10 Best Makeup Artist-Approved Drugstore AHA Products Of 2024

Give a younger-looking glow to your skin and rejuvenate it from deep within.

Reviewed by Hillary Clark, Esthetician Hillary Clark Hillary ClarkEsthetician facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Kirtana Divakar MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years
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With people taking a keen interest in skincare and health, the demand for effective ingredients at reasonable prices has made brands worldwide improve their products. Many skincare companies have come up with the best drugstore AHA products to give the people what they want, and it is worth all the fame and glory. It is a class of chemical exfoliants that are made from sugary fruits. Contrary to BHA’s, these are water-soluble and exfoliate the skin’s outer surface to support cell regeneration. You find it in face masks, serums, and moisturizers, and they have emerged as an inseparable part of skincare. They fight wrinkles fine lines and promote blood flow while increasing collagen production. They also aid in improving the texture of your skin and giving you a radiant natural glow. AHA products are often believed to be too expensive to include for daily skin care, but that is a mere misconception. If you are not sure about what to buy, we are here to help. Here is a list of the 10 highest-rated AHA products that are affordable and budget-friendly options to revive your soft and glowing skin.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best For Exfoliation:Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel CreamPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Cruelty-Free:First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body ScrubPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Non-Greasy Formula:AmLactin Alpha Hydroxy Therapy Rapid Relief Restoring LotionPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Anti-Aging Benefits:Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body LotionPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Gentle Formula:L’Oreal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid SerumPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best Organic Ingredients:Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic MaskPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Skin Hydration:Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle CreamPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Uneven Skin Tone:Bliss That’s Incredi-Peel Glycolic Resurfacing PadsPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Dry Skin:RoC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Gel CleanserPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart
Best For Sensitive Skin:The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning SolutionPrice on AmazonPrice on Walmart

10 Best Drugstore AHA Products That Won’t Break The Bank

Best For Exfoliation:Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream

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4.3
Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream Image: Neutrogena

Transform dull, tired skin using Neutrogena’s moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acid. It works by resurfacing your skin’s uneven texture while smoothing and brightening it to ensure you are left with a refreshed and younger-looking glow. This brightening cream is enriched with the goodness of AHA, PHA, and mandelic acid, it visibly reduces fine lines, helps with acne treatment and breakouts, dark spots, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. The star ingredient, neoglucosamine, is the building block of hyaluronic acid and aids exfoliation to increase cell turnover, helping you achieve brighter skin. To add to that, this gel cream is suitable for acne-prone skin as it is oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic. It is one of the trusted drugstore AHA recommendations.

Hillary Clark, an experienced medical esthetician, says, “It is helpful for the skin that used to suffer from breakouts or that is challenged by UV-induced hyperpigmentation. Not recommended for the skin that is actively breaking out.”


Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2.83 x 2.83 x 5.39 inches | Weight: 5.93 Ounces.

Pros

  • Enriched with AHA, PHA, and mandelic acid
  • Exfoliates, brightens, and smoothes skin
  • Increases cell turnover by 10x
  • Oil-free and alcohol-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Clinically-proven
  • Suitable for acne-prone skin

Cons

  • May not be ideal for extremely sensitive skin
protip_icon Quick Tip
Wash your face with an appropriate cleanser before applying the product. Choose Neutrogena Hydro Boost if your skin is dry to normal and Neutrogena Deep Clean if your skin is normal to oily.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 13,551 customers have given the product positive reviews on Amazon.

Best Cruelty-Free:First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub

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4.4
First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub Exfoliant for Keratosis Pilaris Image: First Aid Beauty

Are you tired of hiding your gorgeous legs due to the embarrassment of razor bumps, dry skin, and strawberry legs? Well, no more! Strut the streets with confidence using this AHA scrub for these skin concerns. Active ingredients lactic acid and glycolic acid scrub away dry, dead skin to reveal a smooth, bright layer you will want to flaunt for days. The chemical exfoliant contains a nourishing concoction of bisabolol and vitamin E to nourish the skin and improve uneven skin tone and texture. The formula also includes feverfew, licorice root, and willow bark extract to protect your skin from environmental stressors and reduce the symptoms of keratosis pilaris. Free of artificial fragrances, mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals, this is one of the best drugstore products with glycolic acid that is safe for sensitive skin and has not been tested on animals.


