AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and BHA for Beta Hydroxy Acid. AHA and BHA are exfoliants. And, just in case you didn’t know, exfoliants are cosmetic products that remove dead cells from the skin’s surface. Our skin discards millions of skin cells every day. These dead skin cells stick around and cause clogged pores, wrinkles, dryness, roughness, and more. Using an exfoliant removes the dead skin cells and restores your skin back to its natural glory. Now, here is the difference between AHA and BHA, the two top skin exfoliants:
- Glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, and mandelic acid are AHAs. Saylicyclic acid is a BHA. AHAs are also referred to as fruit acids.
- AHAs are obtained from fruits, nuts and milk: Lactic acid comes from milk, glycolic acid from sugarcane, mandelic acid from pears or apples, malic acid from bitter almonds and tartaric acid from grapes. The only BHA – salycyclic acid – is derived from aspirin.
- AHAs are typically used on aging, dry or on sun-damaged skin. BHA is typically used on oily, acne-filled or blemished skin. Studies have proven that BHA is effective in removing wrinkles and clearing clogged pores. BHAs also clear out blackheads and white bumps.
- Cleansers that contain these acids are not effective because cleansers have to be quickly washed away from the skin and therefore do not remain long enough on the skin for it to absorb the acids. Moisturizers and peels that contain these acids work very well though.
- Both these acids can cause skin irritation, itching, and increased sun-sensitivity. This is why cosmetologists recommend using an effective sun screen after applying AHA or BHA.
- AHAs are water soluble and work by removing the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. BHA is an oil-soluble. It can enter pores containing sebum and then exfoliate.
This is the difference between AHA and BHA.