AHA vs BHA – Difference and Comparison

What is AHA?

Alpha hydroxy acid removes dead cells in the top layer by breaking down the adherens junctions, which bind the skin cells together. It acts as glue. AHA helps exfoliate by loosening adherens junctions. This allows the dead skin to replace with new cells and helps the skin glow.

There are multiple uses of AHA. Hyaluronic acid in the body helps in the production of collagen. It is a protein present in blood, muscles, and bones which is responsible for the joints strengthening and for the elasticity of the skin.

As we grow older, the production of Hyaluronic acid in the body decreases. Exposure to the sun also breaks down the collagen protein, resulting in the skin sagging. AHA help in the production of collagen by destroying the damaged collagen protein.

AHAs help in reducing wrinkles and surface lines. They also help with the problem of discoloration. As AHAs help evolve new skin cells, the new skin cells will be evenly pigmented, reducing discoloration due to exposure to the sun.

Pimples are caused due to the clogging of skin pores by dirt, oil, and bacteria. If pimples are formed many times, that condition is called acne. Exfoliating with AHAs removes the dirt accumulated in the pores, which helps reduce pimples. They also compress the pores and reduce acne scars.

Some of the types of AHA’s are malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, mandelic acid, etc

What is BHA?

Beta hydroxy acid penetrates through the skin to lubricate the skin cells. BHA’s are not as effective as AHA’s. Sunscreen should be applied along with BHA to protect the skin.

Most often, AHA and BHA are used together. Before using BHA or any other chemical product for daily use, we should test the product on a small skin area. If it does not show any reaction or irritation. The particular products should not be used any further. It helps to acquire glowing skin. BHA’s help remove acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and so on.

BHA’s should not be used on dry skin. One of the two types of Beta hydroxy acid is salicylic acid and citric acid. They are best suitable for oily skin because it helps the BHA’s best to penetrate the pores.

BHA’s are also used to treat calluses and to prevent bacterial growth. If the skin condition is cystic acne then BHA’s are used or the combination of AHA and BHA is used.

Difference Between AHA and BHA

  1. AHA’s function is to remove dead skin cells by breaking adherens junctions between skin cells, BHA’s remove dead skin cells by penetrating skin cells through lubricating.
  2. AHA’s glycolic acid causes more irritation than BHA’s salicylic acid.
  3. AHA’s are water-soluble chemicals and BHA’s are oil-soluble chemicals.
  4. AHA provides light protection against Ultra violet rays, but BHA offers more excellent protection against UV rays.
  5. AHA is found in vegetables and BHA is found in meat, butter, etc.

Comparison Table Between AHA and BHA

Parameters Of ComparisionAHABHA
AbbreviationAlpha hydroxy acidBeta hydroxy acid
FunctionRemoves dead skin cells from the topmost layerPenetrates the layers and make cosmetics more efficient to use
SolubilityWater-soluble chemicalOil-soluble chemical
Found inSugar cane, tomato, milk, etc.Meat, butter, baked food, etc.
UsesPrevents acne, acne scars, wrinkles, etcSun damage, acne, pigmentation