Disclaimer : I am not a dermatologist, the information is from my own reading and research.
All about Skincare.
AHA, BHA, and Retinol are all popular skincare ingredients that have different functions and benefits. AHA, or Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, is a water-soluble exfoliant that works on the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells and improve the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and dull skin. BHA, or Beta-Hydroxy Acid, is oil-soluble and can penetrate deeper into the skin to unclog pores and treat acne. Retinol, on the other hand, is a form of Vitamin A that is known for its ability to boost collagen production, improve skin texture and tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While all three ingredients are effective in their own way, they have different strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to consider your skin type and concerns before choosing which one to incorporate into your routine.
Benefits of Good Skin Care
AHA (Alpha-Hydroxy Acid)
AHA is a type of exfoliant that is derived from fruits, milk, and sugar cane. It works by removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells, which results in smoother, brighter, and more even-toned skin. AHAs are water-soluble, making them gentle and suitable for people with dry and sensitive skin. AHAs are commonly used to treat skin concerns such as fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and dull skin. Some popular AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid.
BHA (Beta-Hydroxy Acid)
BHA is an exfoliant that is oil-soluble and can penetrate deeper into the skin to unclog pores and remove impurities. It is commonly used to treat acne-prone skin, as well as blackheads, whiteheads, and other types of clogged pores. BHAs are suitable for people with oily and combination skin types, but can be too harsh for those with dry or sensitive skin. The most popular BHA is salicylic acid.
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that is known for its ability to boost collagen production, improve skin texture and tone, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It works by stimulating the skin cells to produce more collagen, which results in firmer and plumper skin. Retinol is also known for its ability to unclog pores and reduce the appearance of acne. It is suitable for all skin types, but those with sensitive skin may need to start with a lower concentration and gradually increase it over time.
AHA, BHA, and Retinol are all effective skincare ingredients that have different functions and benefits. While AHAs are suitable for people with dry and sensitive skin and are commonly used to treat fine lines and hyperpigmentation, BHAs are suitable for people with oily and combination skin and are used to treat acne-prone skin. Retinol, on the other hand, is suitable for all skin types and is used to boost collagen production, improve skin texture, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s important to choose the right ingredient for your skin type and concerns to achieve optimal results
Here's a list of some common AHAs, BHAs, and retinols used in skincare
Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Mandelic acid, Tartaric acid, Citric acid
Salicylic acid, Betaine salicylate, Willow bark extract
Retinol, Retinaldehyde, Adapalene, Tretinoin, Tazarotene
It’s important to note that not all AHAs, BHAs, and retinols are created equal, and the concentration and formulation of these ingredients can vary greatly between different skincare products. When incorporating AHAs, BHAs, or retinols into your routine, it’s important to start slowly and patch test to avoid irritation or over-exfoliation. Additionally, it’s important to use a sunscreen during the day when using AHAs, BHAs, and retinols, as these ingredients can increase sun sensitivity.
Here are some serums that can be used with AHAs, BHAs, and retinols:
|Vitamin C serum||Hyaluronic acid serum||Niacinamide serum||Peptide serum|
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help brighten skin, improve skin texture, and protect against environmental stressors. When used in combination with AHAs and BHAs, it can help enhance the exfoliating effects of these ingredients and improve overall skin health. ( Please read below on how to combine these acids) It's important to note that vitamin C can potentially cause irritation when used with retinol, so it's best to use them at different times or use a lower concentration of retinol. You can read more about it here.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that can help hydrate and plump skin. When used with AHAs, BHAs, and retinols, it can help counteract any potential dryness or irritation caused by these ingredients. It's best to apply a hyaluronic acid serum after using AHAs, BHAs, or retinols to help lock in moisture.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that can help improve the appearance of pores, brighten skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When used with AHAs and BHAs, it can help enhance the exfoliating effects of these ingredients and improve overall skin texture. When used with retinol, niacinamide can help reduce the potential for irritation and improve overall skin health.
Peptides are amino acids that can help improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and promote overall skin health. When used in combination with AHAs, BHAs, and retinols, they can help enhance the effects of these ingredients and improve overall skin texture and firmness.
According to Skin-Beauty, combining AHAs/BHAs with vitamin C may cause skin irritation and destabilize vitamin C. Patch testing is recommended before use. Alternating between the two ingredients in your routine is best for optimal benefits. If both must be used together, wait for absorption before applying the next product. Proper knowledge on how to combine and use these ingredients is important.To maximize benefits, alternate the use of AHAs/BHAs and vitamin C in your skincare routine. Apply vitamin C in the morning, at night, or on alternate days. Avoid using concentrated forms of both together in the same routine. If necessary, wait for complete absorption before applying the next product.
What is pH and Why is it important in skin care?
pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is, ranging from 0 to 14. The skin’s natural pH is around 5.5, which is slightly acidic. When the skin’s pH is disrupted, it can lead to irritation, dryness, and breakouts. Using products with the wrong pH can disrupt the skin’s natural pH and lead to these issues.
When using serums, it is important to pay attention to their pH and how they interact with other serums. Using serums with the correct pH can help them work more effectively irritation.
When using multiple serums with different pH levels, it is important to layer them correctly to ensure they work effectively. Start with the thinnest serum and work your way up to the thickest. Wait a few minutes between each serum to allow it to absorb fully into the skin.
When choosing other serums to use with AHAs, BHAs, and Retinols, it’s important to consider their pH levels to ensure that they are effective. Serums with a pH level of 3-4 are best for use with AHAs and BHAs, while serums with a pH level of 5-6 are best for use with Retinols. Read more about this.
A SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR THE DAY
A SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR THE NIGHT
Step 1: Cleanse Start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, and makeup from the day. Use a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.
Step 2: Apply a Toner Toner helps to balance the pH level of your skin and remove any residual dirt and oil. Choose a toner that contains AHAs or BHAs to help exfoliate your skin and unclog pores.
Step 3: Apply Retinol. Retinol is a powerful ingredient that helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, and increase cell turnover. Apply a pea-sized amount of retinol to your face at night, after cleansing and toning. Start with a lower concentration and gradually increase as your skin adapts.
Step 4: Apply a Serum Apply a serum that contains antioxidants, vitamins, and other skin-loving ingredients. Look for a serum that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to retain moisture and plump up the skin.
Step 5: Apply Eye Cream Apply an eye cream that is specifically designed for the delicate skin around your eyes. Look for an eye cream that contains Retinol, which can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Step 6: Apply Moisturizer Moisturizing is essential to keep your skin hydrated and plump. Apply a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type. Look for a moisturizer that contains ceramides or other nourishing ingredients to help restore your skin’s natural moisture barrier.