One of the best ways to achieve and then maintain healthy skin is to add an exfoliant to your daily skincare regimen.  That’s because the benefits of using either AHA (alpha hydroxy acid such as glycolic and lactic acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid) formulas to your daily routine can be immediate and skin continues to improve over time with regular use.

Why You Need to Add an Exfoliant

Skin naturally sheds billions of skin cells each day. This natural process is interrupted when skin is dry, oily, sun damaged, or when genetic disorders alter the natural process of shedding.  When these conditions exist, the result dull, dry, or flaky skin; clogged pores; blemishes; white bumps; and uneven skin tone. Using an exfoliant accelerates the shedding process and gently rids the skin of dead skin cells that can unclog pores, prevent breakouts, smooth out wrinkles, even skin tone and nourish dry skin.

What's The Difference between AHA and BHA Exfoliants?

There are dozens of ways to exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.  However, here we are focused on the benefits of a well formulated AHS or BHA product for the maintenance of healthy skin.

When properly formulated, both AHAs and BHA are brilliant options for exfoliating the surface of skin, but each has its special qualities you'll want to consider when deciding which one to use:

  • AHAs are preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because they exfoliate on the surface of skin and have the added benefit of also improving moisture content.
  • BHA is preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and for treating blackheads and white bumps because BHA can get through the oil that's clogging your pores, normalizing the lining of the misshapen pore that contributes to acne.
  • BHA has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action. Those are two more reasons to use a BHA exfoliant if you have acne or sensitive, reddened skin.
  • BHA is preferred for sun-damaged skin if you also have acne or clogged pores.
  • BHA is preferred for those struggling with Rosacea. Not everyone with Rosacea can tolerate an exfoliant, but it is wise to experiment with a BHA product to see how your rosacea responds. It is quite likely you'll see less redness and a smoother, more even skin with fewer breakouts.
  • The combination of AHA and BHA with both salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acids provide clarity, brightness, and improve cell-turnover while cleansing impurities from the skin.

How to Use AHA or BHA Exfoliant

  • First, it’s important to follow the direction on the product.
  • You can apply an AHA or BHA product once or twice a day.
  • You can also apply either of these around the eye area but not on the eyelid or directly under the eye.
  • Apply the AHA or BHA product after your face is cleansed and after your toner has dried.
  • Once the AHA or BHA has been absorbed, you can apply any other product in your routine, such as moisturizer, serum, eye cream, sunscreen, and/or foundation.