At FRANZ Skincare, the science behind our beauty tech is what sets it apart. After all, we do offer the world’s first microcurrent face mask. So, it may be no surprise that we’re obsessed with the ingredients that go into our skincare that are delivered through our innovative system. Since we don’t expect everyone to be as science obsessed as us, we’re introducing a new series of posts called The DNA of Skincare, breaking down active skin care product ingredients we’re obsessed with for overall improved skin. Consider us your skincare ingredients dictionary. Today we’re breaking down everything you need to know about alpha hydroxy acids vs beta hydroxy acids.
Let’s start with the basics: both AHA and BHA are acids that act as chemical exfoliants and are meant to remove dead skin cells and clean out your pores. Unlike the exfoliate scrubs that are meant to manually sloughed off dead skin cells, AHAs and BHAs break up the bonds of the dead skin allowing the cells to fall away.
|derived from plants, milk, and commonly sugar cane||derived from bark and leaves|
|great for surface level concerns like anti-aging, acne-scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation issues; a great exfoliant that sheds dead skin cells; stimulates collagen production||great for deeper skin penetration and provides antibacterial and anti-inflammatory help; used for treating blemishes, oily skin and acne|
While there are definite differences between AHAs and BHAs, they actually share a lot in common, since they both exfoliate the skin.
Using AHA products safely and as directed is important, as AHAs have been shown to be more drying and can cause irritation. AHAs increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and are skin-wounding agents, so we highly recommend using AHAs a few times a week instead of daily.
BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acid. These acids tend to be derived from bark and leaves. Because they are oil soluble, they are ideal for those with oily skin or combination skin, reducing oil production by slowing down oil secretion. For this reason, they are even better at clearing and preventing acne. It’s also gentle enough to be used on those with sensitive skin, and have photoprotective effects (but still, don’t skip the sunscreen). It can also be used to fight bacteria and help reduce calluses.
AHAs and BHAs come in a large range of forms from serums to masks to toners. Because the AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants, you shouldn’t need to scrub it into the surface of your skin, unless otherwise instructed. When it comes to applying any skincare, we always suggest gentle circular motions, unless the product specifically calls for something different. Because AHAs and BHA products can be drying, we recommend following up with your favorite hydrating products and avoid using it with other hydration stripping products.
Even though BHAs are typically better for sensitive skin, we don’t recommend using AHAs or BHAs more than a few times a week. We also recommend using AHA and BHA products with a great moisturizer and to not pair them with witch hazel, which can be very drying as well.
Choosing the right chemical exfoliant for your skincare really comes down to your skin type and goals, but we love these acids as any part of a bright, clear, healthy skin routine!