AHA and BHA are chemical exfoliators that work by gently peeling away dead skin cells, control excess sebum, clear out pores and boost skin cell regeneration to improve complexion. AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acids, while BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acids. Although similar, AHA and BHA work differently to treat different skin concerns and can be incorporated into your Korean skincare routine depending on your skin type.
What are AHAs?
AHA skincare works by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, which will allow for better absorption of skincare products. In addition, this process of sloughing away dead, dull skin will help reveal smoother, evenly toned skin with a healthy looking glow. As a result, your skin will feel softer and smoother to the touch and your makeup application will be easier and flawless than before.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids in your best Korean skincare products can be found in different fruit acids or from sugar cane. Commonly found types of AHA skincare in the best Korean beauty products include malic, citric, and glycolic acid.
What are BHAs?
BHA skincare is able to go deeper into the skin’s layers to clear out pores, remove excess sebum, prevent buildup of dead skin cells which can trigger breakouts and acne. Beta Hydroxy Acids work best for troubled skin as they gently remove acne-causing bacteria and sebum when applied onto the skin. Because of its unparalleled pore unclogging action, BHA skincare is works best for oily or combination skin types with skin concerns related to acne, pimples, blackheads, enlarged pores or oiliness.
Beta Hydroxy Acids in your best Korean skincare products can often be called Salicylic Acid, which is derived from willow bark extract, sweet birch and other plants.
How to use AHA and BHA?
You can incorporate both AHA and BHA together in your Korean skincare routines. In fact, there are a number of different Korean skincare brands which carry products containing both these ingredients in the form of Korean toners, facial essences or best face moisturisers. Apart from that, AHA and BHA can be combined with other ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to help give your skin an additional boost of hydration without greasiness. If you have sensitive skin, you can combine your AHA skincare or BHA Korean skincare with Korean beauty products that contain amino acids to prevent any tingling or burning sensation with skincare acids.
It is important to note that AHA and BHA should never be mixed with strong vitamins such as Vitamin C in skincare or Vitamin A as they can become harsh on your skin. Instead, pair your Korean AHA skincare and BHA products with soothing and hydrating ingredients.
When is a good time to use AHA and BHA?
As with all facial exfoliation, your skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight after using AHA skincare or Beta Hydroxy Acids in your Korean skincare routines. As such, it is recommended to use Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids as part of your night time skincare routine. This is also beneficial to the skin because night time is the best time for your skin to regenerate itself.
If you are using AHA and BHA skincare during the day, it is highly recommended to apply adequate sun protection to protect your skin against harmful rays.
Who will benefit from AHA and BHA?
AHA skincare is water-soluble and can provide gentle, yet effective exfoliation. They work well for all skin types and is often the recommended type of Korean face exfoliator for those with normal or dry skin. Nonetheless, those with oily or combination skin can also use AHA to help brighten the appearance of tired, dull skin.
On the other hand, BHA skincare is oil-soluble which makes it effective for those with oily or combination skin type as it is able to cut through sebum and impurities trapped within the pores. Small amounts of BHA can be used for other skin types as well, especially for blackhead treatment and pore care. If you have dry skin with skin concerns such as enlarged pores and blackheads, it is recommended to use BHA skincare together with other hydrating agents like hyaluronic acid which will maintain optimal moisture balance of your skin.