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Skincare products: AHA vs BHA?

Deep breath my Beauty BFFs... it's time for AHA vs BHA!!!


Last week I talked about Physical and Chemical exfoliators. AHA and BHA fall under the chemical side of it. I will try my best to explain what they both do and are great for.


AHA and BHA basically both exfoliate the surface of the skin, but BHA works deeper into the skin. They both are produced naturally or synthetically. Make sure to always wear sunscreen if you are using them in the day time.


AHA known as Alpha-Hydroxy Acid is water soluble which means it will only work on the skin's surface, giving you smooth skin. There are different types of AHA, such as (mainly) glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid derived from sugar cane or other plant sources depending on which type of acid it is. Lactic acid is derived from milk.


AHA is anti-aging and firming by helping stimulate collagen. It will help enhance natural moisture in the skin and even out skin tone. It also helps reduce sun damage, but it does not protect you from the sun.


BHA is know as Beta-Hydroxy Acid. Mainly Salicylic Acid, derived from bark of willow trees or wintergreen leaves. It is oil-soluble which means it will penetrate pores working deeper in the skin.


BHA is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. This is why it is great for acne-prone and oily/combination skin. It clears clogged pores and minimizes enlarged pores. It is also great for treating in-grown hair.


For an AHA skincare product to actually be effective the percentage should be at least 8% and no more than 10% for at home use. For BHA skincare products the percentage is effective starting at 0.5% and can not be more than 2% for at home usage.


****Brands usually don't have to disclose the percentage, but the higher it is the more effective it is. So if your skin is more sensitive, try the lower percentage first.


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