INGREDIENT: What is AHA and BHA?

April 21, 2017 0 Comments

What are your skin concerns? Aging and wrinkles? Dullness? Acne? Uneven tone and texture? Clogged pores and blackheads?

For me, as I enter my thirties and deal with my oily and acne-prone skin, they are ALL my concerns. Thankfully, there is an ingredient that helps--with all of them! And if you read the title of this post, you would know that I am talking about AHA/BHA!

What is AHA and BHA? 

AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid, and BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. Yes, they are acids. But don’t worry. They are very gentle, and different products have varying levels of AHA or BHA in them, so you can choose the right formulation for you! 

But first, to understand why AHA and BHA works, we need to understand that many of our skin issues stem from having dead skin cells accumulate on our face or skin. These dead skin cells can block or clog your pores, leading to blackheads and whiteheads, and they will also decrease skin tone and texture. In a nutshell, AHA and BHA dissolve the cellular linkages between dead skin cells, allowing them to be shed more easily. 

So let’s talk about the difference between the two:

AHA is better for those with rough, dry skin and helps with advanced signs of aging and wrinkles.  

BHA is better for those with oily/combination skin with concerns of blackheads and acne. BHA will help with some wrinkles/aging care. It also has soothing properties, so people with sensitive skin can use it too!

How to use AHA/BHA:

Use after cleansing and toning. My order of use is: Oil cleansing -> Foam or Powder cleansing -> Toning -> BHA -> Moisturizer. I will write a blog post about my detailed night time regimen soon!

Do not use it on eyelids or along the lower lash line.

Follow up the AHA/BHA with serums/ampoules/creams of your choice for optimal moisturizing. 

Start with a lower concentration product first, then work up to higher concentration products as needed. 

I also recommend introducing it gradually:  Patch test, then use on face once-twice weekly, then increase to every other day, etc., until your optimal routine is reached. 

Below, I have listed all the AHA/BHA products we carry on Mishibox, and their concentrations. 

COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid (AHA- Glycolic Acid 7%)

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid (BHA- Betaine salicylate 4%)

COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol (BHA- Betaine salicylate 1%)

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner (BHA- Salicylic acid 0.5%)

So what are you waiting for? If you aren’t using AHA/BHA in your routine, maybe it’s time to try it!

~ Naree




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