Keep seeing the letters AHA and BHA on your skincare products and have no idea what they mean? Let us enlighten you!
AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acids and comes in multiple sources, ranging in different molecular sizes. The smaller the molecule, the quicker the delivery and higher absorption rate.
A few popular AHA’s are:
- Glycolic Acid (the smallest molecule), made from sugar cane
- Lactic Acid, made from milk
- Mandelic Acid, made from almonds
- Citric Acid (the larges molecule), made from citrus fruits
AHA’s are designed to break down the bonds between dead skin cells to promote effective exfoliation and are a great way to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, decongest rough textured areas, brighten skin and improve overall skin tone and texture. Plus, AHA’s improve the penetration of any other ingredients applied after, proving a clearer pathway for them to be absorbed. Another cool fact about AHA’s is their ability to stimulate the production of Hyaluronic Acid in our own skin, which increases our skins ability to retain moisture, and in effect, resulting in a more radiant, glowing complexion.
BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid and comes in one source for skincare and that is Salicylic Acid. This is made from Willow Bark which is a form of aspirin, so if you’re allergic to aspirin, steer clear! Salicylic Acid is a powerful anti-inflammatory exfoliant that removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and also penetrates into blocked pore follicles to scoop out all the bacteria and debris responsible for creating breakouts on the skin. For this reason this ingredient is a saviour in treating acne. Expect for skin to feel a lot smoother and see a more even looking complexion after regular usage.
So what’s the difference between AHA’s and BHA’s? AHA’s are WATER soluble and BHA’s are OIL soluble. Both are a form of exfoliation but BHA’s have the extra magic power of cleaning inside of the pore which means it’s better for use on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads.
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