Skin Type: Sensitive

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Free from gluten, nuts, oil, and soy
  • Contains lactic acid and glycolic acid
  • Reduces dryness and uneven skin texture
  • Free of artificial fragrances, mineral oil, parabens, and phthalates
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Clinically-tested

Cons

  • The scent may be overpowering for some
protip_icon Pro Tip
Dry brushing before exfoliation helps drain lymphatic fluid and boost circulation. Brush your skin in short, quick strokes from the bottom to the top of your legs.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 23,334 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

Best Non-Greasy Formula:AmLactin Alpha Hydroxy Therapy Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion

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4.4
AmLactin Rapid Relief Restoring Body Lotion Image: Amlactin

Your endless Internet scouring days searching how to achieve smoother skin can now come to an end once you get your hands on this body lotion with alpha hydroxy acid! Try this rapid relief restoring lotion by AmLactin and wake up to smooth, nourished, and moisturized skin every day. Formulated keeping dry, flaky skin in mind, this mild lotion contains ceramides and glycerine that gently exfoliate dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The non-greasy lotion is fragrance and paraben-free and offers 24-hour protection from rough and ashy skin. This is a reliable AHA skincare product that gives visible results and is for everyday use. Hillary Clark, says, “A gorgeous formula that is gentle enough for sensitive skin to use daily and it hydrates while exfoliating.”


Product Dimensions: 2.93 x 1.55 x 6.75 inches | Weight: 7.84 Ounces

Pros

  • Non-greasy
  • Contains ceramides
  • Fragrance and paraben-free
  • Provides instant relief to dry and rough skin
  • Exfoliates and nourishes
  • Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Suitable for mature skin

Cons

  • Contains SLS that may cause irritation in rare case
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 11,973 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream
Best For Exfoliation
First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub
Best Cruelty-Free
AmLactin Alpha Hydroxy Therapy Rapid Relief Restoring Lotion
Best Non-Greasy Formula
Skin Type All Sensitive-
Dimensions 2.83 x 2.83 x 5.39 inches - 2.93 x 1.55 x 6.75 inches
Weight 5.93 Ounces.- 7.84 Ounces
Rating
Reviews13,55123,33411,973
Price$16.49$12.0$14.99

Best Anti-Aging Benefits:Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body Lotion

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4.4
Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body Lotion Anti-Aging Formula for All Skin Types Image: Alpha Skin Care

Healthy and radiant skin will no longer be a distant dream with this moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acid. With a powerful blend of antioxidants and vitamins, the formula maintains and improves healthy skin while fighting the early signs of skin aging like fine lines and wrinkles. It also includes glycolic acid, a skin care ingredient that increases collagen production, aids cell renewal, reduces excess oil production, and exfoliates dead skin. Try this nourishing body lotion and we know you won’t regret it. Hillary Clark, says, Love glycolic for the chest and arms to soften fine lines and wrinkles while supporting collagen. However, remember SPF daily.”


Product Dimensions: 2.13 x 2.13 x 7.75 inches | Weight: 11.99 Ounces

Pros

  • Contains antioxidants and vitamins
  • Reduces skin aging
  •  Increases collagen production
  •  Aids cell renewal
  •  Exfoliates dead skin
  • Suitable for mature skin

Cons

  • The consistency may feel a bit thick for some
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 2,046 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

Best Gentle Formula:L'Oreal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum

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4.4
Loreal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum Image: Loreal Paris

The holy grail of skincare, a glycolic acid serum, is a godsend if you want plump, hydrated skin without imperfections. This one from L’Oreal Paris comes equipped with a 10% concentration of glycolic acid that resurfaces the skin’s texture for brighter, moisturized, and younger-looking skin. Within just 2 weeks, this age-defying product gives visible results and noticeable reduction in wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines, and an enhanced skin tone and texture. Infused with aloe vera, this gentle formula is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and dye-free, making it ideal for everyday use.


