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Beauty Decode: What is AHA & BHA?

When I started Glow & Green, my first and foremost goal is to decode clean beauty standards. (I talked about this many times: read here). You will find so many clean beauty products & recipes on the internet with fancy words; but as a non-beauty professionals, we need transparency.

So did you here words like adaptogen, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), and so on? I wasn’t sure why all of sudden these word became buzz words in the market.

I was very curious as conscious consumer and I don’t want to get trapped these marketing gimmicks (check Sephora for different AHA & BHA).

I quickly understand that as a non-beauty industry person, I need a simple definition that gives me the confidence to buy these products. So in today's blog post, we want to talk one of these term AHA and BHA.

Beauty Decode: AHA & BHA

So, first, let's face the fact that every single person's skin exfoliates every day. But over time- due to age, polluted environment, and unprotected sun exposure cause this shedding process slows and may stop altogether. 

Due to this, we all face dull, dehydrated, bumps, wrinkles, loss of firmness, and uneven skin tones.

So what are hydroxy acids? Hydroxy acids are a group of natural and synthetic ingredients that, when properly formulated, can exfoliate the uppermost or more profound layers of skin.

AHAs (i.e., glycolic and lactic acids) and BHA (i.e., salicylic acid) both act to break the chains between dead cells and hide. Both acts as an exfoliator.

Alpha Hydroxy Acid removes outer layers of dead cells while BHA goes deep down into your skin & removes impurity. Adopting AHAs in your day-to-day skincare routine gives you clean skin that appears much smoother, hydrated, and eventually becomes firmer.

Both acids are essential to cure dead skin.

How to Use an AHA Exfoliants? 

All of the facial AHA exfoliants should be applied after cleanser & toner. Follow with your other skincare products, using them in order from the lightest texture to the heaviest texture. After applying AHA exfoliates.

Sunscreens are essential after you applied any AHAs.

Types of AHAs & BHAs

Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Citric Acid are from the Alpha Hydroxy Acid family. While Salicylic acid falls under Beta Hydroxy Acid family.

However, there are tons of natural sources of AHAs.

You can use all those ingredients into your clean beauty recipes or homemade skincare recipes.  Like Sugar Cane is a significant source of Glycolic Acid; Milk is a source of Lactic Acid. & citrus fruits are a great source of Citric Acid

White willow bark extract is a natural source of BHA.

So there are options where you can use these acids and incorporate them into homemade skincare recipes.

The pH of any Hydroxy Acid exfoliant is very crucial. Generally, use pH between 3 and 4, so any skincare recipes are not adhering to this tight pH range, then it will be less effective, or possibly ineffective.

You can get pH strips from amazon less than $10. There is a general notion with us that homemade skincare is not sufficient. However, at a Glow & Green, we want you to develop excellent beauty products with unique tools.

We would love to hear from you, your favorite AHA products. And let's know if you would like us to share some AHAs homemade recipes.


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