In my last post we learnt a few things about 𝓟𝓱𝔂𝓼𝓲𝓬𝓪𝓵 and 𝓒𝓱𝓮𝓶𝓲𝓬𝓪𝓵 Exfoliation. But with so many types of acids that target different skin concerns. It can be a lot confusing to choose the right type of acid for you skin type. To help you choose wisely, let’s get into details about these acids.
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐀𝐇𝐀𝐬?
AHA are 𝓐𝓵𝓹𝓱𝓪 𝓗𝔂𝓭𝓻𝓸𝔁𝔂 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭𝓼. They are water soluble acids, naturally found in fruits, milk or sugar. They mostly targets the surface layer of the skin and improves skin cells renewal process by providing deep exfoliation.
𝐓𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐇𝐀 :-
- 𝓖𝓵𝔂𝓬𝓸𝓵𝓲𝓬 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Glycolic Acid is one of the most popular and most powerful AHA in skincare. It is derived from sugarcane and has the smallest molecule size when compared to other AHAs. Because of the smaller molecule size, it penetrates deeper than other AHAs. It evens out fine lines, and helps diminish acne scars or dark spots.
- 𝓛𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓬 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Lactic acid has a bigger molecule size than Glycolic acid. Therefore, it doesn’t penetrate deeper and is a gentle AHA. Lactic acid as the name might suggest is derived from Milk. It has anti-microbial properties and it is less irritating on the skin.
- 𝓜𝓪𝓷𝓭𝓮𝓵𝓲𝓬 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Mandelic Acid is another gentler form of AHA. Because of the anti-bacterial properties, it’s good for acne prone skin. This can be combined with other AHAs to increase the effectiveness.
- 𝓜𝓪𝓵𝓲𝓬 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Malic acid is naturally found in apples and pears. This fruit derived AHA gently exfoliates and brightens the skin. It’s not very effective as a solo ingredient, therefore it is commonly used in combination with other AHAs.
- 𝓒𝓲𝓽𝓻𝓲𝓬 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Citric acid is found naturally in citrus fruits like lime or lemon. It is mostly used along with other actives as a preservative to maintain the stability of other actives. It has antioxidant properties and it can neutralize the pH level of the skin.
- 𝓣𝓪𝓻𝓽𝓪𝓻𝓲𝓬 𝓐𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Mostly derived from grapes, Tartaric acid is not as popular as other AHAs. Rich in antioxidants, it protects the skin. Keeps skin hydrated and promotes skin healing.
𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐀𝐇𝐀 :-
AHAs are recommended for people with dry rough skin. Also people with sun damage or pigmentation can benefit from AHAs as it works to even the skin tone. AHA exfoliates the surface layer which makes it a good choice if you are struggling with acne spots or any dark spots.
AHA helps stimulate collagen production, that is the reason it’s perfect for mature skin in reducing the appearance of any fine lines.
𝐀𝐇𝐀 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 :-
Here are some of the best AHA products that you can try
- 𝒫𝒶𝓊𝓁𝒶’𝓈 𝒞𝒽𝑜𝒾𝒸𝑒 𝒮𝓀𝒾𝓃 𝒫𝑒𝓇𝒻𝑒𝒸𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝟪% 𝒜𝐻𝒜 𝐿𝑜𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃
- 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝒪𝓇𝒹𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓇𝓎 𝐿𝒶𝒸𝓉𝒾𝒸 𝒜𝒸𝒾𝒹 𝟣𝟢% + 𝐻𝒜 𝟤%
- 𝑅𝐸𝒩 𝒞𝓁𝑒𝒶𝓃 𝒮𝓀𝒾𝓃𝒸𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝑅𝑒𝒶𝒹𝓎 𝒮𝓉𝑒𝒶𝒹𝓎 𝒢𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝒟𝒶𝒾𝓁𝓎 𝒜𝐻𝒜 𝒯𝑜𝓃𝒾𝒸
- 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝒪𝓇𝒹𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓇𝓎. 𝑀𝒶𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓁𝒾𝒸 𝒜𝒸𝒾𝒹 𝟣𝟢% + 𝐻𝒜
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐁𝐇𝐀𝐬?
BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids are oil soluble acids. They work deep within the pores to soak up excess oil and sebum which can otherwise cause pores clogging resulting in acne. BHAs helps skin looks less shiny and congested. Helps improve the appearance of pores. BHA are great to calm down inflammation or redness.
𝐓𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐁𝐇𝐀𝐬 :-
- 𝓢𝓪𝓵𝓲𝓬𝔂𝓵𝓲𝓬 𝓪𝓬𝓲𝓭 – Derived from salicin, it is the most popular and commonly used acid. You might have heard it a lot as a main ingredient for anti acne skincare. It controls the sebum production, which helps with acne and blackheads.
- 𝓦𝓲𝓵𝓵𝓸𝔀 𝓑𝓪𝓻𝓴 – Derived from the bark of willow tree which also contains Salicin. It is similar to Salicylic acid, however it is gentler and good for sensitive skin.
𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 u𝐬𝐞 𝐁𝐇𝐀 :-
Because BHAs are fat soluble, they are more often preferred for normal to oily skin types. If your main concerns is acne and clogged pores. If you’re prone to blackheads and blemishes, you should consider choosing a BHA product in your skincare.
