Why use Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) in your beauty routine?

Over the last few months I've been using 'Gel Plus' by Neostrata. This was recommended by my dermatologist. I had a lot of milia (little white stubborn bumps that only will leave your skin if you extract them with a needle) that weren't ready to leave their home: my cheeks. My dermatologist had a lot of problems removing/extracting them and so she recommended to use Gel Plus, a product that contains alpha hydroxy acid. I did so for a few weeks to dissolve the skin layering on top of the milia and the milia itself.

Beside that I also had a lot of white comedones (little skin colored bumps on my forehead that also didn't want to leave the party). My dermatologist said that I could use Gel Plus on this area as well.

So what where the results for me? After a few weeks of using 'Gel Plus' by Neostrata (3 times per week for about 6 weeks) I went back to my dermatologist. She had no problem anymore removing the milia. And I can almost say that the white bumps on my forehead are completely gone. I should have taken before and after pictures, so sorry. I also have been using an extra step (effaclar duo +) which also helped a lot! This is stuff for a next blogpost, so stay tuned ;).

So what is this magic ingredient 'alpha hydroxy acid'? AHA (such as glycolic acid/lactic acid) is known to have water binding effects, so it will hydrate your skin (Gel Plus also contains alcohol, not so hydrating). It also has beneficial effects on skin pigmentation. So it works anti ageing, perfect, but that's not what helped me. AHA induces desquamation by inducing keratolysis (so the cells will detach from one another more rapidly). So what did the trick for me is that it dissolved the upper skin layer (stratum corneum) and therefore my milia and white comedones could be removed (some of them dissapeared on their own). Some side effect of this product can be skin irritation such as stinging sensation or redness. The higher the percentage of AHA, the more side effects. A product that contains up to 20 procent has lower risk of these side effects. If you try this, use it on a little piece of skin first to see if you're allergic or sensitive to this product. Talking to your dermatologist is always a good idea! Definitely (always) put SPF on the day after you use AHA because it will speed up the renewal of your skin and therefore your skin will be more sensitive to sundamage.

These are my most used beauty products

These are my most used beauty products

What about the Gel itself? Gel Plus is a gel that has a runny consistency. I's better to apply this at night because it leaves a sticky feeling to your face, not so pleasant, yet not very annoying either.  If you put this on your face, you will smell alcohol (one of the ingredients) but this will evaporate really quickly. For this reason I wouldn't recommend this for people with dry skin.

So if you have ageing and/or blemish prone skin, you can try this out.
If you have dry skin but still want to try AHA for the anti ageing or hydrating properties,  search for something that doesn't have so much alcohol in it.

Hope you enjoyed this post,

Lots of love,




Want to read more?
Cosmetic and dermatologic use of alpha hydroxy acids