AHA refers to alpha hydroxy acids. AHA is a major ingredient of skincare products for the exfoliation of the skin. Moreover, this is the main use of AHA. Therefore, these compounds are well known in the cosmetic industry. Retinol is another name for vitamin A1. It occurs in food naturally. Moreover, we can use it as a dietary supplement as well.
What is AHA?
AHA refers to alpha hydroxy acid. This name derives according to the chemical structure of the compound. It has a carboxylic acid group substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon (alpha carbon). We can find these compounds either naturally or synthetically. The major use of these compounds is in cosmetic industry; mainly in the production of skin care products. It can reduce wrinkles by exfoliation and can soften the strong lines to improve the overall look of the skin. There are some other applications as well. For example, we can use it as a building block for the organic synthesis of aldehydes through oxidative cleavage.
When considering the chemical structure of this compound, there is a strong hydrogen bond between the carboxylic acid group and hydroxyl group (between the hydrogen of the hydroxyl group and oxygen of the carboxylic acid group). Therefore, we call it an internal hydrogen bond (between two atoms of the same molecule). This makes the compound more acidic than expected because the internal hydrogen bond makes the proton in the carboxylic acid group less strongly bound.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is another name for vitamin A1. It is a major vitamin that we can find in many foods. Moreover, we can use it as a dietary supplement to prevent the vitamin A deficiency. The route of administration of this vitamin is via the mouth. The chemical formula of this compound is C20H30O, and the molar mass is 286.45 g/mol. There are many medical uses of this compound as a drug.
In addition to the treatment of vitamin A deficiency, we can use this as a drug to prevent further issues in those who have measles. However, there are some side effects of this compound as well; high doses can cause an enlarged liver, dry skin and hypervitaminosis A. During pregnancy, high doses may harm the baby. Anyway, this drug has many useful effects in our body; we need it for better eyesight, for the maintenance of the skin, etc.
What is the Difference Between AHA and Retinol?
The term AHA refers to alpha hydroxyl acid. It has a carboxylic acid group substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon (alpha carbon). Moreover, there is an internal hydrogen bond in this compound which makes it more acidic than expected. There are many uses of this compound in the cosmetic industry. Retinol is another name for vitamin A1. It has a hydroxyl group, but there are no carboxylic acid groups. This is the main difference between AHA and Retinol. Furthermore, it has no internal hydrogen bond; thus, it is comparatively less acidic. We use this compound as a drug to treat vitamin A deficiency.
Summary – AHA vs Retinol
AHA refers to alpha hydroxy acid. Retinol is vitamin A1. The difference between AHA and retinol is that the AHA contains a carboxylic acid group substituted with a hydroxyl group on the adjacent carbon whereas the retinol has no carboxylic acid groups.