The Different Types Of Exfoliants - AHA v/s BHA: Better Skincare For You!

Treating surface-level skin concerns with acid exfoliants is not a new concept. Exfoliation is one game-changing skincare routine that every celebrity and magazine cover model swears by for their diva glow. Reason? Acid unlocks smooth texture and skin glow by buffing away dead cells and releasing impurities from the skin’s pores. AHAs and BHAs have become the buzzword in the beauty industry for all the right reasons. As skincare market is flooding with AHA and BHA products infused with exfoliating ingredients, here’s what you need to know about them: 

What’s AHA & BHA?

AHA and BHA stand for alpha-hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid, which are soluble acids derived from sugary fruits. Due to their skin-friendly acidic properties they can penetrate deep into the skin pores to remove excess sebum and oil, treat clogged pores by releasing dirt and impurities, and stabilize pore lining to reveal fresh, clear skin. Their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties further fight blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.


You can spot these in the ingredient list of the following products:

  • Skin peels
  • Face masks
  • Toners
  • Scrubs
  • Moisturizers
  • Cleansers

The purpose of AHA and BHA is to exfoliate. Depending upon their concentration (or dilution), they may act only on the dead skin cells or remove the outermost layer of the skin entirely.


AHAs (like glycolic acid) are water-soluble, and thus a more convenient and safe option for all skin types since our skin cells are primarily composed of water. AHAs are better for sensitive and dry skin. Therefore, these are marketed as safe for all skin types.

On the other hand, BHAs (like salicylic acid) are oil-soluble, giving them a better ability to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus, proving to be highly effective for treating oily andacne-prone skin on the face, neck, decollete and back.

So, if you have highly sensitive or extremely dry skin, it’s better to stick to products infused with AHAs. These work impeccably for dullness and flakiness. Additionally, AHAs are also effective against fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. For a more penetrative treatment or overcoming excessive oiliness, BHAs are the way to go. They combat inflammation, redness, blackheads, whiteheads and achieve an even skin tone.

PRO TIP: It’s better to consult with a professional dermatologist before changing any significant skincare regime.

 It’s also important to be mindful of the concentration of the acids being put into daily use. Excessive exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs can lead to irritation, dryness, redness, peeling, among other issues. You can even use these in combination for an enhanced synergistic effect. Make sure to apply sunscreen daily while using AHA and BHA products to protect your skin against any sun damage.

 Choosing the right product makes all the difference! When it comes to skincare, it’s quite natural to be clouded by the gazillion products available in the market. At Sesha Skin Therapy, we offer a professionally- formulated skin system for daycare and nighttime routines. Shop from our carefully crafted collection of skincare systems to unlock healthy skin from within.