AHA vs BHA vs PHA | Differences | What is better for your skin?

AHA vs BHA vs PHA | Differences | What is better for your skin?

In my last post we learnt a few things about ๐“Ÿ๐“ฑ๐”‚๐“ผ๐“ฒ๐“ฌ๐“ช๐“ต and ๐“’๐“ฑ๐“ฎ๐“ถ๐“ฒ๐“ฌ๐“ช๐“ต 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.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐€๐‡๐€๐ฌ?

AHA are ๐“๐“ต๐“น๐“ฑ๐“ช ๐“—๐”‚๐“ญ๐“ป๐“ธ๐”๐”‚ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ๐“ผ. 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.

๐“๐ฒ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐€๐‡๐€ :-

  1. ๐“–๐“ต๐”‚๐“ฌ๐“ธ๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.
  2. ๐“›๐“ช๐“ฌ๐“ฝ๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.
  3. ๐“œ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ญ๐“ฎ๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.
  4. ๐“œ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.
  5. ๐“’๐“ฒ๐“ฝ๐“ป๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.
  6. ๐“ฃ๐“ช๐“ป๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ป๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.

๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐€๐‡๐€ :-

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.

๐€๐‡๐€ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐‘๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ :-

Here are some of the best AHA products that you can try

  1. ๐’ซ๐’ถ๐“Š๐“๐’ถโ€™๐“ˆ ๐’ž๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐’พ๐’ธ๐‘’ ๐’ฎ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ ๐’ซ๐‘’๐“‡๐’ป๐‘’๐’ธ๐“‰๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐Ÿช% ๐’œ๐ป๐’œ ๐ฟ๐‘œ๐“‰๐’พ๐‘œ๐“ƒ
  2. ๐’ฏ๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’ช๐“‡๐’น๐’พ๐“ƒ๐’ถ๐“‡๐“Ž ๐ฟ๐’ถ๐’ธ๐“‰๐’พ๐’ธ ๐’œ๐’ธ๐’พ๐’น ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿข% + ๐ป๐’œ ๐Ÿค%
  3. ๐‘…๐ธ๐’ฉ ๐’ž๐“๐‘’๐’ถ๐“ƒ ๐’ฎ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ๐’ธ๐’ถ๐“‡๐‘’ ๐‘…๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น๐“Ž ๐’ฎ๐“‰๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น๐“Ž ๐’ข๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ ๐’Ÿ๐’ถ๐’พ๐“๐“Ž ๐’œ๐ป๐’œ ๐’ฏ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐’พ๐’ธ
  4. ๐’ฏ๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’ช๐“‡๐’น๐’พ๐“ƒ๐’ถ๐“‡๐“Ž. ๐‘€๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐’น๐‘’๐“๐’พ๐’ธ ๐’œ๐’ธ๐’พ๐’น ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿข% + ๐ป๐’œ

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐‡๐€๐ฌ?

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.

๐“๐ฒ๐ฉ๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐‡๐€๐ฌ :-

  1. ๐“ข๐“ช๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ฌ๐”‚๐“ต๐“ฒ๐“ฌ ๐“ช๐“ฌ๐“ฒ๐“ญ – 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.
  2. ๐“ฆ๐“ฒ๐“ต๐“ต๐“ธ๐”€ ๐“‘๐“ช๐“ป๐“ด – 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.

๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ u๐ฌ๐ž ๐๐‡๐€ :-

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

  1. ๐’ซ๐’ถ๐“Š๐“๐’ถโ€™๐“ˆ ๐’ž๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐’พ๐’ธ๐‘’ ๐’ฎ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ ๐’ซ๐‘’๐“‡๐’ป๐‘’๐’ธ๐“‰๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐Ÿค% ๐ต๐ป๐’œ ๐ฟ๐’พ๐“†๐“Š๐’พ๐’น
  2. ๐’ž๐’ช๐’ฎ๐‘…๐’ณ ๐ต๐ป๐’œ ๐ต๐“๐’ถ๐’ธ๐“€๐’ฝ๐‘’๐’ถ๐’น ๐’ซ๐‘œ๐“Œ๐‘’๐“‡ ๐ฟ๐’พ๐“†๐“Š๐’พ๐’น
  3. ๐’ž๐‘’๐“‡๐’ถ๐’ฑ๐‘’ ๐’ฎ๐’œ ๐ฟ๐‘œ๐“‰๐’พ๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐’ป๐‘œ๐“‡ ๐‘…๐‘œ๐“Š๐‘”๐’ฝ & ๐ต๐“Š๐“‚๐“…๐“Ž ๐’ฎ๐“€๐’พ๐“ƒ

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐๐‡๐€๐ฌ?

