Vegan AHA Skincare 2023

By Liis Hainla. Updated: January 2023.
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Vegan AHA Skincare

AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids are the kings of exfoliating skincare. These gentle acids melt away dead skin cells without harming or drying out your skin.

AHAs also have great anti-aging and clarifying benefits. They improve blood flow which leads to natural collagen production, reduced wrinkles, smoother skin texture, and brighter complexion.

There are many different types of alpha hydroxy acids – most of which are plant-derived and widely used in vegan skincare. Here is our collection of the best vegan AHA skincare for 2023.

See also:
Vegan Glycolic Acid Skincare
Vegan Lactic Acid Skincare

PS all products below are vegan and cruelty-free, meaning they are free of animal-derived ingredients and have not been tested on animals. 💚

Best Vegan AHA Skincare

Renew your skin with these vegan AHA skincare products from our favorite vegan and cruelty-free skincare brands. Enjoy these vegan skincare products from leading skincare brands.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Drunk Elephant

This vegan AHA face mask is expensive but it delivers real results. Thanks to a high 25% AHA blend and salicylic acid, this exfoliating mask truly brightens the skin and even helps clear acne. While effective, this is not the mask for sensitive skin.

  • What we like: very refreshing, improves skin texture, fast results
  • What we don’t like: it’s expensive
  • What reviews say: makes the skin glow, clears up hormonal acne, can feel tingling at first

Key ingredients: glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric acids, salicylic acid, chickpea flour | Main benefits: smoothening, brightening, soothing | Features: vegan, artificial fragrance-free, silicone-free, essential oil-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Mad Hippie AHA Exfoliating Peel

Mad Hippie AHA Exfoliating Peel Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Mad Hippie

Mad Hippi’s vegan AHA peel is packed with great ingredients like apple stem cells and ceramides. The combination of glycolic and lactic acid reduces fine lines and wrinkles while hydrating the skin. This vegan serum can also be used for sensitive skin as it is very mild.

  • What we like: makes the skin glow, does not irritate sensitive skin
  • What we don’t like: it takes time to see results
  • What reviews say: great for aging skin, reduces acne

Key ingredients: glycolic acid, lactic acid, apple stem cells, Gigawhite, hyaluronic acid, white tea, goji berry, ceramides | Main benefits: exfoliating, smoothening, brightening | Features: vegan, artificial fragrance-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta

Youth To The People Kombucha + 10% AHA Liquid Exfoliant

Youth To The People Kombucha + 10% AHA Liquid Exfoliant Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Youth To The People

This fragrance-free vegan AHA exfoliant is perfect for smoothening the skin. Lactic and glycolic acids with black tea ferment exfoliate the skin and fight different signs of aging. We also like how it softens the skin and brightens the complexion.

  • What we like: improves skin texture, makes pores less visible
  • What we don’t like: feels sticky once it has dried
  • What reviews say: does not irritate sensitive skin, leaves a refreshed feeling

Key ingredients: lactic acid 7%, glycolic acid 3%, kombucha black tea ferment, betaine | Main benefits: brightening, smoothening, softening | Features: vegan, fragrance-free, eco-friendly packaging, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution

Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Summer Fridays

Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution is great for brightening up dull skin. Featuring exfoliating lactic and glycolic acids, it also helps with acne and scarring. Niacinamide is there to provide hydration and reduce pores and fine lines.

  • What we like: fast results, smoothes skin texture
  • What we don’t like: contains fragrance
  • What reviews say: reduces acne scars, softens the skin

Key ingredients: lactic acid, glycolic acid, niacinamide | Main benefits: brightening, smoothening, exfoliating | Features: vegan, gluten-free, recyclable packaging, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Yes To Glow-Boosting Exfoliating Tonic 10% Fruit Acids

Yes To Glow-Boosting Exfoliating Tonic 10% Fruit Acids Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Yes To

This vegan AHA toner is effective and affordable. You can use it only 1-2 times per week and you will still see the results fast. Packed with different AHAs, this refreshing vegan toner may be a bit too harsh for sensitive skin but all other skin types can enjoy it.

  • What we like: great value for money, refreshing formula
  • What we don’t like: contains fragrance
  • What reviews say: skin feels very clean after using, reduces redness

Key ingredients: lactic acid, glycolic acid, willow bark extract, citric acid | Main benefits: smoothening, brightening, exfoliating | Features: vegan, dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic, silicone-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Walmart

Pacifica Beauty Glow Baby Brightening Daily Face Cleanser

Pacifica Beauty Glow Baby Brightening Daily Face Cleanser Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Pacifica Beauty

This vegan AHA cleanser is perfect for cleansing the skin mornings and evenings. Vanilla and vitamin C are powerful antioxidants to renew the skin and glow up the complexion. To give the skin an extra exfoliating boost, we also recommend Pacifica’s Glow Brightening Peel Pads.

