AHAs and BHAs are types of hydroxy acids. You can find both acids in a variety of:
The purpose of both AHAs and BHAs is to exfoliate the skin. Depending on the concentration, a related product may remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, or it may remove the whole outermost layer.
Still, neither type of hydroxy acid is “better” than the other. Both are highly effective methods of deep exfoliation. The differences lie in their uses.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid.
AHAs are water -soluble acids made from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. After use, you’ll likely notice that your skin is smoother to the touch.
On the other hand, BHAs are oil-soluble. Unlike AHAs, BHAs can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum.
Although AHAs are often marketed as safe for all skin types, you’ll want to take care if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. You may need to gradually work up to daily use to avoid irritating your skin.
BHAs, on the other hand, are primarily used for acne and sun damage. These products go deep into your hair follicles to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores. Because of these effects, BHAs are most suitable for combination to oily skin. Lower concentrations may be used to help calm sensitive skin. You may also have more success with BHAs if you wanted to reduce rosacea-related redness.
All AHAs yield significant exfoliation. Still, the effects and uses can slightly vary between types of acids. Your selected AHA should have a maximum concentration between 10 and 15 percent. Apply new products every other day until your skin gets used to them. This will also reduce the risk of side effects, such as irritation.
No matter which AHA you choose, the strong exfoliating effects make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen every morning to prevent burns, age spots, and increased skin cancer risks.
Lactic acid is another common AHA. Unlike other AHAs made from fruits, lactic acid is made from lactose in milk. It’s also known for its significant exfoliation and anti-aging effects.
Tartaric is another type of AHA. It’s made from grape extracts, and may help alleviate signs of sun damage and acne.
Citric acid is made from citrus fruit extracts. Its main purpose is to neutralize the skin’s pH levels and to even out rough patches of skin. Citric acid makes a good serum or toner used before applying a moisturizer. It may even help work with sunscreen to provide maximum UV protection.
Malic acid is a type of AHA-BHA crossover. It’s made from apple acids.
Mandelic acid contains larger molecules derived from almond extracts. It can be combined with other AHAs to increase exfoliation. Used alone, the acid may improve texture and pore size.
Salicylic acid is the most common BHA. Concentrations can range between 0.5 and 5 percent, depending on the product at hand. It’s a well known as an acne treatment, but it can also help calm down general redness and inflammation.
Citric acid while primarily classified as an AHA, some formulations of citric acid are BHAs, too. Rather than even out your skin’s pH levels, this type of citric acid is primarily used to dry out excess sebum and clean out dead skin cells deep in your pores.
Don’t mix face acids
- Don’t use salicylic acid with any other acid at the same time. Extreme skin irritation may occur when mixed.
- Avoid salicylic acid with products that contain niacinamide.
- Don’t use glycolic acid or lactic acid in combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This will cause the ascorbic acid’s benefit to disappear even before it begins to work.
- Avoid using AHAs with retinol.
AHAs and BHAs, if these actives are used at too high of a concentration or too frequently, they can irritate your skin and compromise the skin barrier.
Dermatologists don't — and can't — argue there. In my opinion, [retinoids'] benefits are more about the skin's appearance," says Dr. Katta. "The compounds in retinoids can help boost collagen, but they're not necessary for healthy skin. The most important factor in maintaining healthy skin is about protection and promotion." Research shows that although retinoids thicken the skin overall, they thin the skin barrier, the built-in protective layer that guards against invading pathogens and environmental aggressors and locks in moisture.
How Does Retinyl Palmitate Form Vitamin A?
The different retinoids have slightly different functions and benefits. All the retinoids are converted into retinoic acid in the body. Retinoic acid is the main ingredient that has a direct biological effect on the skin. Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A and is responsible for most of the benefits to the body and skin.
Retinoic acid is available as a prescription treatment known as tretinoin or Retin – A. Tretinoin can cause skin irritation including excessive peeling, redness, and photosensitivity which limits its use.
EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which rates ingredients based on toxicity. Retinol can rank anywhere from six to nine out of 10, making it a "high concern" ingredient. For reference, lead and formaldehyde — two undisputed toxicants — earn 10s.
The overall product or ingredient score in Skin Deep is calculated from information drawn from the nearly 60 integrated toxicity, regulatory and study availability databases," Leiba explains. "Retinols get a high score in Skin Deep because government testing has shown that, on sun-exposed skin, these chemicals can increase the risk of skin lesions and other skin damage."
Again, there is no definitive evidence that topical retinoids lead to cancer or reproductive toxicity, but the evidence we do have is pretty much on par with that of parabens. (Read: Not agreed upon by professionals, requires more research.) So what's the difference between potentially-toxic parabens — largely shunned by both indie brands and drugstore giants as a precaution — and potentially-toxic retinoids?
The Best Alternatives to Retinol for Your Skin
1. Protect yourself from the sun
This one sounds like a no-brainer but a shocking 90 percent of skin aging is due to the sun. Protect yourself with SPF 30 sunscreen for the face and body. Re-applying often is the key to full protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is a known human carcinogen. Don’t forget about your lips— pick up a natural lip balm with SPF if you don’t already own one.
2. Wash your face every night
Now that we are taking full advantage of the outdoors because of the warm weather, it is especially important to cleanse the day off your face. By now we know that sleeping with your makeup on is bad for your skin, but new experiments show that it can actually age the look of your skin as well. Wash the sweat, bacteria, and makeup off your face and go to bed with a clean face for fresh and healthy skin. Pro-tip: change your pillowcases often to ensure you are not resting your cheeks on built-up bacteria.
3. Drink LOTS of water
Your skin looks best when it’s fully hydrated— otherwise, skin can appear dull, and wrinkles could be more prominent. Although it is always important to load up on water, the risk of dehydration increases during the summer season. It’s best to always keep a bottle of water on hand to avoid these things that can happen to your body when dehydrated.
