Know Your AHA’s From Your BHA’s: What’s the Difference?

Know Your AHA’s From Your BHA’s: What’s the Difference?

There are five different skin types out there. This can range from oily, dry, normal, sensitive, or combination skin. When not everyone has the same type of skin it can be hard to find a skincare product that works. Below we’ll review two different types of acids that can help your skin. AHA vs BHA, which will be right for you? 

AHA vs BHA, What Are They?

AHAs exfoliate your skin by removing dead skin cells. This gives you clearer and brighter skin. AHAs are best for people with dry skin.

Common types of AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid. Generally, you’ll use products with lactic acid if you have sensitive skin. Most products have glycolic acid as it’s the best AHA for skincare.  

Be aware that AHAs will increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. If you’re going outside, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions.

It’s not yet clear if BHAs increase your skin’s sensitivity. It’s always a good idea to keep yourself protected from UV rays anyway.

BHAs are also exfoliants used for your skin. Salicylic acid is the most commonly found BHA in the cosmetic world.  BHAs focus mainly on acne and oily skin. 

You can get AHAs and BHAs chemically created, but normally they come from natural sources. For example, glycolic acid comes from sugar cane and lactic acid comes from milk. Meanwhile, salicylic acid comes from willow trees.


AHAs are water-soluble making them great if you have dry skin. The water base helps to rehydrate your skin.

Yet, be careful not to overuse it. Using this too much can cause damage to your skin, try applying it every other day.

The main uses of AHAs include:


BHAs are oil-based, meaning they can delve deeper into your pores. This is why they are better for acne treatment. You can choose to use an AHA and BHA combination product as well for bad acne.

You shouldn’t need to fear using BHAs every day but check the product label to make sure.

The main uses for BHAs include:

  • Acne removal (blackheads and whiteheads)
  • Healing sun damage (photoaging)
  • Reducing lines and wrinkles
  • Creating smoother skin
  • Reducing inflammation and irritation

Which Skincare Treatment Is Right for You? 

Now that we’ve looked at AHAs vs BHAs, it’s time to decide which is right for you. If you want the best of both worlds, try a combination product of the two. Alternately, you can rotate the products, using a BHA one day and an AHA another day. 

You can always give one a try, and if you don’t like the results you can try a different one. There are many products and skin types out there, you’ll need to find the hydroxy acid that best suits your needs. 

Reach out to us today if you have any questions or concerns. 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.