AHA and BHA Exfoliants for Acne-prone Skin - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
aha and bha exfoliants for acne prone skin

AHA and BHA Exfoliants for Acne-prone Skin

Let’s talk about the importance of AHA and BHA exfoliants for acne prone skin. AHA and BHA exfoliation is the missing link for acne prone skin. A crucial step in your skin care regimen when you’re looking to achieve a glowing complexion is exfoliating. Exfoliating gets rid of dull dead skin cells.

Take two categories of exfoliating acids which have flooded skincare shelves: AHAs and BHAs. Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, derived from fruit acids, have revolutionized the treatment of skin.

Do you want clear skin?

AHA’s and BHA’s are two of the most effective skin care tools available to skin care professionals. Knowing exactly what these exfoliating acids are, how they differ, and exactly what their glow-worthy benefits are can help you attain the skin you’ve been dreaming of. There are many benefits to using AHA and BHA exfoliants for acne-prone skin. What are liquid exfoliants you might ask?

What are Liquid Exfoliants for Acne-prone Skin?

AHAs and BHAs are both groups of exfoliating acids which act to “unglue” the bonds holding dull, dead skin on the surface. Once those bonds are broken – gently and evenly – skin naturally sheds. This reveals the fresh new skin underneath that is super soft and smooth.

Whether used at home or in our clinic, an exfoliating liquid can brighten the skin and keep it clear, smooth and youthful. But, AHAs and BHAs work in different ways.

What are AHA’s?

AHA stands for alpha-hydroxy acid.

AHAs are derived from sugar cane or other plant sources, this is why they are often referred to as fruit acids. Among AHAs, glycolic acid is the smallest of the AHAs being derived from sugar cane and is the most widely used type in skincare products. These alpha hydroxy acids are for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin, thanks to their ability to enhance natural moisturizing factors within the skin.

Glycolic acid is the most common of the AHA’s. This particular acid has exfoliating properties that treat acne, razor bumps, hyperpigmentation, keratinization and more.

Lactic acid, a gentle exfoliant derived from milk, is used to exfoliate the skin, lighten dark spots, and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Mandelic acid contains larger molecules derived from almond extracts. It can be combined with other AHAs to increase exfoliation. It’s gentle on the skin and targets pigmentation and acne.

The Benefits of AHA’s

For one, they target all areas of the skin. An AHA brings benefits both to the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the deep layer (the dermis).

The stimulation of collage production is another factor of AHA’s, making it ideal for those wanting to reduce the appearance of fine lines. AHAs have especially been proven effective in reducing the visible signs of sun damage and wrinkles however; AHAs don’t replace sunscreen. Our mandelic facial cleanser is an exfoliating cleanser specially formulated for slightly oily, combination or normal skin types. This cleanser helps to clean and gently remove impurities without dehydrating the skin.

What are BHA’s?

BHA stands for beta-hydroxy acid.

You’ve heard of that popular acne-busting ingredient that everyone loves called salicylic acid? Yep, that’s a BHA. BHAs are organic acids that work on skin’s surface and deep inside the pore. They are oil-soluble, so it’s preferred for normal to oily skin that’s prone to bumps, clogs, blemishes, and enlarged pores. Among the many benefits of BHAs; they’re also are great for blackheads.

Pregnant women should avoid using salicylic acid.

The Benefits of BHA’s

BHAs are highly efficient for its skin-calming properties of the acid. It’s gentle enough for sensitive skin types, including those prone to redness or rosacea. This rings true with the most familiar type of BHA, salicylic acid. Salicylic acid (SA) is fat-soluble, so it’s good on oily skin and gives it an enhanced ability to penetrate pores.

Salicylic acid fights bacteria and it exerts its exfoliating power in a similar way to what AHAs do – by ungluing dead skin cells from each other. This powerful acid also penetrates the epidermis more deeply. Salicylic Acid is the only known BHA. It works as an exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells to make room for the re-growth of new skin.

Our Product Line

Our skin goes through a natural exfoliating process daily. The lack of sun protection, age, and severely clogged pores – that cellular turnover process of shedding slows down or ends altogether. Here is where chemical exfoliants (a.k.a. liquid exfoliants or exfoliating acids) enter the chat. We use a variety of AHA and BHA exfoliants for acne prone skin.

An exfoliating cleanser formulated for slightly oily, combination or normal skin types. Cleans and gently removes impurities without dehydrating the skin.

A serum used for exfoliation of dead skin cells. This serum has been specially formulated with Mandelic Acid, Lactic Acid and Niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3 that protects the skin. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft.

This AHA tonic has been formulated for oily/normal to combination skin. It removes residue and excess sebum, and leaves skin feeling soft, and smooth. Glycolic and lactic acids are the power duo in this exfoliating toner.

This toner is an astringent used to slough off dead skin cells and fade scarring caused by acne. Vita Tonic is exfoliating, anti-inflammatory, brightening and provides antioxidant support for the skin. This multi-functional toner contains Vitamins C, B3, B5 and Pro-Vitamin A, along with salicylic and benzoic acids.

The Bottom Line

The main difference between AHA’s and BHA’s is their lipid (oil) solubility. Specifically, AHA’s are only soluble in water, while a BHA is lipid or (oil) soluble. This means that BHA is able to penetrate into the pore (which contains sebum) and exfoliate the dead skin cells.

BHA is best on oily skin with blackheads and whiteheads. AHA’s are used on thickened, sun-damaged skin and target pigmentation while helping to keep the skin clear. Sun-damaged skin is harder to repair which is why we can’t stress enough: Don’t forget your sunscreen! We always needs to be applied to the skin whether you use AHA or BHA.

AHA’s have humectant qualities and builds collagen where as BHA’s have anti-bacterial qualities and reduce inflammation.

Consequently, AHAs and BHA are best sandwiched between toners and serums. So, something like this: cleanser, toner, AHA/BHA, serum and moisturizer. Applying your AHA or BHA straight after cleansing and toning means it has direct contact with the skin and doesn’t have to fight its way through thick products. Applying AHA and BHA exfoliants for acne prone skin isn’t as scary as it may sound.

All that’s left to do is choose which one is right for you and exfoliate your way to flawless, radiant skin! Are you ready to go all in for clear skin? Schedule your appointment today to get started on YOUR clear skin journey with AHA’s and BHA’s!

Cheers to clear!


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