Photo source: ohskincare.net
Products containing AHA and BHA can make such a difference in the appearance in your skin and might be especially beneficial to people with an acne prone skin type. It is a great way too exfoliate without having to use a scrub, which is not something you should to every day. AHA and BHA are optimal for getting rid of acne and blackheads, treating fine lines, oiliness and dullness. And who wouldn’t want all that and a little glow? But what does AHA and BHA really mean? We will explain to you so you really know what you are putting on your skin and explore all the pros and cons.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid, which could be a glycolic acid or lactic acid. These types of acids stem from fruits or milk sugars and are water-soluble. These acids are great for brightening and making the skin tone more even, reducing miscolouring after acne scarring, reducing fine lines and giving hydration. Sunscreen when using AHA is an absolute must as your skin will be extra sensitive to sun exposure, as AHAs are photosensitizing. Regardless of whether you apply the products containing AHA in the morning or at night, sun protection is vital as it has a longer-term effect. We feel we need to stress this especially now that warmer, more sunny times are ahead!
BHA stands for beta hydroxyl acid, for example salicylic acid. BHA’s are oil-soluble and because of this the BHA will be able to get deeper into your skin than the AHA and clear out your clogged pores. Since the BHA is anti-inflammatory it compliments the AHA and even letting the AHA work better. This is why for acne-prone skin types, these two types of acids are usually found in combination.
The percentage of AHA and BHA or whether you should use it separately or together really differs from person to person. You will just have to test and see how your skin reacts to find the best combination and use for you. Many will say that the BHA will leave your skin feeling a little dry so it is important to use a good calming moisturizer after. We would also recommend using AHA and BHA products together with a vitamin C serum for better protection of the skin.
However, it is so important to not get too hooked when you see results (very typical me) and overuse, as this can remove all the good skin cells that is needed for protection against pollution and other things our skin may face during a day. Try to first add it in a few times a week, and as your skin gets used to it you can use it once a day. Some people can even use it twice a day, but this is a little much for my sensitive skin. Overuse can also lead to breaking out, rather than clearing up. Again, your skin will be extra sensitive to sun when using such products (AHA especially), and as sun is one of the main causes of early aging and general skin damage, using sun protection is a must for long term beneficial effects.