Tested on animals:No
Continuing in its line of drugstore AHA options, Alpha Skin Care's Essential Renewal Cream 10% AHA is a good leave-on exfoliant, though lacking in a few areas (which is why it doesn't earn our highest rating).
This cream is remarkably lightweight, with an almost soufflé-like texture that absorbs quickly, providing an immediate softening effect. It's moisturizing enough for dry skin, but not too emollient, so it's also suitable for those with more oily skin.
The main selling point of this fragrance-free cream is its 10% concentration of the alpha hydroxy acid glycolic acid, and there's good news on that front: It's formulated at a pH of 3.73, ensuring it will exfoliate as claimed. As for other ingredients, though there is nothing potentially irritating included, it lacks a range of other beneficial co-stars such as antioxidants which are present in other Alpha Skin Care exfoliants and which would make this closer to being a top-tier option.
Another drawback is the product's packaging: It's in a jar. This isn't as much of a concern in this case because AHAs aren't as sensitive to light and air as antioxidants are (and there are no antioxidants in this formula). Still, there's a hygiene issue with jars and water-based formulas—inserting your fingers into the product can introduce bacteria into the cream. See More Info for details on why jar packaging isn't ideal for skincare products.
Note: This product was formerly available as 10% Glycolic AHA Enhanced Cream when the brand was known as Alpha Hydrox.
- Lightweight cream absorbs easily.
- Softens with a non-greasy finish.
- Features 10% AHA at a pH that ensures exfoliation.
- Fragrance free.
- Lacks a broader range of beneficial ingredients.
- Packaged in a jar.
Jar Packaging & Basic Moisturizers: While jar packaging is never ideal, basic moisturizing ingredients are less susceptible to the stability issues related to exposure to light and air. Thus, when a product (such as a balm or moisturizer) claims only to moisturize dry skin—and does not make anti-aging promises—the type of packaging has less influence on its ability to live up to its claims.
With moisturizers like this one, factors like an exceptional formula may help push them to a "good" or "excellent" rating, despite being packaged in a jar (but never to "top star" status).
Jars, however, can be unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers (or a spatula) into them with each use, adding bacteria. If you prefer a bottle or tube, not to worry, there are plenty to choose from in the Best Products section of Beautypedia!