  • What we like: cleans out pores, softens the skin
  • What we don’t like: contains fragrance
  • What reviews say: works great for sensitive skin, feel very refreshing

Key ingredients: glycolic acid, lactic acid, vitamin C, vanilla extract| Main benefits: brightening, exfoliating, cleansing | Features: vegan, mineral oil-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Ulta

Nonie Of Beverly Hills AHA Moisturizer

Nonie Of Beverly Hills AHA Moisturizer Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Nonie of Beverly Hills

Nonie Of Beverly Hills is a vegan brand that specialized in vegan AHA skincare. We love their vegan AHA moisturizer for dull and aging skin. Packed with AHAs and vitamins, it boosts the skin’s radiance and visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

  • What we like: fast results, smoothes skin texture
  • What we don’t like: can dry out the skin
  • What reviews say: reduces fine lines and wrinkles, softens skin

Key ingredients: alpha hydroxy acid 10%, vitamins A, B, C, E | Main benefits: exfoliating, softening, smoothening | Features: vegan, alcohol-free, mineral oil-free, artificial fragrance-free, made in the USA

Shop on: Amazon, Walmart

Honest Beauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum

Honest Beauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Honest Beauty

Honest Beauty Sleep Resurfacing Serum is the best vegan AHA serum for dull and tired skin. Packed with multiple AHAs, it also softens and smooths our textured skin. The results of this serum can take a while, but in time, it will improve the skin and also reduce acne. 

  • What we like: makes fine lines and wrinkles less visible, very gentle
  • What we don’t like: specific smell
  • What reviews say: reduces acne, plumps dull and aging skin

Key ingredients: glycolic, lactic, citric acid, hyaluronic acid | Main benefits: smoothening, softening, brightening | Features: vegan, artificial fragrance-free, artificial color-free, dermatologist-tested

Shop on: Amazon, Official site

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow AHA Night Treatment Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Glow Recipe

This vegan AHA night treatment will nourish the skin and make it glow. Made with AHAs, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and quinoa peptides, it will both hydrate and exfoliate the skin. This overnight mask can be used only one to two times a week for visible results.

  • What we like: improves uneven skin tone, reduces acne
  • What we don’t like: a lot of product is needed
  • What reviews say: works for all skin types, does not feel heavy, leaves a healthy glow

Key ingredients: glycolic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, quinoa peptides | Main benefits: exfoliating, hydrating, firming| Features: vegan, recyclable packaging, artificial fragrance-free, mineral oil-free, artificial color-free, silicone-free

Shop on: Amazon, Sephora

Acure Resurfacing Glycolic + True Unicorn Root Cleanser

Acure Resurfacing Glycolic + True Unicorn Root Cleanser Vegan AHA Skincare
Courtesy of Acure

This affordable vegan AHA cleanser is effective and removes makeup and dirt from the skin fast. This cleanser helps to smooth skin texture and fights redness with soothing hemp seed oil. It’s the perfect cleanser for oily and combination skin but it can be a bit too drying for dry skin.

  • What we like: removes makeup, great value for money
  • What we don’t like: can be harsh on dry skin
  • What reviews say: reduces redness, cleans pores, smoothens skin texture

Key ingredients: glycolic, lactic acid, hemp seed oil, amethyst, moonstone | Main benefits: hydrating, exfoliating, smoothening | Features: vegan, mineral oil-free, artificial fragrance-free

Shop on: Amazon, Target

Is AHA Skincare Vegan?

Is Alpha Hydroxy Acid Vegan

AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids are usually vegan and derived from plants. While three types of AHAs such as lactic acid, hydroxycaproic acid, and hydroxycaprylic acid could also be animal-derived, the skincare industry still uses the vegan version.

While AHAs are vegan-friendly, be careful with AHA skincare as it could include other animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax or honey. To make sure that your AHA skincare is vegan, prefer 100% vegan brands or choose a product with a certified vegan label.

What To Look For In Vegan AHA Skincare?

When choosing the right vegan AHA skincare for your skin, pay attention to things: the type of AHAs used in the product and the formula the AHAs come in.

The most common vegan AHAs in skincare are citric acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, and lactic acid. They are included in different serums, toners, creams, and anti-aging treatments.

Here are our main tips for vegan AHA skincare:

  • Lactic acid is the best for dry skin. It will hydrate the skin and give the skin a healthy glow. Lactic acid is also mild enough for sensitive skin,
  • Glycolic acid is best for oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. Glycolic acid is effective in removing dead skin cells and loosening up clogged pores.
  • Malic acid and mandelic acid are more gentle AHAs and better suited for sensitive skin.
  • AHA blends have the best anti-aging benefits. Together, lactic, malic, citric, and glycolic acids effectively renew, hydrate, smoothen, and brighten the skin.

To choose the best vegan AHA formula for your skin, know that serums, treatments, and facials tend to be the most potent and best for anti-aging and clarifying benefits.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, choose a vegan AHA moisturizer that also hydrates and soothes the skin. Vegan AHA toners are also gentle enough for dry and sensitive skin.

In terms of potency, the higher the AHA level, the more exfoliating the product will be. The most effective range is from 5%–10%. Sensitive skin should go for a lower concentration.

FAQ About Vegan AHA Skincare

Is AHA vegan?

AHA as an active ingredient is usually vegan.

What is the best vegan AHA skincare product?

The best vegan AHA skincare product is Mad Hippie AHA Exfoliating Peel.

Where to buy vegan AHA skincare?

You will find the best selection of vegan AHA skincare online, especially on Amazon, Ulta, and Sephora.

Summary

Exfoliation is one of the key steps to an effective skincare routine. And what better way to renew your skin than with non-drying, non-irritating, and non-abrasive vegan AHA skincare?

Hopefully, you found some new vegan AHA skincare products from our selection. As we keep trying out new vegan exfoliators every month, we will add our favorite AHAs to this list.

See also: Vegan BHA Skincare

My name is Liis. I have been a vegan for a long time and I advocate for the vegan lifestyle. Through Vegan Avenue, I aim to provide quality information about vegan products and bring attention to amazing vegan companies.