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Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay, let me get this straight.

Glycolic Acid is a pure form of AHA?
Salicylic Acid is BHA (are there other forms of BHA??)

BHA penetrates the pores AHA just affects the top layer?

I thought I read BHA is for dry skin, but now I am reading it's best for oily skin.
AHA is too strong for dry skin, is this true?

I have read that BHA reverses sun damage but will make your skin 50% more sensitive to the sun. Is this true?

Now I read that PHA is the best for dry skin. Acts like an AHA, but gentler.

What products have PHA ( Poly Hydroxy Acid)in it? I never heard of it until a few days ago.

I don't know, what should I be using if any? I have dry sensitive skin with some blackheads on my nose. Manual exfoliation isn't helping.

All I use is a cleanser and moisturizer and sometimes s/s. I know, I need to get into the habit.

Any advice on what I should be using would be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance!
post #2 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

I have the same issues with my skin. I use a BHA on my nose and sometimes on my chin. Helps clear the pores because it gets in there and dissolves that yucky stuff that causes the congested pores. I also use Mandelic acid which is a gentle AHA. I use thtese product every other day or every third day depends on how my skin is feeling. I buy my products from dianayvonne.com.
I have never heard of PHA.
post #3 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

I've never heard of PHA either. I've been using a line called Clinical Basic Skin Care and i'm having great success with the Blemish Blaster. (Of course, i'm using the whole line and i think it's a combo of everything.) The Blemish Blaster has BHA and is designed to be used on the entire face and also as a spot treatment if needed. I haven't noticed my skin being more sensitive to the sun but it may be because it's only 1.5%. I have noticed a reduction in blackheads, blemishes, and the dry flakey areas I used to have. If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend this line! Sharon will work one on one with you and even customize the products especially for your own skin.
post #4 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

PHA = Polyhydroxy Acids.

BHA is oil soluble. AHA is water soluble. BHA is for pimples, blackheads, oily skin. AHA is for sun-damaged, dry skin , fine lines.

This might help you.

As far as I know, Salicylic Acid is the only form of BHA.

And, it's vital to wear Sunscreen when using AHA/BHA Sunscreen should be worn anyway, but it's vital to wear when using AHA/BHA.

Hope that helps
post #5 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

how confusing!
post #6 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Over-the-counter skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids) have become increasingly popular over the last five years. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200 manufacturers of skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids. Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots, and may help decrease enlarged pores. Side effects of alpha-hydroxy acids include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. For that reason, sunscreen also should be used every morning. To help avoid skin irritation with alpha-hydroxy acids, it is advisable to start with a product with low concentrations of AHA Also, make sure you ease into it. You want to get your skin used to alpha-hydroxy acids, so you should only initially apply the skin care product every other day, gradually working up to daily application.

Beta-hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid)
Salicylic acid also has been studied for its effect on skin that has aged prematurely due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It exfoliates skin, and can improve the texture and color of the skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many skin care products available that contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter and others require a doctor's prescription. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, while providing similar improvement in skin texture and color.

Hydroquinone
Skin care products containing hydroquinone are popularly referred to as bleaching creams or lightening agents. These skin care products are used to lighten hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy (melasma or chloasma). Some over-the-counter skin care products contain hydroquinone, but your doctor can also prescribe a solution with a higher concentration of hydroquinone if your skin doesn't respond to over- the-counter treatments. If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you can use products containing kojic acid instead.

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for the treatment of pigment problems and age spots. Discovered in 1989, kojic acid has a similar effect as hydroquinone. Kojic acid is derived from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective as a lightening agent, inhibiting production of melanin (brown pigment).

Retinol
This is a derivative of vitamin A, and you will see that a lot of skin care products contain retinol. Retinol's stronger counterpart is tretinoin, which is the active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova. If your skin is too sensitive to use Retin-A, retinol is an excellent alternative. Here's why skin responds to skin care products with retinol: vitamin A has a molecular structure that's tiny enough to get into the lower layers of skin, where it finds collagen and elastin. Retinol is proven to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and your skin's hydration levels.You may also hear about retinyl palmitate. This falls into the same family as retinol, but if the skin care product you choose contains retinyl palmitate, you will need to use more of this product than one that contains retinol to get the same effect.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that is proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, which is essential since your body's natural collagen production decreases as you age. Sun exposure will also accelerate the decrease in collagen. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps to minimize fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.
It is important to be choosy when selecting a vitamin C product. Vitamin C in its most commonly found forms is highly unstable when exposed to oxygen, making it useless. Also, many topical vitamin C preparations do not penetrate the skin enough to make a difference.
If you are considering using a topical vitamin C preparation, ask your dermatologist which product will be the most effective for you.

