WHAT ARE AHA's and BHA's AND WHAT DO THEY DO?

Author: Emma Coleman, Dermatology and Aesthetic RGN

AHA & BHA are short for Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids respectively. These are chemical exfoliants, often used in clinical peels and skincare. They are capable of increasing cell turnover and boosting collagen to reveal fresh, soft skin.

AHA’s are water-soluble and suitable for dry, sun damaged and aged skin. They will rid skin’s surface of dead cells and reveal smooth, luminous skin. Examples are Glycolic and Lactic acids, sourced from sugar cane and milk respectively. BHA’s are able to dissolve oil and are more suited to inflammed, combination, rosacea and acne, white and blackhead-prone skin types. Also very effective for enlarged pores. Examples are Salicylic Acid and Willow Bark


Malic Acid is derived from apple acids and is an AHA-BHA combination. It is considered effective for lines and wrinkles and balancing oily skin.


If you wish to include these exfoliants in your skincare routine, look for glycolic, citric, lactic, salicylic, willow bark, and malic acids on ingredients lists. Emma Coleman Iluminosity Face and Body Wash and Daily Sunscreen SPF50 both contain AHA's and BHA's to gently exfoliate and rejuvenate throughout each day



Having a course of 3 to 6 peels once every month with your skin specialist is a great way of improving your skin more quickly, It’s important to always use a sunscreen, especially if you are having a course of skin peels


I offer a range of chemical peels in London and Kent, please contact me for more information: Emma@emmacolemanskin.com / @EMMACOLEMANSKIN


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