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MANDI MAKES

Natural Living Made Simple

MANDI MAKES

AHAs and BHAs Explained: The Dynamic Duo in Skincare

AHAs and BHAs

Welcome to the world of skincare, where two acronyms, AHAs and BHAs, reign supreme. These skincare superheroes can transform your skin, leaving it radiant and rejuvenated. But what exactly are they, how do they work, are they good for all skin types? This blog post has AHAs and BHAs explained.

 

What’s on the blog:

 


 

THE ORIGINS OF AHAs and BHAs: NATURE'S GIFTS AND LAB CREATIONS


citrus skincare

AHAs and BHAs are both types of hydroxy acids, but they come from different sources and work in distinct ways. AHAs are typically derived from natural substances like fruits, milk, and sugar cane. The most common AHAs include glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from milk), and citric acid (from citrus fruits).


BHAs, on the other hand, are often found in the bark of willow trees in the form of salicylic acid. While these acids can be sourced naturally, they are often synthesised in laboratories with an idea of creating the ingredient with consistency and "purity" for skincare products.

 

 

NATURAL VS. SYNTHEIC: WHAT'S IN YOUR SKINCARE


Willow bark

When it comes to sourcing AHAs and BHAs for skincare products, natural options stand out for their holistic appeal and numerous benefits. Natural sources, such as fruit extracts and willow bark, are often celebrated not only for their effectiveness but also for their gentle, skin-friendly properties. These natural ingredients are rich in additional nutrients and antioxidants that can enhance the overall health and appearance of your skin.

 



While synthetic versions are crafted to deliver precise concentrations and stable formulations, the natural versions provide equally impressive results, often with added benefits from their organic origins. To ensure you are choosing products with natural AHAs and BHAs, read product labels carefully. Look for mentions of fruit extracts or specific natural ingredients for AHAs and willow bark extract for natural BHA. Opting for these natural sources can enhance your skincare routine by providing a more holistic and nourishing approach to skin health.

 

 

THE SKIN-TRANSFORMING BENEFITS OF AHAs and BHAs

Natural skincare

So, why should you include AHAs and BHAs in your skincare routine? Here’s a breakdown of their benefits:

  • Exfoliation: Both AHAs and BHAs exfoliate the skin, but they do so differently. AHAs work on the skin’s surface to remove dead skin cells, revealing smoother, brighter skin. BHAs penetrate deeper into the pores to unclog them, making them ideal for oily and acne-prone skin.

  • Anti-Aging: AHAs stimulate collagen production, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. BHAs, with their anti-inflammatory properties, can help calm irritated skin and reduce redness.

  • Even Skin Tone: Regular use of AHAs can fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots, giving you a more even skin tone. BHAs can reduce the appearance of blackheads and prevent future breakouts.

 


 

ARE AHAs and BHAs SUITABLE FOR ALL SKIN TYPES?

Skin types

While AHAs and BHAs offer numerous benefits, their suitability can vary based on your skin type:

  • Sensitive Skin: AHAs, particularly lactic acid, are gentler and better suited for sensitive skin. Start with lower concentrations to avoid irritation.

  • Dry Skin: AHAs can hydrate and improve the texture of dry skin. Glycolic acid, in particular, is highly effective.

  • Oily and Acne-Prone Skin: BHAs are perfect for this skin type due to their oil-soluble nature, which allows them to penetrate and clear clogged pores.

  • Combination Skin: A mix of both AHAs and BHAs can be beneficial, targeting different areas as needed.

 


 

DECODING PRODUCT LABELS: ENSURING NATURAL ORIGINS


To ensure you’re getting a natural version of AHAs and BHAs, check the ingredient list for:

  • AHAs: Look for terms like glycolic acid (sugar cane), lactic acid (milk), citric acid (citrus fruits), tartaric acid (grapes), and malic acid (apples).

  • BHAs: Look for salicylic acid and willow bark extract.

 

Avoid products that list synthetic names or lack transparency about their sources.



 

 DIY SKINCARE: SIMPLE AHAs and BHAs RECIPES AT HOME


If you love a hands-on approach to skincare, here are some simple DIY recipes to try at home:

 

DIY AHA Fruit Mask

Papaya skincare

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mashed papaya (natural source of AHAs)

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (contains lactic acid)


Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth.

  2. Apply to clean face, avoiding the eye area.

  3. Leave on for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.

 


 

DIY BHA Willow Bark Toner

BHA toner

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon dried willow bark

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel


Instructions:

  1. Boil water and pour over willow bark. Let steep for 30 minutes.

  2. Strain the mixture and let it cool.

  3. Add witch hazel and mix well.

  4. Apply to face with a cotton pad after cleansing.

 


 

GLOWING SKIN AWAITS!


AHAs and BHAs can be your skin’s best friends, offering a range of benefits from exfoliation to anti-aging. Whether you choose products with naturally sourced acids or prefer synthetic for their consistency, understanding these ingredients can help you achieve the glowing, healthy skin you desire. Happy exfoliating!

 

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Hi, I'm Mandi. A former primary teacher, Lifestyle Medicine graduate and current Diploma in Natural Skincare student with a passion for natural living.

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