4. Exfoliate the dead skin away
Scrub the sunscreen and smell of adventure off your skin with an exfoliant. Once a week is enough— like with the skin on your face, you don’t want to overdo it. Top off your skin with our Elixir Mask for Body for guaranteed soft skin.
This product is perfect for "The Indulgent Mom." Check it out below.
"Mother’s Day is around the corner and we can’t wait to treat the special lady in our life! We’ve compiled a list of some of our recent favorite clean rated 0 products (yes, everything on the list is rated 0!) to give you some ideas on what to get mom this year.
The Indulgent Mom: Aiona Alive E-ternal Leave On Mask w/ Gold Collagen for All Skin Types
A photo by @kristyntysire shared by Aiona Alive (@aionaalive) on March 1, 2017.
This momma knows what’s good when it comes to the latest and greatest in skin care. She has her regime but is always searching for something better. For this mom, we recommend Aiona Alive E-ternal Leave On Mask w/ Gold Collagen for All Skin Types (or you could opt for the entire 4-Step System). Aiona Alive uses live collagen which has skin healing properties."
Republished with permission from blog.thinkdirtyapp.com
May is fast approaching and we are excited for a special day — Mother’s Day! It’s just one day of the year to show the moms in our lives some extra love and appreciation. Keep reading for some ideas on how to spend the day with your mom!
1. Spa weekend getaway
Treat mom to a weekend getaway for just the two of you. There are a million ways to indulge whether you’re going for mud masks or massages, the options are endless!
2. Breakfast in bed
Remember the days when our parents made breakfast before sending us off to school? Return the favor and make mom a breakfast to enjoy in bed. You’ll need: a tray, some fruits, homemade meal of your choice and a whole lot of love!
3. Go for a walk
You know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers”. Take some time out of your busy life to appreciate the newly blossoming flowers and fresh green grass that spring has brought with the #1 lady in your life. According to Huffington Post, taking walks in nature can help lift your mood and promote mental health!
Get started on your Mother’s Day shopping early! We recommend the Aiona Alive 4 Step All Skin Set for mom to pamper herself at home every day. Our four step regime includes a serum, cleanser, moisturizer and mask made with collagen and potent all-natural ingredients.
Think Dirty featured our President and Founder, Lisa Strong, in their Top 3 Rituals for Self-Love series last month. We are breaking it down and taking notes from Lisa today! Here are Lisa’s top three rituals for self-love:
1. 15 min energy - alignment process (quiet your mind, feel your vibration rise and write a list of things you appreciate in your life).
We have heard that the benefits of meditation are endless! Some of our favorites that Huffington Post mentions include reduced stress, improved concentration, increased happiness and self awareness. Take 15 minutes of quiet time for yourself a day and you will notice the improvements in your health overtime. Showing your gratitude goes a long way as well— start your list of things you appreciate in life and feel uplifted instantly!
2. Chinese herbology.
Herbal therapy is widely used in the Asian culture for treating and preventing illnesses. We are not experts in Chinese herbology, but here’s a list to help you get started if you are interested. Herbology is a great way to treat the skin and body from within but for external application, our not-so-secret, go-to product is the Aiona Alive E-ternal Mask for all skin types.
3. 3 x 4 km runs per week.
Regular exercise can do wonders for your health (but that’s not new information, is it?). Outdoor runs can be refreshing but while we wait for the weather in Canada to warm up, a treadmill will have to do. Don’t like running? Maybe you can try these exercises instead.
Valentine’s Day is today! While you are planning your meal for this special occasion, we have come up with this list of Valentine’s Day themed foods to eat that your skin will love.
1. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate, and chocolate dipped strawberries are a Valentine’s Day essential. Strawberries also happen to be rich in vitamin C, which helps with collagen production. This sweet berry has many nutritional benefits that you need to know about. Dip them in dark chocolate and there’s a bonus. According to mensfitness.com, dark chocolate has properties that can actually protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Now you can indulge without (too much) guilt!
2. Raw Oysters
3. Grass Fed Beef Steak
Steak is definitely a staple for date night, and a likely meal for most Valentine’s Day meals. Like oysters, beef steaks contain a large amount of protein. An article on Prevention.com tells us that the grass fed variety in particular has a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, which helps with inflammation. Be sure to include grass fed beef stake in your Valentine’s Day menu for many great health benefits.
3 Reasons to Avoid Microbeads
Microbeads, in a nutshell, are tiny pieces of plastic that are found in personal care products ranging from body wash to toothpaste. They are added to these products to create an exfoliating effect, but the consequences don’t stop there.
1. Microbeads are extremely bad for the environment.
According to this Forbes article, these tiny beads are non-biodegradable and proven to contain many polluting chemicals— meaning that they will just sit at the bottom of the ocean forever while possibly releasing toxic chemicals. They are also damaging to the marine life as fish often mistaken it for food.
2. It can cause breakage in skin.
Our skin is more sensitive than you think! Daily or overuse of scrubs and washes containing microbeads can cause breakage in the skin. Exfoliating the skin, often in general, is too abrasive— breakage in the skin can allow for bacteria to enter!
3. There is no real benefit for your skin.
Lastly, the main reason you should stop using products with microbeads is because there’s only so much exfoliating can do. Light exfoliating with a cloth can perform the same task of removing dead skin cells from your skin without harming it. If you’re looking to brighten up your complexion, you are better off with looking to other options in skin care.
If it isn’t obvious by now, the best thing to do is stop purchasing microbead products and it’s especially important to stop washing them down our drains and into the ecosystem. Instead, use tools like a konjac sponge to remove dead skin or use a natural exfoliant like our E-Citrus Cleanser.Photo credit: Soundly Living