BHA Products Recommendations :-
Some of the best BHA products that you can start with
- 𝒫𝒶𝓊𝓁𝒶’𝓈 𝒞𝒽𝑜𝒾𝒸𝑒 𝒮𝓀𝒾𝓃 𝒫𝑒𝓇𝒻𝑒𝒸𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝟤% 𝐵𝐻𝒜 𝐿𝒾𝓆𝓊𝒾𝒹
- 𝒞𝒪𝒮𝑅𝒳 𝐵𝐻𝒜 𝐵𝓁𝒶𝒸𝓀𝒽𝑒𝒶𝒹 𝒫𝑜𝓌𝑒𝓇 𝐿𝒾𝓆𝓊𝒾𝒹
- 𝒞𝑒𝓇𝒶𝒱𝑒 𝒮𝒜 𝐿𝑜𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝒻𝑜𝓇 𝑅𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽 & 𝐵𝓊𝓂𝓅𝓎 𝒮𝓀𝒾𝓃
𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐏𝐇𝐀𝐬?
PHAs are Poly Hydroxy Acids. They are similar to AHA but have a much larger molecular structure than AHAs. They penetrate into the skin very slowly and gently exfoliates with minimum to none irritation. For all those who can’t tolerate AHAs can go for PHA as an alternate.
They work like an antioxidant and repair any skin damage.
𝓖𝓵𝓾𝓬𝓸𝓷𝓸𝓵𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓸𝓷𝓮 is the most popular type of PHA that is found in many skin care products.
𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐏𝐇𝐀 :-
Anyone who has very dry and sensitive skin can choose PHA as an alternative to AHA. PHA retains moisture and strengthen skin’s barrier. It minimizes dryness, therefore people with skin conditions like Rosacea or Eczema can use it. Works like an antioxidant and help tackle redness and inflammation.
𝐏𝐇𝐀 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 :-
Usually you’ll find PHA combined with BHA in products, but here’s a good one to start with
- 𝒩𝒶𝓉𝓊𝓇𝒾𝓊𝓂 𝒫𝐻𝒜 𝒯𝑜𝓅𝒾𝒸𝒶𝓁 𝒜𝒸𝒾𝒹 𝟣𝟤%
𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐀𝐇𝐀 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐇𝐀?
AHAs and BHAs work really well together and yield good results. There are a lot of products that combine both the acids for effective results. However, since both are exfoliants, you should not layer them on top of each other. This can cause skin irritation and dryness. Use them on alternate days or you can use BHAs on the oily parts of the face like your T-zone and AHAs on the drier areas.
𝐇𝐨𝐰, 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐮𝐬𝐞?
Start slow if you’re new to chemical exfoliation. Start by products like cleanser and toners. 5% AHA is good to start as a beginner, 1% BHA is a good place to start new.
Start by applying once a week in the evenings and you can gradually increase it to 2-3 times a week once your skin is comfortable with the acids. Since over exfoliating can damage the skin, I would recommend keeping it to 2-3 times a week only. You can increase the percentage of the acids instead.
Always patch test the product on your arm, neck or back of the ear for 1-2 days to see if it can cause any reactions. If you have sensitive skin or any underlying skin conditions, please consult your doctor or esthetician before starting out on the acids.
𝐀𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬/𝐀𝐜𝐢𝐝𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 :-
Although you should always apply sunscreen no matter what. But it’s crucial to apply while using actives or acids. AHA makes skin sensitive to the Sun(photosensitive) which makes it more prone to sun damage. It is really important to keep your AHAs in your evening routines and always apply a sunscreen throughout the day(Yes, even if you’re indoors.). Although BHA exhibit some sun protective abilities, sunscreen should be applied. You can use your BHA in the morning routine as well. Unlike AHA, PHA makes skin less sensitive to sun.
I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of Sunscreen in your skincare.
𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 :-
Some great products that have both BHA and AHA/PHA as ingredients
- 𝒢𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝑅𝑒𝒸𝒾𝓅𝑒 𝒲𝒶𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓂𝑒𝓁𝑜𝓃 𝒢𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝒫𝐻𝒜+𝐵𝐻𝒜 𝒫𝑜𝓇𝑒-𝒯𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒯𝑜𝓃𝑒𝓇
- 𝒟𝓇𝓊𝓃𝓀 𝐸𝓁𝑒𝓅𝒽𝒶𝓃𝓉 𝒯.𝐿.𝒞. 𝐹𝓇𝒶𝓂𝒷𝑜𝑜𝓈 𝒢𝓁𝓎𝒸𝑜𝓁𝒾𝒸 𝒩𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝓊𝓂
- 𝒮𝒪𝑀𝐸 𝐵𝒴 𝑀𝐼 𝒜𝐻𝒜.𝐵𝐻𝒜.𝒫𝐻𝒜 𝟥𝟢 𝒟𝒶𝓎𝓈 𝑀𝒾𝓇𝒶𝒸𝓁𝑒 𝒯𝑜𝓃𝑒𝓇
- 𝒟𝓇𝓊𝓃𝓀 𝐸𝓁𝑒𝓅𝒽𝒶𝓃𝓉 𝒯.𝐿.𝒞. 𝒮𝓊𝓀𝒶𝓇𝒾 𝐵𝒶𝒷𝓎𝒻𝒶𝒸𝒾𝒶𝓁
- 𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝒪𝓇𝒹𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓇𝓎 𝒜𝐻𝒜 𝟥𝟢% + 𝐵𝐻𝒜 𝟤% 𝒫𝑒𝑒𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒮𝑜𝓁𝓊𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃
I hope you find this post helps you understand the Acids better. Always keep your skin type in mind and look for products that targets your skin concerns. Skincare is very personal and what works for others might not work for you, so listen to your skin and what it needs. Keep the routine consistent, since skincare products take their time to show the results.
𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 :-
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I’ll be back with another post, until then keep pampering yourself, you’re worth it…!!!
Disclaimer : Please note that I share content as per my research and experience with the products. Products that work for me may or may not work the same for you. Please do your own research before trying out a product. If you have any underlying skin condition, please consult your esthetician.