Alpha Lipoic Acid



Alpha Lipoic Acid description

Alpha lipoic acid is an enzyme that, when applied topically on skin, appears to be a very good antioxidant. Taken internally, alpha lipoic acid is a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant capable of regenerating other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E. It is also believed to exert numerous soothing effects. It’s clear from the research that alpha lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant, but it isn’t the only one; there are lots of great antioxidants for skin—in fact, there isn’t a lot of research on topical application of alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid is also known as thioctic acid; it’s extremely vulnerable to degradation by sunlight. Higher concentrations (5% or greater) are capable of causing a burning or stinging sensation on skin.

Alpha Lipoic Acid references

  • Acta Cirurgica Brasileira, October 2013, pages 708-715
  • Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, May 2009, issue 3, pages 218-222
  • The British Journal of Dermatology, October 2003, issue 4, pages 841-849
  • Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, October 2001, issue 7, pages 578-582

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not Rated