Skin Type: Sensitive | Product Dimensions: 1.43 x 2.02 x 5.34 inches | Weight: 5.12 Ounces.

Pros

  •  Contains 10% of pure glycolic acid
  •  Gentle formula for everyday use
  •  Ideal for all skin types
  •  Fragrance-free, paraben-free, and dye-free
  •  Improves skin tone and texture
  • Dermatologically-approved
  • Allergy tested

Cons

  •  The use of glycolic acid may increase skin sensitivity. It is advised to pair this serum with sunscreen during daytime use.
protip_icon Caution
Products containing glycolic acid may make you more photosensitive. It is recommended to use at least SPF 30 broad spectrum following the serum application.
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has received 8,318 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.

Best Organic Ingredients:Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask

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4.3
Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask Image: Andalou Naturals

A worthy mention on our list of the 10 best drugstore AHA products, the Andalou Naturals glycolic mask is all you need for brighter, smoother, and clearer skin. Enhanced with glycolic acid and pumpkin extract, this mask draws out impurities and rids it of dirt, excess sebum, and dead skin cell buildup. The formula also has vitamin C, a skin care ingredient that helps to improve skin uneven skin tone and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Packed with antioxidants and certified organic ingredients, this drugstore AHA mask is ideal for anyone looking for the best drugstore products with glycolic acid.


Product Dimensions: 1.22 x 0.87 x 0.48 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces

Pros

  •  Cruelty-free
  •  Non-GMO and gluten-free
  •  Certified organic ingredients
  •  Draws out impurities
  •  Brightens skins and evens skin tone
  •  Ideal for normal and combination skin
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  •  Consistency may feel thick for oily skin types
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 4,989 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

Best For Skin Hydration:Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream

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4.4

A revolutionary alpha hydroxy acid face lotion, Pond’s anti-wrinkle cream is here to help you achieve a youthful glow that will have all heads turning your way. With a proven formula that eliminates wrinkles and fine lines within 2 weeks, this wrinkle reducer product is ideal for fighting skin aging. It is loaded with the multiple benefits of AHA acid and ceramides that replenish skin with lost moisture and rejuvenates skin for a fresher appearance. Ideal for all skin types, grab this one for the firm, bright skin you’ve always wanted.

Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 3.7 x 3.4 inches | Weight: 14.08 Ounces

Pros

  •  Fights early signs of skin aging
  •  Reduces wrinkles and fine lines within 2 weeks
  •  Hydrates and rejuvenates skin
  •  Ideal for all skin types
  •  Suitable for daily use

Cons

  •  May leave behind an oily sheen


Best For Uneven Skin Tone:Bliss Thats Incredi-Peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads

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4.4

What if we told you that all you need is a glycolic-infused skin pad to transform dull, dry skin to soft, supple, youthful skin overnight? Hailed as one of the best drugstore glycolic acid peel pads in the market, it contains a pure concentration of glycolic acid that penetrates your skin to reduce fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and imperfections. It also includes witch hazel, bitter orange flower, and licorice to nourish skin, leaving it brighter and smoother. This 1-step, no-rinse product is your solution to a beautiful, glowing appearance.


Skin Type: Combination, Normal | Product Dimensions: 3.25 x 2 x 3.25 inches | Weight: 2.88 Ounces

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Plant-based
  • Leaves the skin soft and smooth
  • Convenient, single-step solution
  • Reduces uneven skin tone in 1 use
  • Professional-grade formula
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • May take a while to peel off


Still looking for a good drugstore glycolic acid cleanser? Don’t stress! Banish all your skin woes with this gel cleanser that effectively cleanses your skin while leaving it bright and refreshed. Infused with vitamin C and glycolic acid, it draws out impurities, replenishes the skin, and offers an oh-so-supple radiance boost. The anti-aging formula of the exfoliating cleanser is excellent in fighting skin aging, including deep wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, crow’s feet, and uneven skin tone. The clinically proven results show visibly clear skin in just 2 weeks!

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 1.75 x 2.2 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces.

