September 2019

The Top 5 Skin Care Ingredients You Need to Know

AHA/BHA

What it is: Alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid are classes of organic acids that act as exfoliants. AHAs are derived from fruit and milk and include glycolic acid (sugar cane), lactic acid (milk), and malic acid (apples and pears) among others. In cosmetics, BHA refers exclusively to salicylic acid, which is derived from plants.

What they do: While they both exfoliate, AHAs (which are water soluble) work at the surface layer of skin only while BHAs (which are oil soluble) penetrate deeper and hels remove dead skin cells clogged in pores. BHAs are used primarily for oily or acne prone skin with blackheads and whiteheads, whereas AHAs are used to brighten dull or dry skin. However, often you may find products containing both AHA and BHA for double duty exfoliation. The amount of exfoliation depends on the strength of the acid, with the stronger stuff available by prescription only.

Try: DermaDoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser ($25, ulta.com); REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate ($45, sephora.com); Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Overnight Repair Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Pads ($39, sephora.com).

What are your favorite products with these glow-getting ingredients?

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