A Simple Explanation of AHA, BHA and PHA & Why You Need to Start Adding Them to your Skincare Routine

AHA and BHA have been gaining traction in the skincare community and now there's a new generation of AHA called PHA. You will often see them in Korean beauty products, even in toners and moisturizers.

Why you need to add chemical exfoliators into your routine
Imagine all those expensive skincare products and you layering them on your skin, if you don't exfoliate, part of those skincare products would go to waste because of the dead skin cells and built-up dirt blocking them. Using a chemical exfoliator is a gentle way to clean your skin of dirt and dead skin cells, making way to a fresh layer of skin ready to absorb your skincare products. Of course, it's also a great way to prevent clogged pores and acne.

- Poly Hydroxy Acid
- Known as the next generation of AHA
- Has larger molecules
- Has a slower rate of skin penetration
- Milder chemical exfoliator
- Works only in the surface
- Gentler option compared to AHA and BHA
- Great for dry skin
- A better alternative for those with sensitive skin
- Works on the surface of the skin

- Alpha Hydroxy Acid
- Naturally found in fruit and milk
- Stimulates skin cell regeneration
- Great for mature skin
- Works on the upper layers of the skin
- Water-soluble
- Treats pigmentation and even outs skin tone
- Locks in moisture

- Beta Hydroxy Acid
- Great for oily, acne-prone skin
- Oil-soluble
- Works deeper into the pores
- Removes excess sebum
- Anti-inflammatory properties

Remember to Use SPF
Chemical exfoliators reveal fresher looking skin and to keep it fresh, remember to protect it from UV rays by using sun protection. 

If you're interested in gaining more in-depth knowledge about these chemical exfoliators, visit these articles:

There are skincare products out there that use a combination of all three chemical exfoliators. I've tried and review a couple ones listed down below:

AHA, BHA & PHA: Answer19+ Anti-Blemish Peeling Eraser Cotton Swab Review
AHA, BHA & PHA: SomeByMi AHA BHA PHA Real Cica 92% Cool Calming Soothing Gel Review
PHA: SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Asiatica Toner Review
AHA & BHA: So Natural Red Peel Tingle Serum Review
AHA & BHA: Althea Milk Peel Cream Mask Review
AHA: Jumiso Yes I Am Toner AHA 5% Review 
BHA: A’bloom BHA Blackhead Blaster Review

Also read:
K-Beauty Guide on How to Treat and Prevent Maskne for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin.
Got Oily, Acne-Prone Skin? Here Are 5 Beauty Products You Should Stop Using.
My Lazy Day 3-Step Korean Skincare Routine for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin.