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What are AHA’s + BHA’s & how do I know what’s right for my skin?

With coarse scrubs becoming a thing of the past, we know that acids and enzymes are the way forward and our skin is much better for it too! But what exactly should you be looking for in a product that contains AHA’s or BHA’s? In this blog, we’ll break it down for you and list everything you need to know!


Let’s start with the more commonly used; AHA or in its proper form, ‘Alpha Hydroxy Acid.’

AHA’s are natural substances found in fruits (Glycolic acid derived from sugar cane) and milk-based products (Lactic acid derived from milk). They act as an exfoliant to break down the glue-like layer that adheres the dead skin cells to the skin, this reveals that smooth and soft complexion we look for after exfoliating.

As AHA’s are attracted to water, they’re a great humectant, which means they draw in moisture and offer hydration. Not only this, they also they work to fight against fine lines and wrinkles on the upper-most layer of the dermis.

A product with AHA is mostly suited to those with dry or sensitive skin as it’s gentle yet effective and will also work to reduce sun damage and pigmentation.


BHA’s or ‘Beta Hydroxy Acid’ comes in the form of salicylic acid which is derived from the Willow Bark Tree. This acid works much deeper into the dermis to flush out any impurities and unclog pores. As they do not have humectant properties, BHA’s will soak up additional oils without stripping the skin of its moisture and are mostly suited to acne and oily prone skin.


Both AHA’s and BHA’s come in all forms of products, from exfoliators and cleansers to concentrates and treatments.


For a lighter dose of acid, we recommend using a cleansing product as this washes off and doesn’t stay on the skin long enough to have any adverse effects. The Amandola Milk Cleanser from Circadia is a non-foaming cleanser that gently removes dirt and debris whilst providing the mild exfoliating benefits of lactic (AHA) and mandelic acids, these alpha hydroxy acids also provide skin lightening and hydrating properties.


For something a little more powerful, the Yellow Cream from Dermaceutic is a skin tone brightener that stimulates and promotes skin radiance and harmonizes complexion, whilst improving the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone. The salycilic acid (BHA) within this product causes a keratolytic action which exfoliates the skin’s surface and helps reduce imperfections.


Still not sure about AHA’s & BHA’s? Click here and one of our skin experts will be in touch.