What type of exfoliator should I be using BHA or AHA?

Posted by The Skin Alley on

AHAs and BHAs are the most common types of skin exfoliants. Depending on their concentration, both acids are highly effective methods of exfoliation. Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells making room for new skin roughly every thirty days. However, not all skin completely sheds, resulting in a build up of flaky patches and clogged pores.
AHA and BHA can:
  • Aid in reducing inflammation
  • Shrink enlarged pores
  • Unclog pores
  • Even out skin tone
  • Improve in skin texture
  • Remove devitalised skin
Alpha hydroxy acids are water-soluble acids derived from sugary fruits and plants. AHAs removes the outer surface of skin to promote cell turn over. Your skin will be noticeably smoother to touch after using products containing AHAs.
Beta hydroxy acids on the other hand is an oil-soluble acid. BHAs are able to penetrate deeper into pores to remove devitalised skin cells and excess sebum.
AHAs and BHAs are often formulated into products like cleansers, toners or exfoliating products.
NOTE: Avoid mixing AHAs + BHAs with products containing vitamin c, benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.
Which exfoliants is more suitable for your skin type?
Alpha hydroxy acids are great for mild hyper-pigmentation, enlarged pores, uneven skin tone and fine lines and wrinkles. For those with dry or sensitive skin, do take care to gradually work up your tolerance with AHAs to avoid irritation. The effects of your exfoliants will depend on their concentration, primarily AHAs should have a maximum concentration between 10 to 15 precent. AHAs may also sensitise your skin to the sun, so wear sunscreen daily to prevent burns resulting from sun damage. AHAs can be found in products with: glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric, malic (AHA-BHA crossover) and mandelic acid. Neogen Bio-Peel Gauzes are great for those with dry and flaky patches, leaving skin super soft and smooth to touch. Some By Mi AHA.BHA.PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner (Some By Mi’s best seller!) is a combination of 3 exfoliants, dermatologically tested and suitable for all skin types. Proven to be effective with decongesting and minimising the appearance of pores.
Beta hydroxy acids are great for those who struggle with acne and sun damaged skin. BHAs have the ability to dry out excess oils and are most suitable for those with combination to oily skin. BHAs are formulated for daily use but do take care to gradually work up your tolerance to avoid irritation. Salicylic acid is the most commonly used BHA and some formulation of citric acids are BHAs too. For those with congested pores, COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser is a great daily option that is non-drying and effective. Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner works wonderfully to soothe and restore inflamed and acne prone skin by reducing the build up of sebum and replenishing damaged skin.
acne AHA BHA dead skin cells exfoliate pores

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