Did you know?”.. AHA vs BHA.

AHA vs BHA by Awaken Aesthetics in 413 N 3rd St Hammonton, NJ 08037, United States

The difference between AHAs and BHAs

AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid and BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid!

Both AHAs and BHAs act as chemical exfoliants, but AHAs are what is known as “water-soluble,” and BHAs are considered “oil soluble.” What this means is that AHAs work on the skin’s surface, while BHAs work on the surface, as well as within the pores.

Lets break them down a little more…


Since AHAs work on the skins surface they typically target concerns like sun damage, dullness, dead skin, and dehydration

Examples of AHAs

Glycolic acid helps to remove dead skin cells form the surface making it a great choice for people with sun damage, acne, aging skin, or hyperpigmentation issues.

Mandelic acid is a gentle exfoliant with antibacterial properties making it an amazing choice for people with blackheads, acne, and dull skin.

Lactic acid exfoliates by loosening the bonds of dead skin cells revealing a brighter and more even complexion.


Since BHAs also work within the pores, they help target clogged pores, inflammation, rough texture, and uneven skin tones.

Examples of BHAs

Salicylic acid works by penetrating the hair follicle and oil gland and dissolving the acne-causing blockages of dead skin cells, oil and other debris. It also works to reduce the amount of oil being produced by your oil glands, making it less likely that new acne-causing blockages will form or grow bigger.

In simplest form, AHAs cause dead cells to detach and slough away while BHAs penetrate deeper to disrupt the connections between dead cells.

AHAs and BHAs can be used in conjunction to target concerns as they work on different levels of the skin. It is recommended to use the AHA first to remove dead skin so the BHA can penetrate that much deeper!


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