Acids in Skin Care


Acids in Skin Care

What are AHAs and BHAs?

The purpose of both AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acid) is to exfoliate the skin. Depending on the concentration, a related product may remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, or it may remove the whole outermost layer.

Exfoliating skin is one of the most important steps in order to achieve clear skin. Although there are many different ways to remove dead skin cells, chemical exfoliation became the most popular treatment for tired and dry skin.




Alpha Hydroxy Acid

  • Water soluble
  • Exfoliates dead cells off the skin’s surface
  • Can stimulate collagen production
  • Has skin hydration properties
  • Suitable for sun-damaged, dry and sensitive skin 


  • Glycolic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Mandelic Acid
  • Malic Acid
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Citric Acid

Beta Hydroxy Acid

  • Oil soluble
  • Exfoliates deep into the pores to unclog sebum and dead skin
  • Can help reduce inflammation & bacteria growth
  • Has a anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
  • Suitable for oily, combination and acne-prone skin


  • Salicylic Acid

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AHAs and BHAs use in skincare?

Hydroxy acids are common in skincare products such as:

  • Toners
  • Cleansers
  • Serums
  • Moisturizers
  • Facial Peels

Advantages of using Hydroxy acids:

  • minimise the appearance of wrinkles
  • bring clarity to a dull / uneven skin tone
  • smooth rough and bumpy skin
  • unclog pores
  • increase hydration

Can I use AHA and BHA together?

Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids can be used together. There are many skincare products available that contain both types of acids in one product.

However, it is important to keep in mind that products like these need to be very well formulated, so it does not irritate the skin. Overuse can easily create irritation, redness and sensitivity.

If you want to use both products within your beauty routine, our advice would be to keep AHA-containing products such as serums and toners for everyday use and for better results add a BHA-containing product such as chemical peel once a week.

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Sandra Gut

Sandra Gut

Portfolio & Application Laboratory Manager Cosmetics

RAHN (UK) Ltd.