Understanding the Difference between AHA and BHA
When it comes to skincare, there are a lot of different ingredients and acronyms that get thrown around, making it difficult to keep track of what does what. Two of the most commonly mentioned ingredients are AHA and BHA, but what exactly do these letters stand for, and what is the difference between them? In this article, we'll take a closer look at AHA and BHA and help you understand which one might be best for your skin.
What are AHAs?
AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are a type of water-soluble acid that is derived from fruits. They work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be easily exfoliated away, revealing brighter, smoother, and more even-toned skin underneath. AHAs are commonly used to treat a variety of skin concerns, including fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven texture.
The Key ingredients of AHA
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) is a type of exfoliating ingredient that is commonly found in skincare products. The key ingredients of AHA include:
Lactic Acid: This is a mild AHA that is derived from milk and is commonly used in skincare products for its moisturizing and exfoliating properties.
Glycolic Acid: This is the most commonly used AHA in skincare products and is derived from sugar cane. It is known for its ability to penetrate deep into the skin and effectively exfoliate the surface.
- Malic Acid: This AHA is derived from apples and is known for its ability to gently exfoliate the skin and improve its texture.
What are BHAs?
BHAs, or Beta Hydroxy Acids, are a type of oil-soluble acid that is derived from salicylic acid. Unlike AHAs, BHAs are able to penetrate deep into the pores, where they work to break down excess oil and unclog congested pores. This makes BHAs a popular choice for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as they can help to reduce breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.
The Key ingredients of BHA
BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) is a type of acid commonly used in skincare products to improve the appearance and health of the skin, particularly for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Some of the most common ingredients of BHA include:
Salicylic Acid: This is the most commonly used BHA and is derived from willow bark. It is considered to be highly effective for treating acne and unclogging pores.
- Triclosan: This is a synthetic BHA that is often used in combination with other ingredients in skincare products.
AHA vs BHA: Which is Best for Your Skin?
The answer to this question ultimately depends on your specific skin type and concerns. If you have dry or sensitive skin, AHAs may be a better option for you, as they are gentler and work on the surface of the skin. On the other hand, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, BHAs may be the better choice, as they are able to penetrate deep into the pores to unclog them and reduce breakouts.
It's also worth noting that AHAs and BHAs can be used together, as they complement each other and work in different ways. For example, you might use an AHA exfoliating toner to brighten and even out your skin tone, followed by a BHA spot treatment to target any specific breakouts.
In terms of specific products, there are plenty of options available on the market. For AHAs, look for products that contain glycolic, lactic, or mandelic acid. For BHAs, look for products that contain salicylic acid. It's also worth considering a product that combines both AHAs and BHAs, like the AHA BHA LHA PHA from viegano, for maximum benefits.
Additionally, it is recommended to start with a lower concentration of these acids and gradually increase as your skin becomes accustomed to the ingredients. Always remember to use sun protection when using AHA and BHA products, as they can increase skin sensitivity to sunlight.
2) Can I use AHA with retinol?
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and retinol are both effective skincare ingredients, but combining them can cause skin irritation and increase sensitivity. It is recommended to use them on alternating days or to first start with a low concentration of each ingredient and gradually increase as the skin becomes accustomed to them. Additionally, it is important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day when using AHA and retinol, as both can increase skin sensitivity to sunlight.
3) What should you not mix AHA with?
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) is a powerful skincare ingredient that can enhance the appearance and health of the skin, but it is important to be mindful of what it is combined with to avoid potential skin irritation or harm. It is not recommended to mix AHA with:
Vitamin C: Both AHA and Vitamin C are acidic, and combining them can cause skin irritation and increased sensitivity.
Retinol: Retinol and AHA can both be drying to the skin, and combining them can lead to over-exfoliation and skin irritation.
- Benzoyl peroxide: This ingredient can cause skin sensitivity and increase the risk of skin irritation when used in combination with AHA.
In conclusion, understanding the difference between AHAs and BHAs is essential for choosing the right skincare products for your skin type and concerns. Whether you opt for an AHA exfoliating toner or a BHA spot treatment, incorporating either of these ingredients into your routine can