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What is alpha hydroxyl acid?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Alpha hydroxyl acid is a substance found in many skin creams. It works by increasing skin turnover—that is, it irritates your epidermis, removing dead epidermis, causing your skin to think it needs to rejuvenate and produce new cells, which has the effect of making your skin look younger. But you don't need to spend a lot of money on expensive face creams to do it; any product that contains alpha hydroxyl acid will do it; the expense on some products comes from other ingredients—not the ones that do the work.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.