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Thioctic Acid

Also-called-like-this: Alpha-Lipoic Acid
What-it-does: antioxidant


Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a great antioxidant that's also part of the body's natural antioxidant system. It's soluble both in water-rich and lipid-rich environments so it's versatile and can interact with many types of evil oxidants as well as other nice antioxidants. 

ALA seems to be a great choice for topical use as studies show it can penetrate the skin rapidly where it's converted to DHLA (dihydrolipoic acid), an even more potent antioxidant molecule.  A nicely designed (we mean double-blind, placebo-controlled) 12-week study from 2003 confirmed that 5% ALA cream can decrease skin roughness and improve general signs of photoaging statistically significantly.  A slight catch, though, is that burning and warmth in the skin was quite a common side effect, especially in the first 4 weeks. 

All in all, ALA is definitely a research-proven, great antioxidant but if your skin is sensitive higher concentrations might not be for you.

Show me some proof

  • Beitner, Harry. "Randomized, placebo‐controlled, double blind study on the clinical efficacy of a cream containing 5% α‐lipoic acid related to photoageing of facial skin." British Journal of Dermatology 149.4 (2003): 841-849.
  • Podda, Maurizio, et al. "Activity of alpha-lipoic acid in the protection against oxidative stress in skin." Oxidants and antioxidants in cutaneous biology. Vol. 29. Karger Publishers, 2001. 43-51.

Products with Thioctic Acid

The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% Perricone MD High Potency Classics Face Firming Serum about-face essentials Resqoil DrGL Skin Repair Derma E Firming Dmae Toner Cosmedix Radiance Age Restorative Serum Derma E Ester C Cleanser Medik8 Pore Minimising Tonic Perricone MD Skin Perfecting Serum Perricone MD Advanced Eye Area Therapy Zelens Intense Defence Antioxidant Serum Ausceuticals Retinol Serum Derma E Firming DMAE Serum Paula's Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Serum Phace bioactive Detoxifying Gel Cleanser ATACHE C Vital AHA Gel Cosmedix Phytoharmony Balancing Moisturizer Nuface 24K Gel Primer Nuface Firm 24K Gold Gel Primer BRAD Biophotonic Skin Care Essential Elixir Pore-Tightening Resurfacing Replenish Serum Cosmedix Phytoclear Clarifying Moisturizer Made from earth Vitamin Enhanced Face Firming Serum Bioelements Multi-Task Eye Creme Perricone MD Thio:Plex Intensive 2-Step Brightening System [Step 1: Intensive Base] Eyetitude Retinol Eye Cream Skin Actives Every Lipid Serum Skin Actives Every Lipid Serum - Vegan South Beach Skincare Lifecell Trader Joe's Nourish All In One Facial Cleanser Ausceuticals 20% Vitamin C Serum (Reformulated) EltaMD Pm Therapy Facial Moisturizer Osmosis Renew Level 4 Vitamin A Serum Osmosis Skinsare Correct Level 3 Vitamin A Serum Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask Skin Actives Vitamin C Serum StriVectin Oleic Rapid Recovery Milk Mira-skin Hyaluronic Serum EltaMD Uv Physical Spf 41 SIRCUIT® Cosmeceuticals O.M.G.+ Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum The Jojoba Company Coq10 Antioxidant Serum dr. denese Firming Facial Pads A'KIN Oil Control Intensive Sebum Controller Christina Cosmeceuticals Wish Night Cream Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Osmosis Renew Advanced Retinal Serum Trader Joe's Nourish Enriched Intensive Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Emulsion Michael Todd Beauty Hyaluronic Acid + C Serum Ausceuticals 20% Vitamin C Serum