AHA’s vs BHA’s: Tip of the Day 9-12-22
You may have seen "AHA" or "BHA" on your skincare products. Both are types of hydroxy acids found in some cleansers, toners, moisturizers, scrubs, peels and masks. Experts say neither AHA's or BHA's are better than the other. But, knowing the difference between the two can help you pick the best product for your specific needs.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. They are water- soluble and work to dissolve the top surface layer of skin. Once that layer peels away, more evenly pigmented skin can replace dull, uneven skin. They also offer anti-aging benefits by fighting fine lines and wrinkles. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid are popular AHA's used in skincare.
BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. They are oil-soluble and penetrate deeper to remove dead skin as well as excess sebum that can clog pores. Because of this, BHA's are better suited to fight acne and sun damage. Salicylic acid is a popular type of BHA. Citric acid can also be formulated as a BHA, although it's primarily formulated as an AHA.
Bonus tip: You can use both AHA's and BHA's by applying one in the morning and the other at night. Or, you can designate certain days of the week for AHA's and others for BHA's. Experts say using both will help skin appear more full and plump. It's not recommended to layer them because this could dry skin out. AHA's tend to make skin more sensitive to the sun than BHA's, but experts recommend wearing sunscreen if you're using either.