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AHA, BHA, PHA - acids for beautiful skin



acids for beautiful skin

BHA, AHA, PHA: what's the difference?

Let's go to decipher together the different types of exfoliating (chemical) acids that exist. Sensitive / reactive skin should not stop reading, however, the use of these acids is not incompatible with more fragile skin.

You just have to choose the acids that are most suitable for your skin.

If you are not familiar with acids, you may be wondering what the point of using them is?

You should know that the skin is made up of a large number of skin cells that are renewed over a cycle of about a month. During this month, these cells accumulate and gradually rise to the surface of the skin.

Result: the complexion becomes dull, the skin texture thickens, the pores become clogged and desquamation may appear (small patches of skin that peel). This is where chemical exfoliation comes in! Regular exfoliation both accelerates the phenomenon of cell renewal while ridding the skin of dead cells.

The result: a more regular skin texture, better collagen production, more efficient absorption of the face care applied afterwards and a more even complexion.

Now we have to differentiate between the two types of exfoliation that exist: mechanical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation is what is more commonly referred to as a scrub.

It is very often composed of "grains" which will exfoliate the skin by the action of friction against the skin. The risk with this type of exfoliation is damaging your skin barrier and sensitizing your skin over the long term. In the case of chemical exfoliation, these are active ingredients that penetrate deeper into the skin to remove dead cells without you having to “rub” your skin.

Let's get to the heart of the matter: AHA, BHA, PHA what's the difference? 

All of these components are called hydroxyl acids (by their scientific name) but they fall into 3 categories.

AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)

In the case of AHAs, there are several types of acids, the best known are:


Glycolic acid:

Of all the AHAs, glycolic acid (which comes from sugar cane) is the most effective. As it is an active ingredient that has a small molecular size, it penetrates the skin deeply to better exfoliate it.

It has a visible effect on the skin texture and the radiance of the complexion. It also helps regulate sebum production.

This is one of the key acids in our peeling mask, the face mask that renews cells without damaging the skin barrier.

Lactic acid:

Derived from the fermentation of milk or of certain fruits, it is one of the mildest acids that will correspond perfectly to the most sensitive skin.

Its properties allow it to promote the proper maintenance of hydration of the skin. It is also found in our peeling mask to complement the action of glycolic acid and boost dull complexions.

Mandelic acid:

Coming from almonds, this acid penetrates less deeply into the skin and acts more on the surface, which reduces any possible risk of irritation. It also helps reduce hyperpigmentation (mainly spots) and even out skin tone.

You will also find AHAs in our latest novelty: the light lotion. It will be perfect for people looking for an instant boost of radiance and who want to find a smoother skin texture.

BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids)

Salicylic acid is the best known BHA. It is generally used in its synthetic form. It has a targeted action on comedones (blackheads) and dissolves them effectively.

It is more suitable for combination to oily, acne-prone skin who would like a smoother skin texture. However, salicylic acid is the subject of scientific study; he would probably be an endocrine disruptor. This is why we have chosen not to include it in any of our products.

PHA (Poly Hydroxy Acids)

PHAs are a group of acids with a larger molecular size: they penetrate less deeply into the skin and are therefore ideal for skin with certain skin conditions (eczema, rosacea, dryness, etc.). Among them, we find:

Lactobionic acid:

Derived from lactose, it is hydrating, antioxidant and soothing. It is a particularly suitable active for dry, parched or dehydrated skin since it is non-irritant.


Last important point: don't forget to apply sunscreen if you are using exfoliating acids. Indeed, they tend to be photosensitizing and therefore to react in contact with UV. This can cause the appearance of spots.


Now we hope you can see more clearly and start using it in your routine (if you haven't already). To accompany the use of exfoliating acids, we also advise you to practice a double daily cleansing.