Focus: Alpha Lipoic (Thioctic) Acid

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Alpha Lipoic Acid Skin Benefits

Alpha Lipoic Acid (Thiotic Acid) is an organic sulfur compound that serves as an antioxidant, chelator, and nutraceutical in pharmacology (Germany), dietary supplements, cosmetics, and skincare. Plants, animals, and humans are capable of synthesis, however significantly declines with age.

Applied topically, alpha lipoic acid improves skin smoothness and tone through antioxidant protection, repair and re-generation. Thanks to dual solubility, it outperforms most other single antioxidants by neutralizing both water-soluble and lipid-soluble free radicals.   Saturating the skin with anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and brightening capabilities, it is an effective choice for most skin types.      

Skin Benefits:

  • Dual Protection: Curbs free radical damage caused by UV radiation and metal toxicity while helping to re-generate other antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Glutathione.
  • Brightens: Inhibits development of hyperpigmentation, post-inflammatory pigmentation and dark spots.
  • Firms: Increases dermal firmness and thickness at concentrations of 5% or greater. May help to boost collagen production.  
  • Smooths: Reduces skin roughness and other signs associated with photodamage by 50% within 12 weeks.
  • Reduces Pore Size: After 8 weeks of 5% Alpha Lipoic Acid and 3% DMAE formulation applied twice daily, 71% of the study participants showed a reduction in pore size. 
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Calms, soothes, and promotes healing.  


  • Effective in topical applications ranging between 3-5% concentrations.
  • Degrades quickly with exposure to light and heat, so choose airless/opaque containers and store in a dark/cool place.
  • May be applied twice daily for day or night up to 5% concentration, as tolerated and providing that it is completely absorbed prior to any direct sunlight.
  • Concentrations greater than 5% may cause a mild and temporary warming or tingling sensation.
  • Works nicely with DMAE, Glutahione, Peptides, Retinol, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E skincare.


  • Synthetic
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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2014, 21(32), 3636-3645, Physiological effect and therapeutic application of alpha lipoic acid.  
  • IUBMB Life, Jun 2008, 60(6), 362-367, Is alpha-lipoic acid a scavenger of reactive oxygen species in vivo? Evidence for its initiation of stress signaling pathways that promote endogenous antioxidant capacity.
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Jul 2018, 19(8), Conjugation with Dihydrolipoic Acid Imparts Caffeic Acid Ester Potent Inhibitory Effect on Dopa Oxidase Activity of Human Tyrosinase.
  • Connective Tissue Research, 2005, 46(4-5), 251-257, Transdermal delivery of amino acids and antioxidants enhance collagen synthesis: in vivo and in vitro studies.
  • European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Feb 2014, 86(2), 251-259, The clinical efficacy of cosmeceutical application of liquid crystalline nanostructured dispersions of alpha lipoic acid as anti-wrinkle.
  • The British Journal of Dermatology, Oct 2003, 149(4), 841-849, issue 4, pages 841-849, Randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study on the clinical efficacy of a cream containing 5% alpha-lipoic acid related to photoageing of facial skin.
  • Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, Jan 2015, 15(5), 458-483, Lipoic Acid: its Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Role and Clinical Applications.
  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Sep 2017, 16(3), 358-363, Assessment of cubosomal alpha lipoic acid gel efficacy for the aging face: a single-blinded, placebo-controlled, right-left comparative clinical study.
  • Aesthetic Surgery Journal, May/June 2000, Topical 5% Alpha Lipoic Acid Cream in the Treatment of Cutaneous Rhytids.
  • Journal of Cosmetic Science, Oct 2004, 55(5), 449-461, Stability study of lipoic acid in the presence of vitamins A and E in o/w emulsions for cosmetic application.
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Dec 2008, 30(6), 453-458, Stability of vitamin C derivatives in topical formulations containing lipoic acid, vitamins A and E.
  • Food Chemistry, Nov 2009, 120(4), 38329-38336, Determination of free [alpha]-lipoic acid in foodstuffs.

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