AHA or BHA: How to choose the ideal acid for chemical peeling

Are you sure you know the difference between AHA and BHA acids? Their effectiveness is unquestionable, but they will certainly be more effective if they are used correctly, and more importantly, for the right purposes. We are here to help with the selection and guide you to all the effects of these reliable chemical peels.

Exfoliate superficially with AHA, deeply with BHA

AHA acid is an abbreviation for alpha-hydroxy(lne) acids that appear in various forms in the cosmetic industry and are usually, but not exclusively, plant-based. Just some of them are glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane), citric acid (derived from lemons) and malic acid (derived from apples). In addition to the above, lactic acid, obtained by fermentation of fructose, glucose, sucrose and galactose, is often used in the formulations. In the cosmetic industry, lactic acid is usually of plant origin .

Peeling tonic AHA PHA

The mentioned acids are used in chemical peeling as a surface exfoliation, and the differences between them are in the size of the molecules that affect the potency. Dead skin cells can be in clumps, the bonds of which are gently dissolved by alpha hydroxy acids, which is why they are an excellent choice for more sensitive skin. They provide a smoother complexion, reduce flaking as they remove dead skin cells and generally contribute to freshness and luminosity. AHA acids, when used regularly, do not only affect the epidermis, but can also work in depth, stimulating the formation of collagen, which directly affects the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

BHA acid stands for beta-hydroxy acid, which is one of the most popular acids in skin care. Salicylic acid is mostly used against deep blockages of the skin, the appearance of pimples, comedones and acne. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is excellent for oily, problematic skin . With a measured and soothing formulation, it can be gentle enough for use on more sensitive skin of the face and body.

To be sure, do a patch test

It is good and desirable to always introduce acids gradually, listen to your skin and watch it carefully. Chemical peels do not achieve much in a hurry, they should be used systematically and patiently. Daily use can lead to very strong irritation, damaged hydrolipidic barrier , redness and strengthening of irregularities. Less is more.

In the case of both acids, in addition to the gradual introduction, it is necessary to pass a certain period of time for the skin to get used to it. Then it is always better to choose products with a lower concentration of AHA or BHA acids in order to avoid possible irritation and redness of the skin. Before the actual introduction, it is good to do a patch test - it is necessary to apply the product to the clean and dry skin of the forearm and let it stand according to the manufacturer's instructions. If no form of irritation appears within 48 hours, it will most likely suit the skin of the face.

Microexfoliant or Peeling tonic

Hybrid BHA peeling or a liquid AHA PHA exfoliant

How the peeling will be carried out depends on its liquid or powder texture. In the case of a liquid texture, as with the Professional Piling tonic, we always suggest applying it directly to the palms and then to the skin, in order to avoid rubbing with pads and losing the product itself, which the cotton wool absorbs.

Peeling tonic AHA PHA based on mandelic acid, gluconolactone and lactobionic acid gently exfoliates and is suitable for (almost) all skin types, including mature skin. Due to the careful selection of ingredients and their formulation, this liquid exfoliant is intended for more frequent use, several times a week or even daily, but only if the skin is more resistant. It has an extremely favorable effect on the resolution of hyperpigmentation spots, hydrates and prepares the skin for further care . When using this type of product, it is necessary to monitor the condition and needs of the skin. We wrote about recognizing the first signs of dehydration here , but you should also keep in mind the variability of skin conditions, weather conditions, humidity and dryness of the air when using any cosmetic products, including chemical peels.

Powdered chemical peels, as well as the well-known Mikroexfoliant , bring a different way of use. The powder is first poured into the hand with a dispenser, and then, by adding water, it turns into a thick creamy paste that is applied in circular motions to the wet face and then washed off with water. In fact, the Microexfoliant simultaneously plays the role of extremely gentle mechanical and chemical exfoliation, effectively removing dead skin cells and smoothing the texture.

The cleaning phase is possible, but also transitory

Salicylic acid is found here in a concentration of 1%, which makes it tolerable for most skin types. First of all, we should mention the keratolytic effect on the skin, which enables a clean and smooth complexion under the touch of the fingers. As a rule, the effect is immediate and many will notice the effect of the Microexfoliant already at the first use. However, it is important not to get carried away by such an effect.

Chemical exfoliants

There is no need to use this product more than three times a week, and it should not be used as a substitute for regular skin cleansing.

When applied correctly, salicylic acid is an ideal choice in acne treatment care because it is anti-inflammatory and reduces the appearance of acne blemishes. However, it should be kept in mind that acids act on the principle of accelerating cell turnover and that this is why the cleansing phase is possible, but also transitory. If it does happen, it is characteristic that irregularities appear exactly in places where they are normally expressed (for example, areas of the chin with closed comedones), which distinguishes them from irritation.

Hydration always, especially after using acids

Whatever type of chemical peeling you choose and however often you decide to use it, you should always remember that rich hydration helps prevent possible dehydration of the skin. A moisturizing cream selected according to your skin type, as well as a moisturizing tonic with the addition of Hyaluron hydrator 4H will enable carefree exfoliation and will leave behind the skin you dream of - clean, radiant and soft.