AHAs and BHAs: The Skincare Benefits & Risks of Exfoliating Acids

best acne treatments

With the many chemicals and products on the market to help with skin problems, it can be difficult to determine which ones are the best acne treatments.

Many products are promoted as exfoliating agents; however, some of the most common products contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). These ingredients are types of chemical exfoliating agents which, when used correctly, can provide a variety of benefits – especially if you struggle with acne.

Despite the potential benefits, however, it is important to understand the risks that these products can pose if not used correctly.

What Are Chemical Exfoliating Agents?

Chemical exfoliating agents are specific types of acids that aid in the removal of dead cells from the skin. By aiding in the removal of dead cells, these products also help expedite cell turnover, refreshing and brightening the skin. These products can also help unclog and shrink the pores, even skin tone and improve smoothness.

Although there are many different types (and strengths) of chemical exfoliating agents, two of the most common are alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids. These products are typically known as AHAs and BHAs, respectively. Salicylic acid is arguably the most popular type of BHA, while glycolic acid is one of the most common AHAs.

Benefits & Risks of AHAs and BHAs

Despite the many benefits of exfoliation, some types of exfoliation can present challenges for the skin, especially if you suffer from acne. When compared to physical exfoliation agents – including scrubs and exfoliant brushes – chemical exfoliation can provide all the benefits without the risks.

By unclogging pores, AHAs and BHAs can help reduce breakouts and flareups. By encouraging healthy blood flow and collagen production, you can enjoy brighter, healthier, plumper skin. They can even help reduce the appearance of discoloration and fine lines and wrinkles.

The primary risk associated with these chemical agents is overuse, or of using a product that’s too strong for your particular skin. You can also encounter problems if you aren’t using the right complementary skincare products along with your exfoliant, such as moisturizer and sunscreen.

Should You Use an Exfoliating Acid in Your Skincare Routine?

If suffer with breakouts, it can be difficult to determine which products are best for treating acne flareups. You may – or may not – know the importance of exfoliation in the battle against acne. However, as we discovered above, not all exfoliants are right for all skin types.

The only way to know for sure is to consult with an expert – like the acne-fighting experts at Skintherapy Skincare and Acne Clinic in Salt Lake City.

Our highly trained and experienced estheticians take the time to evaluate your skin and understand the challenges you face. This allow us to recommend the best acne treatment products – including AHAs and BHAs, when appropriate – for you.

Contact us now to learn more, or to book your appointment for acne treatment in Salt Lake City.

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