AHAs vs. BHAs: What’s the Difference and Which Is Best For Me?


Each month brings its own batch of new skin-care products but before we can find the perfect addition to our routine, we need to clear up some skin-care terms. Let’s start with AHAs and BHAs, or alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids. Both are prime types of exfoliating actives, and while they have a lot of similarities, there are key differences that set them apart. If you’re wondering how to differentiate between these powerful ingredients, we have your answers right here.

AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, are water-soluble exfoliators and are commonly found in skin-care formulations. If you see ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, or citric acid listed on your products, you are looking at an AHA. These acids help increase the shedding of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin to promote an even, smooth, and glowing complexion. If that’s not enough to convince you to give them a try, AHAs are also great for aging skin because they penetrate deep into the skin to help stimulate collagen production. These actives are suitable for normal, dry, acne-prone, and oily skin types.