Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA

Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHAAlpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA, $15

Alpha Hydrox 10% AHA Lotion used to be a staple of mine, but I discontinued use because it felt greasy and gross to me. Time passed and I experimented with skincare, and I found that my skin likes a mix of physical and chemical exfoliation. During our break, Alpha Hydrox rebanded to Alpha Skin; new logos and packaging, new (higher) price tags. Little did I know, they sold the gel I now use, Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA, before. If I only knew!


Retailing at $15 for 1.7 fl oz, the Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA is a thin, clear gel that housed in a short squeeze-tube. When I use the product, I apply a pencil-eraser-sized dollop to clean skin in circular motions with my fingertips. It isn’t remotely greasy – I give it two minutes to absorb, then apply 2-3 drops of argan oil. I apply before bed and have glowing, smooth skin in the morning.


I’ve talked about acid mantles and pH before when it comes to skincare. Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA is a pH of 4.0. That pH is where you to be when we’re talking about chemical exfoliation. This gel isn’t a super aggressive exfoliant – it shouldn’t irritate most skin types. It isn’t a crazy peel, but you should tread cautiously when combining with other chemical exfoliation products (like salicylic acid).

Likewise, you need to wear sunscreen when using chemical exfoliants. It’s never really optional, but it’s extra-important. Wear sunscreen!

The Bottom Line

I purchased a backup tube a few months ago and see myself using for the foreseeable future and would recommend it. Only people I’d caution from it are people with hyper-sensitive skin; otherwise, most skin types should be fine.

I was considering buying Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment, but for $48/oz, I decided that wasn’t worth it; this is working well, and I can’t easily uncover information like AHA concentration percentages and pH with the Ole product.

3 thoughts on “Alpha Skin Essential Renewal Gel 10% AHA”

  1. Ok, silly question here (and I’m sorry it’s not really about the Alpha product itself – though I should probably be using something like that on my face), but I’ve always wondered:

    Many/most (or all?) sunscreen labels tell you to reapply every ‘x’ number of hours. Now if you’re like me and your skin is full of stupid looking stuff you’d really rather cover, so you wear foundation and other stuff over top, should you technically have to clean your face and put everything on again (including reapplying sunscreen) in the middle of your work day? I’ve always been told that fluorescent office lights suck for your skin and that us desk jockeys should wear sunscreen all day long. But how does that work with makeup?!

    Also, do you have a great NON-greasy (aaaahhh!) facial sunscreen you’d recommend? :)

    Thank you!

    • This particular topic used to make me insane – I could (and now probably will) devote a whole post to it. To quickly answer – the 2-3 hour application guideline applies to that much exposure – so if you’re outside for that time. A (perhaps over) simplified explanation is that the ingredients that shield your skin from the sun break down with exposure, so you have to renew that shield. According to the NCBI, we should probably be applying more often if we’re outside.

      The good news, though, is that us desk jockeys’ laziness is preserved. Fluorescent office lights do suck for a million reasons, but they don’t emit UVA/UVB radiation that can cause skin cancer and premature aging. So you can apply in the morning before your commute, work all day, and commute home without having to redo your face midway through the day.

      For non-greasy sunscreen, I look to our friends in the East. Korea and Japan have some excellent, non-greasy, non-smelly facial sunscreens – my favorite is from Biore Japan, their Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA++++. I order from a third party Amazon seller for about $10, shipped – which is cheaper than even a lot of drugstore facial sunscreens in the US. It has the consistency of a light primer or moisturizer. I adore the stuff.

      • Oh, thank heavens! lol, I feel a little bit better about this now.
        And I will definitely check out your sunscreen suggestions!
        Thank you so much for the informative reply!

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