Discover our homemade AHA cream today!
For a little while now, we’ve been holding onto a Sunset Secret—a nighttime treatment that makes your complexion radiate health and happiness. Would you like to know? Drumroll please! It’s an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) cream that you apply right before you go to bed at night.
Made with lactic acid, this homemade AHA cream sloughs off dead skin cells and rejuvenates your skin’s appearance. Your complexion appears more even, smoother, better hydrated, and more radiant… Pretty impressive, eh?! We don’t know why we didn’t come up with an AHA cream recipe sooner.
Now you know our Sunset Secret, so your complexion can radiate happiness. Make good use of it—your skin will thank you!
How to make AHA cream
Before you begin
To make this AHA cream, you will be handling an ingredient with an extreme pH in its pure state: lactic acid (pH 0.6). You must wear appropriate protective gear (gloves and safety glasses) throughout the whole process.
Note that this ingredient will significantly acidify your AHA cream and give the final product a pH value between three and four. That’s exactly the pH we’re looking for in an AHA cream! You need this acidity to contrast with your skin’s natural pH: It’s what helps restore your skin’s beauty. For this reason, this cream is not necessarily suitable for all skin types, particularly for people with very reactive or dehydrated skin.
- 28 g (70%) demineralized water
- 1 g (2.5%) vitamin C
- 0.4 g (1%) lactic acid (an AHA)
- 0.6 g (1.5%) ho wood essential oil
- 0.4 g (1%) vitamin E
- 0.4 g (1%) elderberry extract
- 2 small stainless steel bowls
- Components to make two double boilers
- 1 basin full of water to make a cold water bath
- 1 small silicone spatula
- 1 scale, accurate to 0.1 g
- A few pipettes
- 3 ramekins
- 1 mini-mixer with frothing attachment (the small wheel)
- 1 thermometer
- Personal protective gear
- 1 funnel
- 1 airless pump bottle, 50 ml
Good to know!
- We advise against changing any of the ingredients in this recipe as this may alter the product’s effectiveness.
- Lactic acid is the star ingredient in this AHA cream recipe. It will help slough off dead skin cells, getting them out of the way so your skin can better absorb a hydrating cream.
- We use the emulsifying wax NF because it is the most stable emulsifier over this recipe’s change in pH. With a different emulsifier, there’s a strong risk of the cream separating when the lactic acid is added.
- Green tea maceration was chosen for its antioxidant properties, while macadamia oil was chosen because it’s restorative and softening.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and gives your complexion a healthy glow.
- Ho wood essential oil was chosen for its revitalizing properties.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Weigh the demineralized water in a small bowl and heat it on the double boiler until it reaches 70°C.
- In the meantime, weigh the oil phase ingredients in another small bowl. Heat them on the second double boiler until the oil phase reaches 70°C.
- Weigh the vitamin C in a ramekin and set aside.
- Weigh the lactic acid in a second ramekin and set aside.
- Weigh the vitamin E, essential oil, and elderberry extract in a third ramekin. Mix together and set aside.
- When the aqueous and oil phases have reached 70–80°C, remove them from the heat and pour the oil phase over the aqueous phase.
- Place the bowl in a cold water bath and mix with the mini-mixer until the mixture has cooled to under 45°C.
- Add the vitamin C, vitamin E, essential oil, and elderberry extract. Mix well with the mini-mixer.
- Add the lactic acid drop by drop with a pipette. Adding the lactic acid gradually prevents the pH from changing too abruptly, which would cause the cream to separate. Mix well after every two to three drops.
- Pour your AHA cream into the airless pump bottle using a funnel. That’s it!
Use and conservation
This homemade lactic acid cream is formulated for normal to oily skin. Use caution if your skin is dry, dehydrated, or reactive: lactic acid may further sensitize your skin.
We recommend using this cream before going to bed, once or twice per week, in lieu of your usual night cream.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, this homemade AHA cream will keep for at least three months.