Our skin naturally exfoliates dead cells every day – but over time, this shedding process slows. This results in dull, flaky skin, enlarged pores, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and more.
But fear not! You can help your skin on the way by gently exfoliating the skin to reveal the beautiful, glowing skin underneath.
Let’s talk about two popular chemical exfoliants: BHA and AHA’s… what they are and what’s the difference between them.
What’s similar about them?
AHA exfoliants (alpha hydroxy acids, i.e. glycolic and lactic acids) and BHA exfoliants (beta hydroxy/salicylic acid) both work to ‘unglue’ the bonds holding dead, dull skin cell to the surface of the skin. What you need to do is break these down so the skin naturally sheds these old cells.
Both AHA and BHA exfoliants are formulated with a pH range between 3 and 4.
“AHA’s and BHAs are commonly used in the same sentence, and indeed products, but work in very different ways. AHAs work at the superficial layers of the dermis, and are commonly Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid. They promote shedding at surface level and provide an antibacterial effect.
BHA’s work at the deeper layers of the skin, with Salicylic Acid the most common. Salicylic acid is oil soluble, which will get deep into your pores to break up oils, exfoliate the skin and other deep follicular action,” says Kelly Saynor. Kelly Saynor, a Specialist Aesthetics Nurse.
They both work to…
- Remove dead skin cells
- Decrease inflammation
- Decrease the appearance of large pores and surface wrinkles
- Evens out skin tone and improves overall skin texture
- Can help to unclog pores to prevent acne
- They both impact collagen and procollagen production to show an improvement in the appearance of photoaged skin.
Some products that use a combination of BHA’s and AHA’s include: