What are AHAs and BHAs?

Do you know your Alphas from your Betas?

Our skin naturally sheds cells every day, but this natural process can slow down for a whole host of reasons – from dry skin to genetics.

The result can be dry, dull or congested skin that needs a little help to get moving again. And that’s where acids can come in!

Although they sound scary, particularly for sensitive skin types, carefully controlled levels of these fruity acids can help the skin to rebalance itself.


Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) are water-soluble acids derived from natural substances like sugar cane, grapes and milk – although these days, most acids are derived synthetically to control their strength. They often appear in skincare as Glycolic, Lactic and Malic acids.

These acids work by melting the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together on the surface of our skin. They exfoliate the skin without the need for gritty scrubs, to leave a brighter, smoother finish.

We use an ultra-gentle form of AHAs from Pink Pomelo in our Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask, to give this silky clay mask an exfoliating boost.


Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), on the other hand, are oil-soluble acids. This means they’re able to absorb into our skin’s natural oils and get right into the pores. This makes them a popular choice for clearing blackheads and congestion.

Thought to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, BHAs are often recommended for redness-prone skin. However, one of the most common BHAs; salicylic acid, can aggravate and dry delicate skin – so proceed with caution!

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