Today more and more often we see abbreviations like AHAs and BHAs on the beautifully designed skincare products packaging. But what does it actually mean I hear you ask!!
AHA- Alpha Hydroxy Acid,
BHA – Beta Hydroxy Acid.
You are probably thinking that anything containing the word “acid’ in it would leave you red-faced and scary looking!
But it is not sooo scary…. In fact, not scary at all.
Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids are used in skincare treatments as natural exfoliators. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) is found in fruits, nuts, sugar cane and milk. And beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is derived from the Willow Bark Tree and others. Exfoliation is key in helping skin balance itself, it helps your skin look younger, promotes blood flow and circulation, increases collagen production, and improves overall skin health.
Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids have become increasingly popular in skincare products such as toners, moisturizers and cleansers. Within the beauty industry they have been around for more than 25 years—they came out in the early ’90s. We might say AHA’s and BAH’s are time tested (nearly prehistoric!!) ingredients that help some of our products give you amazing looking skin.
A significant difference between the two is that alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble, while beta hydroxy acids are oil soluble.
AHAs are preferred to help sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin and have the added benefit of also improving moisture content.
BHAs are a bit more complicated than AHAs -they actually penetrate the pores to exfoliate, whereas AHAs can only exfoliate superficially.
This is what makes them preferred for helping oily and acne-prone skin.
BHA’s also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Please pay attention: Sunscreen should be used if using an AHA or BHA product, as the skin’s sensitivity to sun may increase with use.
We strongly recommend that you test any products containing either an AHAs or BHAs first on a small area of skin before widespread use on the body. These products should not be used on infants or children!
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- Mandelic acid
- Tartaric acid
- Malic acid
- Citric acid
Usage: Drier skin types. “Unglues” dead skin. Humectant properties. Repairs photoaged skin.
- Salicylic acid
- beta hydroxybutanoic acid
- trethocanic acid.
Usage: Oilier skin types. “Degunks” pores. Salicylic acid. Can be drying.