You don’t have to be a skincare buff to have heard of the skincare alphabet–we’re talking AHAs, BHAs and PHAs. Since each of these acids offers distinct benefits, from exfoliation and brightening to acne-fighting properties, understanding the distinctions between AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid), PHA (Polyhydroxy Acid), and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) is essential for crafting an effective skincare routine tailored to your unique needs. Here’s the formula you should incorporate, according to your skin type:
Dry or Mature skin types: AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)
Benefits: AHA exfoliates the skin's surface, promoting cell turnover and revealing smoother, brighter skin. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
Caution: AHA can be more irritating to sensitive or reactive skin types. It also increases sun sensitivity, so proper sun protection is crucial when using AHA products.
Try: Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50 - For post-AHA protection
Oily, Acne-Prone, or Combination skin types: BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid)
Benefits: BHA is oil-soluble, which allows it to penetrate deep into the pores, unclogging and removing excess sebum, dirt, and debris. It's effective in treating acne, blackheads, and enlarged pores.
Caution: BHA can be drying, so it's essential to moisturise adequately after use. It may also cause sensitivity in some individuals, especially at higher concentrations.
Sensitive or Reactive skin types, such as those with conditions like rosacea or eczema: PHA (Polyhydroxy Acid)
Benefits: PHA provides gentle exfoliation without causing as much irritation as AHA or BHA. It also has antioxidant and humectant properties, helping to hydrate and strengthen the skin's moisture barrier.
Caution: PHA tends to be less potent than AHA or BHA, so it may take longer to see noticeable results. However, this gentleness makes it suitable for daily use, even for those with sensitive skin.
Try: Paula's Choice Oil-Free Moisturizer - To soothe and hydrate post-exfoliation
When choosing between AHA, BHA, and PHA (Polyhydroxy Acid) for your skincare routine, it's essential to consider your skin type and specific concerns. It's essential to start with a lower concentration of any acid and gradually increase frequency or strength based on your skin's response. Additionally, always patch-test new products and consult with a dermatologist if you have any concerns or specific skin conditions!