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AHAs and BHAs: Which Acids Should You Use?

Posted by Maddalena Petromilli on
aha and bha acids for the skin

Acids are some of the most important components within cosmetic formulas: in fact, they have countless benefits suited to the needs of different skin types. Among them are hydroxy acids (known as AHAs and BHAs). Hydroxy acids have the ability to exfoliate the skin, smooth out the complexion and remove dead cells and impurities. The daily use of skincare products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) can change the appearance and condition of the skin.

What is the difference between AHA and BHA?
- AHA: Alpha-hydroxy acids eliminate dead cells from the damaged layer of the epidermis and improve skin hydration. It is recommended to use them for sun damaged skin, dry skin and mature skin without particular problems of impurities.
- BHA: Beta-hydroxy acids instead go deeper and are recommended for oily skin as they dissolve the sebum that clogs the pores. By doing so, they prevent the formation of blackheads and other impurities. BHAs also have an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action which makes them the ideal choice for those with acne problems or sensitive skin with redness.

There are different types of hydroxy acids, let's find out together the most important ones to include in your skincare routine!

Widely considered the "holy grail" of acids, glycolic acid can be used to address most skin aging problems including fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dull skin, uneven texture and dryness. Glycolic acid, like any AHAs, has an exfoliating action and removes dead cells from the skin, thus improving cell renewal and leaving a young and radiant complexion. It can be found in many products (from peels to face creams and serums) and is the AHA with the smallest molecular size, which means it can easily penetrate the skin and achieve great results.

Another AHA, lactic acid offers a gentler form of chemical exfoliation with additional moisturizing benefits, ideal for even the most sensitive skin. Its main goal is to give the skin a clearer and more radiant appearance. Some skincare products rely solely on lactic acid, others combine it with glycolic for a greater anti-aging effect.
In which products can you find it? In the Anti-Aging Serum and Anti-Aging Face Cream from the Montenapoleone line by Milanesi Skincare.

Ferulic acid, also known as hydroxycinnamic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radical damage caused by pollution, ultraviolet light or infrared radiation, which accelerates skin aging. It is found in the cell wall of plants such as oats, brown rice, peanuts, apples, and oranges. Ferulic acid is botanically derived, but is being studied in the laboratory for quality control, consistency and consumer safety. It comes in liquid form and can be found mainly in serums.
In which products can you find it? In the Illuminating Serum of the Brera line by Milanesi Skincare.

Citric acid is a member of the AHA family derived from the use of acids in lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. It is used at concentrations typically below 1% and is added as a pH regulator. It can also be used as an exfoliating agent and has the ability to make the other ingredients in a product work to their full potential. The use of products with citric acid also leads to a reduction of pores and a decrease in inflammation.
In which products can you find it? In all the products of the Navigli line by Milanesi Skincare.

Salicylic acid, on the other hand, is the best known and most used acid of the BHA family. It works deep down to the pores, purifying the skin and eliminating impurities. It kills acne bacteria and is therefore recommended for those with oily and particularly impure skin.

Most acids can be included in your daily beauty routine, although it is always advisable to read the instructions indicated on the individual products or to contact our beauty experts directly for a personalized skin consultation.

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