AHAs, BHAs, PHAs, and LHAs are just some of the skincare jargon you may come across in your quest for glass-like skin. But despite what it looks like, they’re not as confusing as they seem. Here’s a look at the key differences between the two you’re most likely to come across (AHAs and BHAs) and when each should be used.
AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, work to exfoliate the surface of the skin. They are water soluble, and so are best for dry skin types, moisturising the skin and working as humectants to keep the skin hydrated. Some examples of AHAs are Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid.
BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acids, on the other hand, are fat or oil soluble, making them great for oily skin. They exfoliate both the surface of the skin and inside of the pores, penetrating them to clean them from the inside out. BHAs help to remove dead cells, preventing pimples and keeping the skin smooth, clean, and clear. They also reduce inflammation, which is what causes excess melanin production, leaving dark scars on your face. This makes BHAs great for treating hyperpigmentation. Salicylic Acid is the most common BHA.
So, if you’re on the dryer end of the skin-type scale, then look for products with AHAs, but if you’re on the oily-end then BHAs will really help clear up any acne or breakouts you may have. Use in the mornings and evenings as part of your skincare routines, or less frequently depending on your desired result!