Hyaluronic Acid
Skin care products containing this substance are often used in conjunction with vitamin C products to assist in effective penetration. Hyaluronic acid (also known as a glycosaminoglycan) is often touted for its ability to "reverse" or stop aging. In news reports, you might have heard of hyaluronic acid as the "key to the fountain of youth." This is because the substance occurs naturally (and quite abundantly) in humans and animals, and is found in young skin, other tissues. and joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the body's connective tissues, and is known to cushion and lubricate. As you age, however, the forces of nature destroy hyaluronic acid. Diet and smoking can also affect your body's level of hyaluronic acid over time. Skin care products with hyaluronic acid are most frequently used to treat wrinkled skin.

Copper Peptide
Copper peptide is often referred to as the most effective skin regeneration product, even though it's only been on the market since 1997. Here's why: Studies have shown that copper peptide promotes collagen and elastin production, and also acts as an antioxidant. It also promotes production of glycosaminoglycans (think hyaluronic acid, as an example). Studies have also shown that copper-dependent enzymes increase the benefits of the body's natural tissue building processes. The substance helps to firm, smooth, and soften skin, doing it in less time than most other anti-aging skin care products. Clinical studies have found that copper peptides also remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue because they activate the skin's system responsible for those functions.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
You may have heard of alpha-lipoic acid as "the miracle in a jar" for its anti-aging effects. It's a newer, ultra-potent antioxidant that helps fight future skin damage and helps repair past damage. Alpha-lipoic acid has been referred to as a "universal antioxidant" because it's soluble in both water and oil, which permits its entrance to all parts of the cell. Due to this quality, it is believed that alpha-lipoic acid can provide the greatest protection against damaging free radicals when compared with other antioxidants. Alpha-lipoic acid diminishes fine lines, gives skin a healthy glow and boosts levels of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C.

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)
If you've heard of fish referred to as brain food, you can thank DMAE. This substance is naturally produced in the brain, but DMAE is also present in anchovies, salmon and sardines, boasting the production of acetylcholine, which is important for proper mental functions. DMAE in skin care products shows remarkable effects when applied topically to skin, resulting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
post #7 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

That was informative! Thanks for all the info
post #8 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Very informative info mthatxinh. Is there anyway you can let us know where you got the info from?
post #9 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Pls go to this website you will find more helpful info
http://www.webmd.com/content/article/65/72792.htm
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Thanks everyone!!
post #11 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

im considering getting some copper peptides for scars
post #12 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

The main difference between AHA's & BHA's is the solubility difference like goddess13 said ~ that is why salyclic acid (a BHA) is found in many acne products; because it is oil soluble & gets into pores removing sebum, etc..

AHA is too strong for dry skin, is this true?
I have dry skin & use a cleanser with glycolic acid (Dermadoctors Wrinkle Revenge) about 3 times a week & use AmLactin 12% lactic acid on my face as a moisturizer about 2 times a week. They are quite harsh if you use them everyday, thats why I only use them a couple times a week. Since using them my skin has improved SO SO SO much.

I have heard of PHA's & whatever - I am going to continue using the AHA's just in small amounts because their is SO much research on them & how good they are for you.

--- I think you should use acne products with salyclic acid in them everyday. I use the Neutrogena kind with salyclic acid & I get breakouts at most maybe once every 2 weeks. If you use products with AHA's just use them a couple times a week.
post #13 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

What category does retinoic acid fall under?

I've been using a lot of glycolic acid products lately & they are helping my skin look great, but salicylic acid never seems to do anything for my skin.

I have very oily, but sensitive, skin.
post #14 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Originally Posted by fishchick72 View Post
What category does retinoic acid fall under?.


Hmm I dont think that is a AHA. Retinoic acid is Tretinoin (I think) & its Vitamin A; an acid form- & that isnt listed as an AHA.
Irregardless of if it is or isnt retin-A or tretinoin or whatever you call it (why does it have so many names!?) is probably even considered better than an AHA. My Mom uses it & she has trouble getting insurance to cover it because it is SOOO expensive & everyone wants it
post #15 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Originally Posted by mthatxinh View Post
Alpha-hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Over-the-counter skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids) have become increasingly popular over the last five years. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200 manufacturers of skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids. Creams and lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids may help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots, and may help decrease enlarged pores. Side effects of alpha-hydroxy acids include mild irritation and sun sensitivity. For that reason, sunscreen also should be used every morning. To help avoid skin irritation with alpha-hydroxy acids, it is advisable to start with a product with low concentrations of AHA Also, make sure you ease into it. You want to get your skin used to alpha-hydroxy acids, so you should only initially apply the skin care product every other day, gradually working up to daily application.

Beta-hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid)
Salicylic acid also has been studied for its effect on skin that has aged prematurely due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It exfoliates skin, and can improve the texture and color of the skin. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, also helps with acne. There are many skin care products available that contain salicylic acid. Some are available over-the-counter and others require a doctor's prescription. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than skin care products containing alpha-hydroxy acids, while providing similar improvement in skin texture and color.

