Unwrap Joy with Our Festive Gift Card Special | BUY NOW

Gallery Reviews Call Book

What are AHA and BHA?

If you are looking to improve your skin care regimen, it is important to learn about the products you plan to use and the ingredients found in them. If you have a certain skin type, the ingredients in these products will make the difference in how successful your routine is. Two very common ingredients found in skin care products are beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Both of these components have smoothing and anti-aging properties. You might find it difficult at first to determine if your favorite product has AHAs and BHAs, though some common names for them include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Read on to learn more about why you should look for these components in your skin care products.


If you are looking for BHAs and AHAs in your skin care products, you might see terms like salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, tropic acid, and trethocanic acid in the ingredients. These ingredients work well to smooth wrinkles and fine lines and improve the appearance of age spots, enlarged pores, and discolored skin. Some products also improve acne breakouts and even out the color and texture of sun-damaged skin.

Best Practices

When first using a new product with AHAs and BHAs, put a small amount on a test area of the skin and check for a reaction in the first 24 hours. If you have a reaction, notify your doctor right away. Do not use products meant for adults on babies and children, and always follow the instructions. You should also avoid using products on sunburns and open wounds.

More is not always better when using skin care products so you should check the recommended amount. Gently rub the exfoliant into the skin with circular motions for 30 seconds, and then rinse off with lukewarm water. In addition to using AHA and BHA products, use sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days or in the winter.

Who Should Use These Products?

While the benefits of these ingredients benefit many, not everyone can or should use these products, especially if they have sensitive skin. Skin irritation is a common side effect of using these products and they can leave you susceptible to sunburn for up to a week after use. Allergic reactions are also possible, and the incorrect strength of the product used on the wrong skin type can actually cause further skin damage. Some skincare ingredients also have the potential to interfere with medications. Always consult a dermatologist to understand the kind of skin you have and the best products to use.

Schedule a Consultation

Never start a chemical exfoliation routine without first consulting your doctor, especially if you have never used one before. A dermatologist can explain to you the best practices for your skin type, and how to avoid overdoing it and damaging or irritating your skin. To get started on the right path, schedule an appointment today with Aspire Med Spa at one of their three offices in the Lexington, Wellesley, and Peabody, MA areas.

Book Nowarrow