What do Hydroxy Acids do for your skin?

Who doesn’t want skin that looks fresh, rejuvenated and glowing? The question is, how and what products do you use. Hydroxy Acids exfoliate which means they remove dead skin cells and improve skin cell turnover. That means fresh, glowing skin that better reflects light.

Our skin naturally exfoliates of course but as we age and as the result of environmental factors including unprotected sun exposure, the natural shedding process of the skin may slow down or even stop. That will leave us with dull, dry or even flaky skin. We may see enlarged pores, loss of firmness, uneven skin tone and yes, even more wrinkles.

Hydroxy Acids – either AHA (alpha hydroxy acid – glycolic and lactic acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid – beta hydroxy or salicylic acid) are one way to help gently exfoliate the skin.

AHA: These work on the skin’s surface and are water soluble and we recommend for those with normal to dry or sun damaged skin because of their ability to work with natural moisturizing factors within the skin.

BHA: These work on the skin’s surface and inside the pores, are oil soluble and we recommend for normal to oily skin that is more prone to enlarged pores, acne and blemishes. BHA also has natural skin calming properties so it is gentle enough for people who experience redness or even rosacea.


  • Helps to soften lines and wrinkles
  • Will penetrate pores and exfoliate the pores
  • Stimulates collagen to increase elasticity and firmness
  • Helps to improve overall texture of the skin
  • Used correctly, will help with skin hydration

We are often asked which is better or can I combine them. We suggest to use the one that is appropriate to your skin type and testing to see what works better for you. Everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to different products and ingredient strengths. Using both an AHA and BHA exfoliant at the same time may be too much. Alternate or use morning or night always after cleansing and toning. Start slowly and see how your skin reacts – we all have a tendency to want to go too quickly and that more is better. NOT TRUE! You may also want to look at different options, for example, using a BHA on oily areas and an AHA on the dryer ones. There are also products that have a combination of these two acids. It is important to not over-exfoliate and to always use a sunscreen as use of these products may make the skin more sun sensitive


If you are not sure which products are right for you, or when to use them, make sure you are asking a trained skin therapist who knows the products that you are using and also understands your skin and skin care goals.

Keep your complexion exfoliated and glowing with these AHA/BHA products!