Hydroquinone
Skin care products containing hydroquinone are popularly referred to as bleaching creams or lightening agents. These skin care products are used to lighten hyperpigmentation, such as age spots and dark spots related to pregnancy or hormone therapy (melasma or chloasma). Some over-the-counter skin care products contain hydroquinone, but your doctor can also prescribe a solution with a higher concentration of hydroquinone if your skin doesn't respond to over- the-counter treatments. If you are allergic to hydroquinones, you can use products containing kojic acid instead.

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a more recent remedy for the treatment of pigment problems and age spots. Discovered in 1989, kojic acid has a similar effect as hydroquinone. Kojic acid is derived from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective as a lightening agent, inhibiting production of melanin (brown pigment).

Retinol
This is a derivative of vitamin A, and you will see that a lot of skin care products contain retinol. Retinol's stronger counterpart is tretinoin, which is the active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova. If your skin is too sensitive to use Retin-A, retinol is an excellent alternative. Here's why skin responds to skin care products with retinol: vitamin A has a molecular structure that's tiny enough to get into the lower layers of skin, where it finds collagen and elastin. Retinol is proven to improve mottled pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, skin texture, skin tone and color, and your skin's hydration levels.You may also hear about retinyl palmitate. This falls into the same family as retinol, but if the skin care product you choose contains retinyl palmitate, you will need to use more of this product than one that contains retinol to get the same effect.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that is proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen, which is essential since your body's natural collagen production decreases as you age. Sun exposure will also accelerate the decrease in collagen. Studies have shown that vitamin C helps to minimize fine lines, scars, and wrinkles.
It is important to be choosy when selecting a vitamin C product. Vitamin C in its most commonly found forms is highly unstable when exposed to oxygen, making it useless. Also, many topical vitamin C preparations do not penetrate the skin enough to make a difference.
If you are considering using a topical vitamin C preparation, ask your dermatologist which product will be the most effective for you.

Hyaluronic Acid
Skin care products containing this substance are often used in conjunction with vitamin C products to assist in effective penetration. Hyaluronic acid (also known as a glycosaminoglycan) is often touted for its ability to "reverse" or stop aging. In news reports, you might have heard of hyaluronic acid as the "key to the fountain of youth." This is because the substance occurs naturally (and quite abundantly) in humans and animals, and is found in young skin, other tissues. and joint fluid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the body's connective tissues, and is known to cushion and lubricate. As you age, however, the forces of nature destroy hyaluronic acid. Diet and smoking can also affect your body's level of hyaluronic acid over time. Skin care products with hyaluronic acid are most frequently used to treat wrinkled skin.

Copper Peptide
Copper peptide is often referred to as the most effective skin regeneration product, even though it's only been on the market since 1997. Here's why: Studies have shown that copper peptide promotes collagen and elastin production, and also acts as an antioxidant. It also promotes production of glycosaminoglycans (think hyaluronic acid, as an example). Studies have also shown that copper-dependent enzymes increase the benefits of the body's natural tissue building processes. The substance helps to firm, smooth, and soften skin, doing it in less time than most other anti-aging skin care products. Clinical studies have found that copper peptides also remove damaged collagen and elastin from the skin and scar tissue because they activate the skin's system responsible for those functions.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
You may have heard of alpha-lipoic acid as "the miracle in a jar" for its anti-aging effects. It's a newer, ultra-potent antioxidant that helps fight future skin damage and helps repair past damage. Alpha-lipoic acid has been referred to as a "universal antioxidant" because it's soluble in both water and oil, which permits its entrance to all parts of the cell. Due to this quality, it is believed that alpha-lipoic acid can provide the greatest protection against damaging free radicals when compared with other antioxidants. Alpha-lipoic acid diminishes fine lines, gives skin a healthy glow and boosts levels of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C.

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)
If you've heard of fish referred to as brain food, you can thank DMAE. This substance is naturally produced in the brain, but DMAE is also present in anchovies, salmon and sardines, boasting the production of acetylcholine, which is important for proper mental functions. DMAE in skin care products shows remarkable effects when applied topically to skin, resulting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Thanx for sharing(:
post #16 of 16

Re: Glycolic Acid, AHA, BHA, PHA, HUH?

Not sure if this will add anything extra to what has been said? When glycolic acid first became popular I was just starting to market a couple of products for hair and skin. As luck would have it I had been introduced to an extraordinary chemist who would take the time to work with me and teach me. That was about twenty years ago. She has since retired. Great for her, sad for me! I had written an article which you can read on my web site. It was published a few times over the years. Nothing too technical. Not sure how to add a link? (thank goodness I'm a better hairdresser and makeup artist then computer person)! if anyone is interested, you can read it on my site. The article is found under helpful articles to the right of the home page. It's the second one. The site link is on my profile. ricks-hairandmakeup.info Enjoy. Rick
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