Pros

  • Draws out impurities and cleanses skin
  • Fights aging
  • Evens skin tone
  • Ideal for dry skin
  • Refreshing citrus scent
  • Clinically-proven
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  •  May not produce enough lather


We’re sure you’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t heard of The Ordinary and its revolutionary line of skin care. Considered as the best AHA toner, it effectively exfoliates the skin for an improved appearance and radiant glow. With 7% of glycolic acid and glycerine, it reduces age spots, dark spots, smile lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Trust us when we say firm, beautiful skin is only one product away! This is one of the most recommended AHA products under a reasonable price; however, ensure you do perform a patch test before use.

Skin Type: Dry,Sensitive | Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 5 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces.

Pros

  •  7% glycolic acid
  •  Improves skin tone and texture
  •  Offers a radiant glow
  •  Reduces age spots, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation
  •  Ideal for dry, sensitive skin
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • May clog pores
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Hillary Clark, says, “AHA’s changed the skincare game in the 90’s and have become skincare staples. They are incredibly effective when used properly and have been getting a bad rep lately because when overused, they can compromise the lipid barrier. The simple rule with AHAs is that more isn’t better.”

Infographic: AHAs In Skin Care: Benefits & Precautions

There are enough TikTok trends going on and on about using AHA for smooth and radiant skin, and we are all familiar with them. But how much do we really know about these acids? Are we aware of how we can use them in the most safe and effective way? Check out the infographic below for answers to these questions.

AHAs In Skin Care: Benefits & Precautions (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

AHAs are derived from sugarcane or other plant sources. These are gentle and skin-friendly. They exfoliate the dead skin cells and penetrate deep into the skin to give you a smoother complexion and even skin tone. Alpha hydroxy acids stimulate collagen and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They are non-comedogenic and cruelty-free. The Neutrogena Bright Boost Gel Cream improves skin texture, while the Alpha Skin Care Renewal Body Lotion is a potent exfoliating treatment that smoothens and brightens your skin. The First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub helps reduce the appearance of bumps. But you don’t have to break your bank in order to own a beauty product for your daily skin care routine that has this super beneficial ingredient. The drugstore AHA products offer desired results without burning a hole in your pocket. However, some products may clog pores or may not produce enough lather. Some may find consistency thick. Remember to select products that suit your skin tone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use AHA products every day?

No. Use AHA products every alternate day to reduce the chance of irritation. You can then begin using AHAs daily when your skin adjusts to them.

How long does it take for the skin to get used to AHA?

Purging usually happens in the first 3-4 weeks, so it can take up to a month for the skin to get used to AHA. Likewise, visible results and improvements in skin exfoliation and the anti-aging process can take up to 3-4 weeks, while significant changes for acne result at 2-3 months.

Should I moisturize after AHA?

Yes. It is essential to moisturize your skin after using AHA to prevent irritation.

What happens if you use too much AHA?

Your skin may eventually start to dry out and flake. Also, you may experience uneven skin tone, patches, and red blotches. Another common reaction is breakouts, particularly those that appear as tiny, scaly, bumpy pimples.

Can AHA cause dark spots?

Yes. AHAs can result in dark patches and changes in skin tone for people with a darker complexion. Therefore, consult a dermatologist if this is a concern before using AHAs.

Does AHA help with blackheads?

Yes. AHAs aid in skin exfoliation by eliminating dead skin cells. This oil-control product can help eliminate blackheads and whiteheads by unclogging pores caused by trapped dead skin cells and oil in the hair follicles.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author, Kirtana Divakar, is a skin care aficionado and finds her passion in helping people choose the right products for their skin type. She extensively researched a wide range of AHA products — face masks, serums, and moisturizers — and their specifications to curate the list of products. These products, endorsed by users through their reviews, are best to exfoliate the skin and promote cell regeneration besides reducing/preventing the appearance of fine lines and improving collagen production.

Hillary Clark

Hillary ClarkMedical Esthetician

Hillary Clark is a third-generation beauty entrepreneur, celebrity makeup artist, and medical esthetician with 21 years of experience. Her stints as the youngest Beauty Director for Nordstrom and West Coast Beauty Editor for Sephora provided ample opportunities for her to collaborate with some of the most popular names in the beauty industry, such as Dr. Nicolas Perricone, Dr. Kathy Fields,...read full bio

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