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| by Hagar Abdelwahab

What's the Difference between AHAs and BHAs for Your Skin?

BHAs and AHAs are popular ingredients in a lot of skincare products, specifically exfoliants, which we all need. Exfoliants are great for a lot of reasons, starting with simply how they affect the radiance and brightness of the skin. But, they also help with acne, pigmentation, dryness, dark spots, and signs of aging. Exfoliating helps rejuvenate the skin, removing dead skin cells and impurities. We're going to be talking about the difference between alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acid (BHAs), the different types and what they can do for the skin.

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To begin with, why is exfoliation good for your skin?

Exfoliation is an important and effective step in skincare that helps remove buildup on the skin, reduce acne, dark spots, help with wrinkles and tighten the skin. It can also clear the skin, give it radiance and elasticity.

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So, what's the difference between a BHA and AHA?

First let's begin by telling you that these acids are already probably in your skincare products. Just Check your ingredients and you'll probably find a type of AHA or BHA acid, like the following...

First: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

What are the benefits of AHAs?

1. AHAs act on the outer surface of the skin.

2. AHAs are very popular and inexpensive.

3. They help exfoliate the skin and get rid of dead skin, and thus help with clogged of pores and impurities.

4. They also help maintain the skin's moisture level.

5. AHAs help get rid of acne.

6. They fight wrinkles and fine lines and promote collagen production in the skin.

7. Finally, they're mainly used for normal and dry skin. People with super dry or sensitive skin should be careful and consult a doctor before using it. 

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What are the types of AHAs?

Here are some of the most common AHA types...

1. Glycolic acid

2. Lactic Acid

3. Malic acid

4. Citric acid

Of course, there are many other types and derivatives, all of which are used to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells, but according to dermatologists, the most widely used of these types, which was proven very effective is Glycolic acid.

Second: Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

What are the benefits of BHAs?

1. BHAs penetrate the skin deeply to cleanse the pores, unlike AHAs which remain on the surface.

2. BHAs are highly effective, and their results appear faster on the skin.

3. They act as chemical exfoliants that penetrate deeply into the skin and help regenerate skin cells and get rid of dead cells.

4. They also help in reducing excess oil production of the skin.

5. Beta-hydroxy acids help get rid of blackheads and whiteheads.

6. They fight skin infections, and contribute to getting rid of acne and reduce breaking out thanks to their ability to deeply clean the pores and get rid of all the dirt that clogs them.

7. They're mainly used for oily skin.

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What are the types of BHAs?

There are also many different derivatives and types of BHA, but here are the more common ones...

1. Salicylic acid

2. Tropic acid

3. Betaine salicylate

4. Willow bark extract (Salix alba)

One of the most popular and commonly used is salicylic acid and is used mostly for people who struggle with mild acne.

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General Notes:

1. The effect of exfoliants, in general, on the skin doesn't happen clearly and significantly before some time. It might take at least a month of regular and correct use.

2. It is advised not to use them, especially in high concentrations, before consulting a doctor.

3. Make sure you always put sunscreen on!

Main Image Credits: Via Pinterest


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Tags: Skincare  Skincare 101  Exfoliation  Skincare products  Beauty products  Dark skin spots  Healthy skin  Soft skin  Pimples  Acne  Acne scars