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Must know tips before using AHAs and BHAs products

By: :Anh Nguyen 0 comments
Must know tips before using AHAs and BHAs products
AHA acids are commonly derived from natural substances such as sugar cane, almonds, and even grapes. AHAs work to break down or melt the “glue” between our skin cells to allow for the skin’s natural shedding process. You won’t actually get to see your skin exfoliating, but you’ll soon be able to see and feel how smooth your skin has become. 
BHAs are better catered to oilier skin types as they are oil loving acids. They effectively treat blackheads and whiteheads, leaving your skin clearer and one step closer to your skin goals. They can get through clogged pores by dissolving any sebum and dead skin that often leads to spots.

AHAs focus on exfoliating the surface layer of the skin, BHAs penetrate deeper.

  • AHAs are ideal for people with dry skin—they remove the buildup that contributes to dry, flaky skin, allowing moisturizers to absorb deeper to properly hydrate the skin.
  • BHAs are ideal for people with oily and acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA, and its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it an effective acne treatment.

AHAs act as unbinding agents to unglue dead skin cells from the surface. Once this layer has been exfoliated away, the younger skin beneath the surface is revealed for instantly smoother, younger-looking skin.

BHAs also exfoliate the top layer of skin to reveal smoother, more radiant skin, but they’re also able to work on a deeper level of skin. Salicylic acid, for example, relieves congestion inside the pores, clearing out the impurities and drawing out excessive oiliness and sebum.

BHAs exfoliate the smooth skin not only from the topmost layer, but also from within the pores, making them suitable to alleviate acne, roughness, and signs of aging.




Recommended for:
+ Dry skin
+ Sun damaged skin

Recommended for:
+ Oily skin
+ Sensitive skin
+ Breakouts and blackheads
+ Rosacea-prone skin

+ Removes dead skin cells on the skin’s surface
+ Anti-ageing properties
+ Hydrates and brightens skin

+ Removes dead skin cells on the surface and in the pores
+ Combats breakouts, enlarged pores and blackheads
+ Anti-inflammatory properties

- Less suitable for extra sensitive skin which is prone to break-outs and blackheads



  • AHAs are recommended for dry skin or skin that has been damaged by the sun because they exfoliate the skin surface and improve the skin’s moisture levels. They can also improve minor breakouts and clogged pores but for moderate to stubborn spots BHA is far better.
  • BHA is recommended for an oily skin and for skin suffering from spots, blackheads or milia. This is because BHA can penetrate blocked pores and prevent spots and acne from forming.
  • BHA has an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect. These are two more reasons to use a BHA exfoliant if you have spots, acne, or a red, sensitive skin.
  • BHA is recommended for people suffering from rosacea-prone skin. Not everyone suffering from rosacea-prone skin can tolerate an exfoliant, but it is worth trying a BHA exfoliant to see if your skin reacts positively to it.
  • Apply your AHA or BHA exfoliant after the cleanser and toner steps in your routine. If it’s a liquid, apply it with a cotton pad; if a lotion or gel, apply it with your fingers.
  • You can use it around the eye area, but not on the eyelid or directly under the eye (along the lower lash line).
  • You don’t need to wait for the BHA or AHA to absorb or dry; you can apply any other product in your routine - moisturiser, serum, eye cream, or sunscreen - immediately afterwards.
  • Experiment with different strengths of glycolic acid or salicylic acid to see which concentration gives you the best results.
  • How often you should exfoliate depends on your skin type and skin concerns. Some people do well exfoliating with AHA or BHA twice a day, whereas others find that once a day or every other day is a perfect balance. Test to see what works best for your skin.
Most scrubs have a rough, coarse, uneven texture, which can be too harsh and abrasive, causing micro-tears in skin. Many cleansing brushes are also a problem because they have stiff bristles and have the same negative impact on skin’s vulnerable surface.
Gentle scrubs, soft cleansing brushes, or a soft washcloth are the exception because they don’t damage skin, but even those are best used as an extra cleansing step, not as a replacement for what a well-formulated exfoliant with glycolic acid or salicylic acid can do.
Scrubs simply work on the very surface of skin and can’t reach the multiple layers of built up dead skin cells and into the pore to really change skin for the better in so many ways.
  1. Popular BHAs & AHAs Ingredients

Here are the different types of AHAs you'll see in skincare products:

  • Glycolic acid: The most common AHA, derived from sugarcane. It is also the strongest, due to its small molecule size, but that makes it the most irritating, too.
  • Lactic acid: The second most common AHA, derived from milk. It's a gentler alternative to glycolic acid and can be appropriate for sensitive skin.
  • Mandelic acid: A mild AHA derived from bitter almonds. As it is weaker than lactic acid, it's usually combined with other acids. Notably, Dr. Loren Pickart considers mandelic acid to be a neurotoxin (see study)!
  • Malic acid: A mild AHA derived from apples. Like mandelic acid, it won't do enough on its own, so you'll typically see it in combination with stronger AHAs.
  • Tartaric acid: An AHA derived from grapes. Instead of acting as an exfoliant, it is more often used to stabilize other acids' pH levels.
  • Citric acid: An AHA derived from citrus fruits. It is similar to tartaric acid in that it regulates pH. It is also used as a preservative.

Here are the different types of BHAs you'll see in skincare products:

  • Salicylic acid: The most common BHA, and also the strongest BHA. However, it is not as irritating as glycolic acid (the strongest AHA) because it has a large molecule size, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Betaine salicylate: A BHA derived from sugar beets. It is a gentler alternative to salicylic acid, and according to a study by the manufacturer, is equally effective. (Four percent betaine salicylate is said to be equivalent to two percent salicylic acid.)
  • Salix alba or willow bark extract: A natural BHA extracted from plants. Although the salicin content converts into salicylic acid, it is much weaker (so it won't give you comparable results for exfoliating or treating acne).
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categories : Beauty Tips

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