The pHs of some AHA products

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I have a little collection of AHA products now, and since I also have a bunch of pH strips lying around at home, I thought it’d be a good idea to test all the pHs out, since they’re pretty important when it comes to choosing an AHA, and companies rarely state what they are.

If you can’t remember, this post explains why the pH of AHA products is important.

Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner (reviewed previously) – pH 3-4. I’m kicking myself for not writing down the percentage of glycolic acid in the product when I asked a Neutrogena rep, but I remember it being effective.

Dr Lewinn’s Purifying Toner – pH ~4.This has an unknown concentration of glycolic acid, but it’s listed below phenoxyethanol and sorbic acid, two preservatives that are generally used at very low percentages (<3%), so I would assume it’s not a great product if you’re looking for an AHA exfoliant.

Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel – pH 3-4, 8% glycolic acid.

Alpha-H Instant Facial (reviewed previously) – pH ~3, 10% glycolic acid (based on this tweet)

Neostrata Gel Plus (reviewed previously) – pH ~4, 15% glycolic acid. Because the % is so high, it can get away with a slightly higher pH and still be effective.

John Plunkett Glyco Peel – pH 3-4, 25% glycolic acid. The most concentrated glycolic acid in my stash. With the low pH and high %, it’s not a product for the uninitiated!

Skincare Guide


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2 thoughts on “The pHs of some AHA products”

  1. Not sure if my comment posted so sorry if this doubles.

    I’ve tried two glycolic acid products (Pixi glow tonic and VMV Hypoallergenics Re-Everything face-hand-body lotion) and found out that they break me out. Is there a purging stage to using glycolic acid or should I accept that it and my skin just don’t get along? I’m tempted to keep using it because I want to lighten my acne scarring but if it gives me new acne then that just defeats the purpose.

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