The word ‘acid’ can seem scary and intimidating when you first begin your skincare journey, but most acids can be used to treat acne, uneven skin, and wrinkles. This is why it is best to be well-educated about this world before delving in.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are the two most common acids used in skincare. They both exfoliate your skin but have different chemical structures that work differently. BHAs are oil-soluble and penetrate the pores deeply and help to unclog them. AHAs are water-soluble, and help break down the outermost layers of dead skin cells.
While there is still debate over whether AHAs or BHAs are better, experts agree that both exfoliants are equally effective. Most skincare products contain alpha-hydroxy acids because they are able to treat more skin conditions compared to BHAs, which is primarily used for acne and sun damaged skin.
Enzymes also have a similar function, they exfoliate and dissolve dead skin cells resulting in softer, smoother glowing skin. With little to no down time, too. They are a great lunchtime facial that provides an instant boost in product penetration and better makeup application!
If you find yourself wanting to implement AHAs, BHAs, or enzymes into your skincare regime, be aware that they can irritate your skin if it is sensitive. Use products that contain AHAs if you have skin-surface issues like scarring or dryness. For skin more prone to irritation and inflammation, try products containing BHAs.
Consult your dermatologist or aesthetician before using any products!