Skincare is one of those things you just have to do, PROPERLY. Your skin is one of your largest organs and also in contact with almost everything the external environment has to offer. Think of all the elements: sun, rain, wind and everything in between. Whilst a large part of skincare is what goes in (eating, drinking, sleep). An important part and slightly easier to control is what goes on the outside (products). Think it’s so much easier to just wash your face than to cut out your fav ice cream huh?
For beginners, refer to my Do I Need a Skincare Routine post, which will give you the basics and introduce you to some of the great products the drugstore has to offer, this isn’t to say you can’t learn a thing or two from this post. If you want to take your skincare a bit further and don’t mind an extra step or 3 in your routine then this post is for you! I will be talking about AHA’s and BHA’s, very popular ingredients and what is can do for your skin
We can’t talk about AHA’s & BHA’s without touching on exfoliation. Just like our hair, our skin sheds loads and loads of skin cells each day. Over time with sun damage (I bet you will start reaching for your SPF now!) and age, the natural ability of the skin to do this slowly decreases. Exfoliation gives the skin a little boost and removes layers of built up dead cells which can lead to clogged pores, texture on the skin and a dull complexion. Traditional way of exfoliation is to use a face scrub however this can be too harsh on the skin..
Enter AHA’s & BHA’s
Alpha & Beta Hydroxy Acids have changed the exfoliation game in that they are chemical exfoliants that are left on the skin compared to the traditional wash off face scrubs. They are also suitable for daily use. Whilst they work in similar ways, they are slightly different and used for different-ish skin concerns
AHA- e.g. Glycolic or Lactic Acids. Exfoliates the skin’s surface and can improve moisture content. Best recommended for dry to normal skin and sun damaged skin
BHA- e.g. Salicylic Acid. Exfoliates the skin’s surface and pores making it great for blackheads. Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is best recommended for oily skin
NOTE- both acids will increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun so it is ESSENTIAL you use SPF at least factor 30 even in the winter.
Now that you are equipped with this knowledge, you can re-evaluate your skincare routine and add an acid to it. It will seriously up your game! I will recommend you start off with formulas suitable for sensitive skin or with a lower acid content if you are concerned about how your skin will react. Both AHA & BHA are generally safe to use but if you have any doubts no matter how small speak to a dermatologist.
Acids can come in many forms: creams, lotions, serums, toners etc, find which one you would like to use. For instance, I currently use an acid based toner and serum (and at night) because it is more convenient for me that way. I use it at night as the skin tends to do all the repair work then and there is less potential sun damage.
Recommendations ( these are just ones I have used or ones I have researched and will use shortly, there are literally TONS of products out there to suit every budget, this will get you going in the right direction!)
NIP FAB Glycolic range (I have a review on the NIP FAB PADS)
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel (review)
Paula’s Choice AHA & BHA products
And many more!
Here’s my personal collection of some of the AHA&BHA products I use
I hope you found this post useful! I will be doing a lot more of these posts as I carry on with my research and improving my skincare knowledge. These posts help me as much as they help others. Feel free to drop comments of your fav products or how you incorporate acids in your skincare routine. Hopefully, after reading and understanding this post, you won’t be terrified when you hear that people are putting acids on their face LOL. You should have seen the look on my brother’s face when I said at one time I needed to buy an acid based toner LOL
Want more tips and product recommendations? Head over to my Instagram- sarahfynn
Countdown to Christmas is real!
9 thoughts on “Skincare Ingredients: AHA’s & BHA’s”
I like concept of your post. Very creative post. Best of luck and waiting for some new ideas. I am looking for such useful information and I found here a lot of it. Nice article and exactly what I need. Most of all I like the style. Great job, thanks.