Because of their proven capacity to resurface the skin without the damage that mechanical or scrub exfoliators can cause, exfoliating acids have quickly become standard in our beauty regimes.
These chemical exfoliants act in two ways: by removing the build-up of dead cells on the skin's surface to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion (in the case of Alpha Hydroxy Acids), or by entering into the pores to shift build-up and aid clear breakouts (in the case of Beta Hydroxy Acids).
On the other hand, Acids can have the reverse impact of their primary purposes if you don't choose the suitable formula for your skin type or misuse a product.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON WHICH ACID TO USE?
Although they're employed for distinct reasons, AHAs and BHAs are acids. Alpha Hydroxy Acids have an exfoliative action, which helps to disrupt the ties between old skin cells so that new, healthy cells may easily take their place. AHAs also assist in minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation by stimulating collagen formation. AHAs are an excellent technique to exfoliate the top layer of the skin without further drying it out if you have dry, dull skin.
BHAs penetrate the skin to remove excess sebum from pores and aid in treating blemishes, acne, and excessive oil production. This is why salicylic acid is used in most over-the-counter acne remedies and why we've all heard of it. BHAs are definitely for you if you have oily, acne-prone skin.
ARE AHAs AND BHAs SAFE TO COMBINE?
Yes! A lot of products already contain AHAs and BHAs in combination. It's especially advantageous to use them together if you have cystic acne or acne-prone skin and need to treat scars from previous breakouts while avoiding future pimples. The combo is ideal for those in their 30s who have adult acne or oily skin and wish to target fine lines and wrinkles simultaneously.
Types of products you can find the acids in:
- Cleansers (Earth Rhythm EXFOLIATING FACE CLEANSER WITH AHAs & BHAs)
- Serum (PROJECTEA Kombucha Tea Face Serum)
- Moisturizers (Aminu The Gleaming)
- Scrubs (PROJECTEA Matcha Green Tea Revitalizing Face Scrub)
- Peels (Aminu The Instant Facial)
- Masks (Earth Rhythm Smooth Skin Face Masque)
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE AHAs AND BHAs?
AHAs should only be applied every other day to avoid over-exfoliating your skin. Consider this: You don't want to be removing fresh, new skin cells every day. BHAs are safe to use every day for cystic acne to help regulate oil production and prevent uncomfortable spots from forming.
Because both acids increase sensitivity to sunlight, experts recommend applying them at night after washing and toning. During the day, you should use SPF liberally to protect those young skin cells from UV harm.
HOW TO USE AHAs?
Exfoliation is considerable with all AHAs. However, the effects and applications of various acids can differ slightly. The maximum concentration of the AHA you choose should be between 10% and 15%. New products should be applied every other day until your skin becomes accustomed to them. This will also lessen the likelihood of unpleasant side effects like inflammation.
The intense exfoliating effects of any AHA make your skin more susceptible to the sun, regardless of which one you use. Apply sunscreen every morning to avoid burns, age spots, and increased skin cancer risks.
HOW TO USE BHAs?
BHAs can be used daily, although you may need to apply them a few times each week at first to get your skin used to them. Even though BHAs do not make your skin as sun sensitive as AHAs, you should still use sunscreen every day. This will help you avoid more sun damage.
AHAs and BHAs both have similar advantages. Each one will provide some measure of exfoliation.
On the other hand, each ingredient can be employed to achieve various skin care objectives. An AHA may be the greatest option if you search for a comprehensive anti-aging treatment. If you want to reduce inflammation and get rid of acne, a BHA may be better.
If you're still undecided, consult with your dermatologist. They can answer your queries and suggest specific components or products to try. For more product recommendations for your particular skin and hair type, use our Skin Analysis feature.