream-to-foam cleaner works its magic using a special blend of amethyst, glycolic, lactic, and true unicorn root. Rose quartz and amethyst combine their superpowers to defeat dull skin, while hemp-seed oil and …

4 Oz
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4. Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes

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Give your face a clean, citrus blast when you’re on the go away from home with these Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes 30ct. These facial towelettes are made with 98-percent natural ingredients, and they’re sulfate-free, paraben-free, vegan, and Leaping Bunny–certified. They clean, exfoliate, and moisturize skin removing impurities such as …

30 Wipes
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5. Acure Resurfacing Overnight Glycolic Treatment

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Catch up on your beauty sleep with Acure Resurfacing Overnight Glycolic Treatment. This magical elixir is infused with true unicorn root (not to be confused with false unicorn root, and yeah, it's a thing), hemp seed oil, and moonstone extract to refine and hydrate the skin. The luxurious, lightweight cream gently exfoliates with an …

1 Oz
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6. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes

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Give your face a refresh wherever you are with these travel-friendly Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes 30ct. These facial cleaning wipes are biodegradable, hypoallergenic, microbiome-friendly, nut-free, soy-free, triclosan-free, sulfate-free, non-GMO, vegan, and Leaping Bunny–certified. Plus, they’re a triple threat as they …

30 Wipes
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7. Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Gentle Milk Cleanser

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Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser is perfect for you types, made with all natural, calming ingredients for a smoothing cleanse that will leave your skin feeling fresh and clean. This gentle formula combines Soy Proteins, for a moisturizing cleanse that won't strip skin and Green Tea for an anti-oxidant dose of softness. Get ready to reveal your …
6 Oz - 170 g
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8. Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Daily Facial Scrub

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Who knew grapefruit was good for more than just a morning breakfast weight loss routine? This Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Daily Facial Scrub uses the power of grapefruit and lemon balm to get rid of dead skin cells and restore skin’s natural glow by evening out your skin tone and moisturizing your skin, too. Made from 99-percent natural …

4 Oz - 113 g
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9. Andalou Naturals Brightening Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

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Fruit stem cells, vitamin C, and glycolic AHA blended with Manuka honey and organic pumpkin, rich in beta carotene, gently dissolve and sweep away dull, dry surface cells, exfoliating and resurfacing for even tone, smooth texture, and a luminous complexion. As soon as it's been applied, you will feel a tingle on the skin, this is how you know that …

1.7 oz
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What is AHA in skincare?

AHAs are a group of acids used in an assortment of skincare products like serums, toners, creams, and concentrated chemical peels. AHA skincare products exfoliate dull, dead skin cells to reveal fresh, dewy skin and improve your skin’s natural moisturizing abilities. AHAs even stimulate collagen production for plumper skin.

But chemical exfoliants don’t stop there. AHAs also help decrease inflammation and redness associated with acne and rosacea, reduce the appearance of large pores, smooth out uneven skin tone and texture, and clear out pores.

For more info on AHA and BHA products and how to use them in your beauty routine for gorgeous, glowing skin, check out the Grove Health & Beauty team’s in-depth guide on everything you need to know about AHAs.

When do you use AHA in a skincare routine?

AHAs are great for all skin types, but they’re especially beneficial for folks with dry or aging skin. AHAs should be used after you’ve cleansed and toned your face but before you apply serums, moisturizers, and sunscreen.

Here’s a handy list of products that’ll have you layering your skincare like a pro. If you don’t use all these products, just skip the stuff that’s not for you, and move on to the next item. Feel free to take a screenshot for easy reference later on!

  1. Cleanser
  2. Micellar water
  3. Toner
  4. Acid exfoliant
  5. Essence
  6. Serum
  7. Eye cream
  8. Spot treatments
  9. Moisturizer
  10. Sunscreen

Chemical exfoliants strip away the layer of dead skin sitting on top of your face, revealing fresh skin underneath — and that skin needs to be protected. Make sure you follow up with moisturizer and sunscreen after you’ve applied any exfoliating acids to keep your skin looking its best.

Is AHA salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is the most common type of beta-hydroxy acid, also known as BHA. Other popular types of BHAs include salicylate and sodium salicylate, willow bark extract, beta hydroxybutanoic acid, tropic acid, and trethocanic acid. BHAs are great for people with acne or oily skin, because they dry out excess oil while removing dead skin cells that clog pores.

Types of AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, malic acid, and mandelic acid. Then there are polyhydroxy acids, otherwise known as PHAs. PHAs are the gentle giants of the chemical exfoliant world. They’re made of up larger molecules than AHAs and BHAs, so they don’t penetrate past the first layer of skin — this is good news for folks who have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated by the more deeply penetrating AHAs and BHAs.

PHAs include gluconolactone, galactose, and lactobionic acid. They work the same way AHAs and BHAs do — by exfoliating dead skin cells from your face to reveal glowy skin underneath and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because their larger molecules don’t go past the first layer of skin, PHAs might not be the best choice for folks looking to drastically decrease their wrinkles.

What is Grove Collaborative?

At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.

If you're ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative's natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.

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