Which Are Better for Acne Treatment – AHAs or BHAs?
Searching for the right acne treatment can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. With millions of products on the market with their own claims to be a “miracle” cure for acne, it’s no wonder so many acne-sufferers struggle to find a routine that works! If you’ve ever felt like you needed a chemistry degree to understand which acne-fighting ingredients to build into your routine, you’re not alone. Some of the most confusing ingredients to decipher are acids, such as AHAs and BHAs.
The type of acids used in skincare are exfoliants, meaning they help to resurface your skin, unclog your pores, and even reduce the appearance of unwanted texture. Skincare acids generally fall into one of two categories: AHAs and BHAs. Both can play a significant role in clearing and refining skin, but how do you know which one you should be using?
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AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid. The name may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but AHAs are actually derived from natural sources like sugar cane and other plants. The acids in this group go by many different names, but they all work at the skin’s surface to loosen the bonds between dead skin cells and the living layers of skin underneath them. When we use AHAs, we clear skin of the particles that can hang around and cause dullness, unevenness, or worse – congestion. The result is skin that is noticeably smoother to the touch and, in some cases, more hydrated. AHAs are considered to be well-tolerated by most skin types and are best for people suffering from enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, or hyperpigmentation from mild scarring.
BHAs, or Beta Hydroxy Acids, are AHAs’ oil-soluble cousins. The most common BHA in skincare is salicylic acid, which can come in a variety of different formulations and strengths. Since BHAs are oil-soluble, they can be somewhat more versatile than other acids, working both on the skin’s surface to remove dead skin cells, and deep within the pores to clear blockages and excess sebum. In addition to being excellent exfoliators, BHAs also pack a powerful punch as anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agents. BHAs are most suitable for people concerned about acne, oily skin, and redness associated with conditions such as rosacea.
A well-rounded skincare regimen may include one or both of these acids – it really just depends on your skin. The Acne Intelligence app can analyze your skin for important scientific markers that help us determine a custom routine that’s right for you. Leave the trial and error behind and get started with a skincare routine that provides noticeable and lasting results.
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