If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with using acids in my skincare routine. It sounds uncomfortable & scary, but it couldn’t be further from it! Used correctly & with a little knowledge, you could up your skincare routine and & see huge differences to your uneven skin tone, texture, hydration levels, lines & wrinkles! I’ve put together a little information to help people understand the differences & why these should be added to your everyday routine.
So, firstly the difference. AHA’s are water soluble – this means they only work on the skins surface. Meanwhile, BHA’s work on the surface and deep inside the pores. You can use some AHA’s & BHA’s at the same time on your skin, but in careful moderation. Don’t mix glycolic acid & salicylic acid. You can find both of these types of acids in a multitude of products, such as cleansers, moisturisers, face masks, toners etc. So it is advised to have a quick read of your products whilst setting up a routine.
This stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid. These are from fruit enzymes normally! They help peel away the surface of your skin – the results are normally smoother, brighter and plumper looking skin – you can usually notice this after the first use, which is encouraging! If your skin concerns include enlarged pores (the worst!), scarring, fine lines & hyperpigmentation, it might be a good idea to introduce an AHA into your routine. Look for products which include lactic acid, citric acid, mandelic acid, malic acid and glycolic acid. AHA’s might be a little too strong to use daily at first, so try incorporating them a few times a week to begin with. AND WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY… AHA’s can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight – however, you should be wearing sunscreen everyday anyway!
These can be used daily with less chance of irritation or sensitivity. BHA can be found in willow tree bark or sweet birch bark. Salicylic acid is the most popular type of BHA – if you had acne as a teenager or done some revision when you’ve had spots crop up, you’ll have definitely have heard of this! It is in most teenage skincare ranges. Another ingredient to look out for is willow bark extract.
In short, if your main skin concerns is anti-aging then look out for AHA products, or if you are looking to reduce redness or get rid of acne, then BHA’s are the ones to look for. Like I said, you can incorporate both, just do not use them in the same routine. Split them into morning or evening or alternate daily/weekly.
A few of my favourite products that I’ve used lately & in the past with these ingredients in:
Pixi Glow Tonic – A good product to start with as an acid newbie. Can find in Boots, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic etc. Take a look at the whole Glow range too – there’s some great products.
Nip & Fab Glycolic range – Go easy on the products labelled ‘extreme’ if you’re a first time user. Find these at Boots, Look Fantastic & their own website – they sometimes do amazing 1/2 price sales or two for one etc.
AlumierMD Enzymatic Peel – Recently reviewed here. This is a nice weekly peel to introduce alongside your regular routine. DM @salt__beauty to order and get delivered straight to your door.
Nip & Fab Salicylic Acid range – Again – be aware if they have any ‘extreme’ products & use with caution. Find these at Boots, Look Fantastic & their own website.
AlumierMD Acne Clarifying Cleanser – Soothing gel wash to remove makeup or freshen up in the morning. DM @salt__beauty to order and get delivered straight to your door. You can also ask Alex, their skin expert for a free skin consultation if you are unsure.
The Body Shop Anti-Imperfection Tea Tree Night Mask – Smells amazing, feels bouncy and alcohol free! Find it here.
Lastly, enjoy your skincare routine and as I said before – always wear your sunscreen! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products or use any different AHA/BHA products in your routine! These are just a few I listed for some ideas – there’s a whole load of them out there if you just Google – it can get quite overwhelming, which is why I only picked a few, all with different price brackets.
None of these links are affiliated, I have just included them for ease of finding them.
2 thoughts on “AHA’s vs BHA’s”
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