What is AHA/BHA that we see in cosmetics content?
AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) are types of chemical exfoliants commonly used in skincare products. Here's a breakdown of each:
- AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids): AHAs are water-soluble acids derived from natural sources like fruits, milk, or sugar cane. Common AHAs used in cosmetics include glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (found in milk), and citric acid (from citrus fruits).
AHAs are primarily known for their exfoliating properties. They work by loosening and dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, promoting gentle exfoliation. This process helps to reveal smoother, brighter skin, improve skin texture, and even out skin tone. AHAs can also help stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids): BHAs are oil-soluble acids, with the most commonly used BHA being salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is derived from willow bark or synthesized chemically.
BHAs are highly effective at penetrating the pores and exfoliating the inside of the follicles. They have the ability to dissolve excess oil, unclog pores, and remove dead skin cells, making them particularly beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin. BHAs can help reduce acne breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, and improve overall skin clarity.
Both AHAs and BHAs can be found in various skincare products such as cleansers, toners, serums, and peels. It's important to note that these acids can increase skin sensitivity to the sun, so it's recommended to use sunscreen when incorporating AHAs or BHAs into your skincare routine.
When choosing products containing AHAs or BHAs, it's essential to consider your skin type, sensitivity, and the concentration of the acid. Starting with lower concentrations and gradually increasing usage can help minimize the risk of irritation. If you have specific concerns or conditions, it's advisable to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to determine the most suitable exfoliating products for your skin.