AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids): These water-soluble acids work on the surface of the skin, gently dissolving dead skin cells. This can help with:

  • Exfoliation: Removes dead skin cells for a smoother, brighter complexion.
  • Sun Damage: Reduces hyperpigmentation and evens skin tone.
  • Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Stimulates collagen production for a plumper, younger-looking appearance.

BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids): These oil-soluble acids penetrate deeper into pores, making them ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. Benefits include:

  • Exfoliation: Clears clogged pores and reduces breakouts.
  • Blackhead Removal: Dissolves blackheads for a clearer complexion.
  • Reduced Oil Production: Helps control excess oil, minimizing shine.

PHA (Polyhydroxy Acids): These gentle chemical exfoliants offer similar benefits to AHAs, but with a larger molecule size. This makes them a good choice for those with sensitive skin. Benefits include:

  • Exfoliation: Removes dead skin cells without irritation.
  • Hydration: Attracts and retains moisture for a plump, healthy appearance.
  • Sensitive Skin Friendly: Gentler option for those with easily irritated skin.

Common Uses:

Depending on your skin concerns, here's when to reach for each type of acid:

  • AHA: Dull skin, uneven texture, fine lines & wrinkles, sun damage.
  • BHA: Oily skin, acne-prone skin, blackheads.
  • PHA: Sensitive skin, dry skin, uneven texture.

Best Used With:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Pairs well with all three types of acids to help replenish moisture that can be lost during exfoliation.
  • Vitamin C: Boosts the antioxidant power of your routine, especially beneficial when using AHAs.
  • Sunscreen: Essential for everyone, but especially important after using AHAs, which can increase sun sensitivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which one is right for me?

The best choice depends on your skin type and concerns. If you're unsure, consult a dermatologist for personalized advice.

Can I use all three together?

While possible in some cases, it's generally best to start with one type of acid and introduce others gradually. Listen to your skin and avoid irritation.

Do I need to patch test?

Absolutely! Patch test any new skincare product on a small area of your skin before applying it to your face.

How often should I use them?

Start with 1-2 times per week and gradually increase frequency as your skin tolerates it. Always follow the instructions on the specific product.

Are there any side effects?

Possible side effects include dryness, irritation, and increased sun sensitivity. If you experience any discomfort, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist