The Beginner's Guide to Understanding AHAs and BHAs
I’m back from vacation, friends! To get back into the groove of things, I wanted to touch up on a topic that was highly requested in my end of year reader survey. What are AHAs and BHAs and should I be using it in my skincare routine? The short answer - YES! Keep reading to learn why you should be using these acids in your skincare routine.
What are AHAs and BHAs?
AHAs and BHAs are organic acids so they can be found naturally occurring in nature. AHAs are water soluble and BHAs are oil soluble.
AHA = Alpha Hydroxy Acid and can be found naturally in fruits, sugar cane, and sour milk. AHAs are great for dry skin because it exfoliates the skin’s surface, loosening dead skin to reveal brighter, healthier, and plumper skin. Glycolic acid is the most common form of AHA and found in many of our favorite skincare products.
AHAs should be used 3x a week at night. It also increases sun sensitivity so make sure you wear sunscreen!
BHA = Beta Hydroxy Acid and is the key 🗝 to conquering oily and acne prone skin. BHAs exfoliate the surface of the skin and debunks pores. Salicylic Acid is the most common BHA and is found in many of our favorite skincare products. Unlike AHAs, BHAs do not increase sun sensitivity, but still wear sunscreen! Recommended use is 3x a week day and night.
How to Use AHAs and BHAs in Your Skincare Routine
Most AHAs and BHAs come in form of a serum and you’ll want to use it after toner and before moisturizer. Using it this way allows the acids to penetrate the skin and be locked in with moisturizer. By adding AHAs and BHAs to your skincare routine, it’ll look like this:
- AHA or BHA
- Eye cream
AHAs and BHAs You Can Add to Your Skincare Routine
Skincare is an investment so you can expect to put some money down to find a good AHA or BHA for your skincare routine. I highly encourage you to speak with a skincare professional at a beauty counter or your dermatologist to find out exactly what you need.
My current favorite AHA/BHA comes in the form of a cleanser. I use the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser as an exfoliator 1-2 times a week; any more and i’ll start to break out. Other AHAs and BHAs that i’ve read great reviews on: Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum and Ole Henrikson Invigorating Night Transformation Gel.
Do you use AHAs and/or BHAs in your skincare routine? How do you use it and what’s your favorite product?