Deciding between an AHA or a BHA in the skincare aisle is not as easy as ABC.
Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are found in many skin care products, from cleansers to daily peel pads. We all need to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead dull skin cells and make room for new ones, and both of these are effective exfoliants. But there are differences between how these two key skin care ingredients really work.
Knowing the difference between the two and choosing the right one for your skincare needs can really help you get and keep your glow.
If you have dry skin, AHAs are your BFF
AHA stands for “Alpha Hydroxy Acid.” Some popular AHA’s include glycolic (derived from sugar cane), lactic (made from sour milk), and mandelic (comes from almonds) acids. AHAs are ideal for sun-damaged and dry skin because they help to exfoliate and moisturize. Renowned dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi recommends Glycogent™ Exfoliation Accelerator – a mix of potent glycolic and lactic acid — https://zoskinhealth.com/zomedical/glycogent – for dry skin.
AHA’s can cause sun sensitivity in some people, so it’s best to use them at night and make extra sure to use your ZO SPF by day.
If you have acne-prone skin, BHAs are your BFF
BHA is short for “Beta Hydroxy Acid.” It penetrates the pores and helps release the ‘gunk’ trapped inside. This is why they are perfect for oily and acne-prone skin. The most well known BHA is salicylic acid. Dr. Obagi suggests Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment for acne-prone skin. These daily treatment pads are one of ZO’s hero products for oily skin types. Warning: Salicylic acid may cause drying if you overdo it.
“Both AHAs and BHAs offer positive effects on skin quality and condition,” says Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS, a plastic surgeon in New York City. “Choosing the right products for your skin care needs will maximize the effectiveness of these effective exfoliators.”
If you have other concerns about your skin or your acne does not seem to be improving, schedule an appointment with a skin consultation to see what else you could or should be doing.
To locate a ZO skincare specialist near you, visit https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you