This is kinda funny. After studying organic chemistry, whenever those commercials came on TV about "alpha hydroxys" in skin creams and stuff I would laugh and say that doesn't mean anything. I tried to explain to my girlfriend that the term alpha hydroxy just describes a location on a molecule, like the next carbon over from something has an alcohol bonded to it. In other words, the alcohol (hydroxy) is alpha (next to) something, but you can't really tell what that something is when you say alpha hydroxy.
Some of the commercials say "alpha hydroxy acids". This makes much more sense, turnes out, there is a group of molecules called alpha hydroxy acids. And they do have an effect on skin.
Another thing that tickles my fancy is seeing all those little multi-colored beads mixed in and suspended in the face wash or shampoo. That is actually some hot research because just the way it looks sitting on the grocery store shelf makes people buy it. So there were actually scientist out there trying to find out how to suspend little colored balls in a hair gel, making and spending loads of money. It's just the way it goes. Kinda seems like a waste of scientific talent to me, maybe the project only took a couple years.
Next up, beta hydroxy acids.