When we talk about acids and skin care, some of us will react horribly because they think negatively about it. When it cones to acid, you’ll think about chemistry and how pH levels change everything. A measurement of 7 reflects the neutrality of the product and how this perfect 7 divides the two different world of pH levels.
Many skin care products nowadays are using acids because of its two powerful main groups that can produce a magical effect on our skin. The two groups that I’m talking about is the Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) and Beta- hydroxy acids (BHA). According to Healthline, both groups loosen the fluid that binds cells to the upper layers of the skin and once this happens, a smoother, brighter surface is revealed. As the acid dissolves the binding between skin cells, thousands of them usually come off at the same time. Depending on the strength of the acid, this shedding can actually be visible to the naked eye. That is why these two acids are used for skin exfoliation which can lead to a brighter and fairer complexion.
What is the difference between AHA and BHA?
Alpha-hydroxy acids are water-soluble and work mostly on the skin’s surface, making them a good option for treating fine lines, texture, and dullness. Those acids are really good for exfoliating the outer layer of skin, leaving the skin brighter, evening out skin tone and texture, and can even stimulate a the production of collagen.
On the other hand, Beta-hydroxy acids can penetrate deeply into clogged pores and are therefore helpful in treating and preventing acne.
Between those two acids, we can thoroughly see how different they both are and since some of them can be more confusing, here are the choices of acids that can benefit our skin:
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar and one of the most common acids used in skincare. It has the smallest molecule of all the acids, so it penetrates the deepest, making it one of the most effective acids available. This acid regenerates collagen, thickens the skin, and evens out the skin tone.
This acid is derived from sugar or fermented milk that is gentle enough for it to use for the people with sensitive skin. It is the second smallest molecule out of all the acids. It’s gentler than glycolic and draws moisture to the skin, making it a hydrating agent, too.
This acid is typically derived from lemon or grapefruit and apples. These larger compounds work on the uppermost layer of the skin, and are often combined with glycolic or lactic acids to help boost their effectiveness.
Beta- Hydroxy Acids
This is one of the most popular ingredients for minimizing breakouts. This acid penetrates and dissolves the oil that clogs pores while also exfoliating away dead skin cells. It is non-itritating to the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Use Skin-Care Acids?
Not all acids are for peeling. There are quite a few ways you can use them in your routine.
Some beauty products contain AHAs or BHAs. If we have acne-prone or oily skin, a salicylic acid cleanser is worth a try since it targeted clogged pores and helping clearing them, even when only on your skin for a minute or two.
But before trying any acids, we should test the formula on your inner arm and wait 24 to 48 hours to see if you have a reaction. If you’re in the clear, you can try applying the acid on your face. Mild stinging sensation is normal but when you notice a painful burning sensation, well it’s a different case scenario and we should be bother for that.
Once you find an acid-based serums, creams or masks, try to use it first for one or two times a week and see how your skin reacts. After that, if the reaults are good, you can increase usage.
And last but ddfinitely not the least, please don’t forget to always use sunblock because using acid-based products will make our skin sensitive to UV rays and also don’t use 2 different acids in one time especially if you have sensitive skin since it will irritate or react badly on the skin.