AHA, BHA – which exfoliant acid is right for you?

Exfoliants help with the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. They can come in a few different forms including chemical, granular substance, or exfoliation tool.

There are two types of chemical exfoliants – AHAs or BHAs which you find in a range of skincare products including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, scrubs, peels or masks.

Read on as we take a closer look at the differences between the two exfoliants, so you can determine what will suit your skin’s needs.

Why do you need to exfoliate?

Exfoliating your skin can leave it looking brighter and improve the effectiveness of topical skin care products. Regular exfoliation can also help prevent clogged pores and reduce breakouts. Longer term exfoliation can help increase collagen production to give you glowing, vibrant skin as well as minimizing the appearance of fine lines and skin sagging. It’s an important step in your skincare routine to keep your skin in a glowing condition.

What are AHAs?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are water soluble, which means they exfoliate on the surface of your skin. Some of the most common AHAs are Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid or Citric Acid and are used to treat mild hyperpigmentation like age spots, melasma and scars, enlarged pores, fine lines and surface wrinkles and uneven skin tone. They also can enhance natural moisturising factors within skin.

What are BHAs?

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are oil soluble, meaning they exfoliate on both the skin surface but also deep inside the pores. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA and is a well-known acne treatment. BHAs are a great way to naturally calm the skin and can reduce redness and inflammation.

Can you use both AHA & BHA in my skincare routine?

For those who are new to the exfoliating world, you should start with a low percentage exfoliant component, to help your skin adapt and reduce irritation.

If you would like to use both AHAs & BHAs in your routine, why not try one in the morning and the other at night or rotate them in your weekly skincare routine.

For expert exfoliators, if your skin tolerates it, you can layer AHAs and BHAs together in one routine—or use a product that contains both.

No matter which AHA or BHA you choose, the strong exfoliating effects make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen every morning to prevent burns, age spots, and increased skin cancer risks.

Are AHAs or BHAs suitable for all skin types?

If your skin is acne prone or oily – BHAs should be your go to. Your skin could benefit from integrating Salicylic acid to reduce the bumps and calm the redness. BHAs also help to reduce oil production. Try Aspect Dr BHA Purifying Gel formulated to help control problematic skin, blemishes and minimise excess oil.

If your skin is dry or sensitive, lactic acid is one of the best AHAs for these concerns, as it's one of the gentlest and most hydrating acids. Try Aspect Illuminating Polish which gently polishes and removes lifeless cells leaving your skin feeling smooth and more radiant.

If you have ageing skin or suffer from pigmentation, a combination of AHAs and BHAs Glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids have all been shown to produce changes in dermal thickness and the depth and number of fine lines and wrinkles. Try Medik8 Surface Radiance Cleanse to help gently renew and purify your skin to reveal a soft, radiant complexion.

Discover our range of exfoliants and if you aren’t sure, why not book an online consultation with me and I can help you with your skincare routine.

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