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.

๐“–๐“ต๐“พ๐“ฌ๐“ธ๐“ท๐“ธ๐“ต๐“ช๐“ฌ๐“ฝ๐“ธ๐“ท๐“ฎ is the most popular type of PHA that is found in many skin care products.ย 

๐–๐ก๐จ ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐๐‡๐€ :-

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.

๐๐‡๐€ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ ๐‘๐ž๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง :-

Usually you’ll find PHA combined with BHA in products, but here’s a good one to start with

  1. ๐’ฉ๐’ถ๐“‰๐“Š๐“‡๐’พ๐“Š๐“‚ ๐’ซ๐ป๐’œ ๐’ฏ๐‘œ๐“…๐’พ๐’ธ๐’ถ๐“ ๐’œ๐’ธ๐’พ๐’น ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค%

๐‚๐š๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐€๐‡๐€ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐๐‡๐€?

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.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ, ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐š๐ง๐ ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž?

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.

๐€๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ/๐€๐œ๐ข๐๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐’๐ฎ๐ง๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง :-

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.

๐’๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐›๐ข๐ง๐ž๐ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ :-

Some great products that have both BHA and AHA/PHA as ingredients

  1. ๐’ข๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ ๐‘…๐‘’๐’ธ๐’พ๐“…๐‘’ ๐’ฒ๐’ถ๐“‰๐‘’๐“‡๐“‚๐‘’๐“๐‘œ๐“ƒ ๐’ข๐“๐‘œ๐“Œ ๐’ซ๐ป๐’œ+๐ต๐ป๐’œ ๐’ซ๐‘œ๐“‡๐‘’-๐’ฏ๐’พ๐‘”๐’ฝ๐“‰ ๐’ฏ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐‘’๐“‡
  2. ๐’Ÿ๐“‡๐“Š๐“ƒ๐“€ ๐ธ๐“๐‘’๐“…๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐’ฏ.๐ฟ.๐’ž. ๐น๐“‡๐’ถ๐“‚๐’ท๐‘œ๐‘œ๐“ˆ ๐’ข๐“๐“Ž๐’ธ๐‘œ๐“๐’พ๐’ธ ๐’ฉ๐’พ๐‘”๐’ฝ๐“‰ ๐’ฎ๐‘’๐“‡๐“Š๐“‚
  3. ๐’ฎ๐’ช๐‘€๐ธ ๐ต๐’ด ๐‘€๐ผ ๐’œ๐ป๐’œ.๐ต๐ป๐’œ.๐’ซ๐ป๐’œ ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿข ๐’Ÿ๐’ถ๐“Ž๐“ˆ ๐‘€๐’พ๐“‡๐’ถ๐’ธ๐“๐‘’ ๐’ฏ๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐‘’๐“‡
  4. ๐’Ÿ๐“‡๐“Š๐“ƒ๐“€ ๐ธ๐“๐‘’๐“…๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“ƒ๐“‰ ๐’ฏ.๐ฟ.๐’ž. ๐’ฎ๐“Š๐“€๐’ถ๐“‡๐’พ ๐ต๐’ถ๐’ท๐“Ž๐’ป๐’ถ๐’ธ๐’พ๐’ถ๐“
  5. ๐’ฏ๐’ฝ๐‘’ ๐’ช๐“‡๐’น๐’พ๐“ƒ๐’ถ๐“‡๐“Ž ๐’œ๐ป๐’œ ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿข% + ๐ต๐ป๐’œ ๐Ÿค% ๐’ซ๐‘’๐‘’๐“๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐’ฎ๐‘œ๐“๐“Š๐“‰๐’พ๐‘œ๐“ƒ

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.

๐’๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก๐ญ๐ฌ :-

Let me know what do you think about this post in the comment section below. Also let me know your favorite exfoliating products. Like and Share this post if you find it helpful in any way.

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Iโ€™ll be back with another post, until then keep pampering yourself, youโ€™re worth itโ€ฆ!!!

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.

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