Use of Nonprescription Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

W. Steven Pray, Ph.D., R.Ph.


US Pharmacist. 2002;27(5) 

In This Article

The Growing Popularity of AHAs

AHAs have a long history. Spoiled wine contains tartaric acid, and was used for cosmetic purposes by women in the court of France.[2] Women in ancient Rome used the sludge from wine barrels to prepare facial masks.[5] Cleopatra was reputed to have bathed in spoiled milk (most likely for its lactic acid content).[1] In the 1990s, AHAs were "rediscovered," and were quickly incorporated into hundreds of skin rejuvenation products. Virtually every cosmetic company now has at least one AHA-derived line of products.[6,7]


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