Have you ever wondered having skin so smooth, so even, so glowy and without a hint of flakiness? Its now possible to achieve that! You must have at least for once heard about AHA’s and BHA’s. These two new trending acids are the new stars of the exfoliation world and many people swear by them. Allow me to introduce both of them to you, their benefits and precautions while using them because we want to make our skin flawless and not give any new troubles without the proper information. So let’s get started with the basics.
WHAT ARE AHA’s?
AHA’s(Alpha Hydroxy Acid) is the exfoliating agents made out of natural substances usually, sugar crops and milk. They work on the surface of the skin by breaking the bonds of dead skin revealing a new layer of fresh skin from underneath. It also improves the skin texture, reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles and hydrates the skin for a fresher look.
The most common and widely used AHA’s are:
Glycolic Acid: These are derived from Sugar crops. It has the smallest molecules which means it can penetrate more than any other type of AHA’s and also works most effectively but on the other side it can also be harsh to the skin and it best to use them after trying more subtle one’s first.
Lactic Acid: These are derived from dairy such as milk. They have larger molecules. It is the most gentle among all AHA’s and recommended for daily exfoliation. Great for people who are using an AHA product for the first time.
Note: People with milk allergy should avoid lactic acid.
Mandelic Acid: These are usually derived from bitter almonds. It has the largest molecules and does not penetrate as deep as the glycolic acid. It works relatively slower but effective and does not have any harsh side effects making it perfect for daily use. It does not provide as much brightening as the other AHA’s.
Note: People with a nut allergy should avoid any product containing mandelic acid.
WHAT ARE BHA’s?
BHA’s (beta hydroxy acid) works by penetrating deep into the layers of your skin. They are used to clean the clogged pores. They remove the impurities and oils stuck inside the pores and hence used for treating blackheads and whiteheads. These are more suitable for combination to oily and acne prone skin. The most readily available BHA is salicylic acid.
Salicylic Acid: It is usually derived from willow bark. It is oil soluble and hence best to dissolve the debris accumulated inside the pores. It is very helpful to get rid of the black and whiteheads and to prevent further breakouts. For beginners, it is recommended to use products with lower concentrations of salicylic acid.
Precautions and Guidelines:
Personally, I like to use the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser which has BHA. It’s very subtle and non-drying, great for sensitive skin, I have combination skin and I started using this product about 2 months ago and noticed that my black and whiteheads are almost gone :)