Understanding the Difference Between AHAs and BHAs and How to Use Them

Understanding the difference between AHAs and BHAs

No doubt if you’re in the business of skincare formulation you would have come across the terms AHAs (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid) and BHAs (Beta-Hydroxy Acid). It’s important to understand the difference between AHAs and BHAs and how to use them when creating formulations. Both agents can be natural and synthetic derivatives and are gentle on the skin.

Although both properties have similar exfoliation benefits, it’s essential to know which one to use depending on what type of skincare concern you are looking to address regarding product formulations. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at each!

What is AHA?

An AHA is a common ingredient used in the formulation of skincare and cosmetic products. It’s considered a water-soluble agent that works on the skin’s surface and are widely derived from plants or milk. AHA predominately target dry skin conditions and assist to reduce signs of aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.

You have probably heard of the term ‘glycolic acid’ which is one of the most common AHA. Many skin care formulations contain glycolic acid as it is extremely effective in desquamation which results in a cleaner, smoother, and more rejuvenated appearance to the skin’s surface. Apart from exfoliants, the most popular products that contain AHA include serums, cleansers, masks, and toners.

Other popular AHA that you will find in many skincare and cosmetic products are lactic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid and mandelic acid. Here at Ceechem, we supply the Active Concepts formulated ABC Fruitmix that contains AHA to brighten skin, shed dullness to deliver high efficacy.

One of the biggest benefits of AHA is that they can aid in the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines which is why they are found in many anti-aging products. AHA is found to promote collagen production, even out pigmentation and leave the skin looking and feeling brighter a more even texture.

What is BHA?

The other popular ingredient used in skincare and cosmetic formulations is BHA’s. While AHAs are water-based agents, when we refer to BHA’s they are oil-based. BHAs commonly serve the purpose of aiding oily or combination skin and blackhead or acne-prone skin.

The most popular type of BHAs is ‘salicylic acid’ which is found in the development of many acne-related skincare formulations. In addition to exfoliating the skin, BHA’s are found in skincare products such as body care, serums and peels.

Our friends at Active Concepts have produced the ABS Beet SA Power which contains BHA’s and has the antimicrobial properties of salicylic acid. Used for mild exfoliation, it also had the conditioning goodness of betaine and will leave skin highly moisturised.

Need more help?

The Ceechem team can help you understand more about the efficacy of AHA and BHA in your skincare or cosmetic formulations. We have superior chemistry knowledge, deliver complete transparency and have an extensive portfolio of specialty ingredients that we can source from local and global markets.

We’re a solutions-oriented company and if you have any questions or concerns about your product development, our highly qualified team have the insights and knowledge to make sure your idea is a success.

Call us today or visit our website to learn more about what we can do for you.