AHA and BHA, what’s that Buzz about? Which one do you need for what kind of skin concern?

Chemicals and actives in skincare regime has become the recent buzz word, isn’t it? We common people do follow some or the other influencer and I am sure by now, your favorite skincare influencer must have by now influenced you to use AHA/BHA etc. etc. Right? These days we all are engulfing too much of social media content and whatever someone mentions has done good for him/her we do start blindly following them. If you are one in that category, STOP! Even I was, I was also in that category wherein I would believe and invest in anything and everything I get influenced upon. But then I learnt one thing hard way, that is, what might work for person X, might not work for me. And trust me, there can be tons of reasons why.

Now, that I have already talked about what is the difference between physical and chemical exfoliation, I am gonna further elaborate on the fact what are these AHA and BHAs and when or why or whether you need it or not.

What is AHA?

AHA is basically alpha hydroxy acid. AHAs love water and these are water-soluble acids which are made from sugary fruits. Remember, this type of acid can also be derived from animal. There are multiple types of AHA based on where from they are derived. Some of those are: 

  • Glycolic Acid (derived from sugar cane)
  • Citric Acid (derived from citrus fruits)
  • Lactic Acid (derived from lactose)
  • Hydroxycaprylic Acid (derived from animals)
  • Tartaric Acid (derived from grapes) and many more. 

But the, not all of these are used in skincare, in skincare it’s the usage of glycolic acid and lactic acid which is widely prevalent.

When do you need AHA?

AHAs help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. Thus, if you have dull skin, pigmentation, you can think of option this one.

For what skin type AHA is needed?

The vital part to remember here is that though AHAs are often marketed as safe for all skin types, it is not really suitable for extremely dry and sensitive skin. Further, excessive usage of AHAs will over-exfoliate your skin and make it very much prone to sun damages. Thus, sunscreen is a must after AHA usage no matter what. Further, the best is, if you want to incorporate usage of AHA in your skincare regime is to start off with products which has lower percentage of AHAs, see how that works for you and then go for higher percentages.

What is BHA?

BHA is basically beta hydroxy acid. Unlike AHA, BHAs love oil. These are oil soluble and hence can penetrate deeper into skin to remove excess oil and sebum. The best thing about BHA is that they don’t make your skin sensitive to sun unlike AHA. Salicylic Acid is the most commonly known BHA which is most prevalent in acne care products. Apart form acne treatment, this can also be used to calm down redness and inflammation.

When do you need BHA?

If you are suffering from acne or clogged pores, then BHA is the one to give solution to that. It can also help treat your stubborn backheads or whiteheads by penetrating deep into skin layers. 

For what skin type BHA is needed?

This one unlike AHA, is most suitable for oily and acne prone skin types.

Now that you have know what is AHA and BHA and when is that useful, also please remember, these chemicals are like a luxury to your skin, more you use, more your skin will want these. Ofcourse I am not stopping you from trying it, but just that before incorporating anything beyond a simple cleanser, toner and moisturizer to your skincare routine, ask yourself whether you really need it or not! 

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