BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (2023)

Not sure what facial acids can do for your skin? Read on for a comprehensive guide for anyone just beginning their skincare journey looking to incorporate acids like salicylic, glycolic, and retinol!

Teresa Grosse, ourYou Trip Ambassador, shares her favorite facial acids for all skin concerns and problems. To connectAvenue of Beauty YouTripon Telegram for more tips and guides like this one.

Don't be put off by the scientific-sounding names, acids are very easy to understand and use once you understand their uses and benefits. Who knew that basic chemistry in school would come in handy here?

What are BHAs, AHAs and Retinols?

BHAThey are beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid that exfoliate and penetrate deep into the skin. They can be used asturner, peelings or masks and are very versatile.

AHAthey are alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid and lactic acid that act on the surface of the skin. AHAs usually come in the form ofturner, serums or even chemical peels and are usually derived from plant sources such as sugar cane (glycolic acid) or papaya (citric acid).

retinoide(general term ofretinol products) are derived from vitamin A and can be in serum, cream, or acid form. It is a powerful ingredient and can initially cause flaking or flaking before your skin adjusts to it, so be sure to monitor your skin reaction!

Difference between BHA, AHA and Retinol

Active ingredients can be a confusing addition to your skincare routine when you think about all the oft-mentioned pros and cons: never use A and B at the same time,always use sunscreenAfter that, use it every other day only. We're here to help him so he can confidently say once and for all that he knows exactly what he's asking for!

Benefits• Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for fighting acne and blackheads.• Ideal for exfoliating the skin's surface and retaining moisture.

• Also helps sun damaged skin by increasing hydration and collagen production.

• Powerful anti-aging product, as it stimulates cell renewal, prevents wrinkles and reduces spots.

• Helps with acne (for products with a higher concentration of retinol,Better ask a dermatologist.)

better for• Oily skin as it is oil soluble.

• Acne-prone skin because it helps to unclog pores and exfoliate the skin.

• More suitable for dry and sensitive skin, since they are soluble in water• Aging skin or if you are 30 years old.

The best BHAs: salicylic acids

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Scrub 2% BHA

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (1)

Photo Credit: Paula's Choice

Because it's great:Salicylic acid is one of the most widely used BHAs for a reason! This cult product is known for clearing up blemishes and minimizing the appearance of pores by removing debris.

For:acne or oily skin

Preis:Ab 15 $

to takePaulas Choice Singapore

(Video) How to Exfoliate Your Skin: A Guide

Sunday Riley U.F.O Aceite facial ultraclarificante

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Credits: Domingo Riley

Because it's great:This facial oil is a triple threat, with ingredients like tea tree to fight bacteria, chamomile to soothe redness, and cucumber to help maintain moisture levels. Use this several times a week for best results!

For:Acne-prone, oily or combination skin

Preis:About £34.00 (~$53.80)

to takeiconic beauty

Cosrx BHA Mitesser Power Liquid

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (3)

Credit: cosrx

Because it's great:One of the best exfoliators on the market, this iconic product uses a silicone-free gel base for ultra-gentle exfoliation. It also contains Niacinamide, the perfect ingredient to even out skin tone!

For:Normal to combination skin, pigmented or scarred skin

Preis:Ab 17,23 $ (~23,10 $)

to takegrass

The best AHAs: glycolic and lactic acids

Pixi Glow Toner

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (4)

Photo Credit: Pixie

Because it's great:Pixi Glow Tonic contains glycolic acid and is ideal for soft and smooth skin. It stimulates collagen production and contains ingredients like aloe vera and witch hazel, known for their calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

(Video) Anti-Aging Ingredient Series | Facial Oils | Do They Work?

For:Sensitive to normal skin types.

Preis:About £10.00 (~$15.80)

to takeiconic beauty

ordinaryPeeling Solution AHA 30% + BHA 2%

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (5)

Credit: The Ordinary

Because it's great:You may have seen this blood-red product all over TikTok, and there's a reason everyone loves it! Combining the benefits of AHA and BHA ingredients, this exfoliating solution is the secret to smooth baby skin.

For:All skin types (test on a small patch of skin first to make sure it's not too harsh for you).

Preis:Approximately £6.30 (~$10.00)

to takeiconic beauty

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (6)

Photo credit: Beauty and Berriesss

Because it's great:Herbivore is known for its all-natural ingredients, and this clarity mask isn't just popular for its beautiful teal hue! Botanical extracts like papaya, pineapple, and aloe vera help clear up blemishes and calm redness—and they smell great, too!

For:mottled skin

Preis:About £38.00 (~$60.20)

to takeiconic beauty

best retinol products

Domingo Riley Luna Retinol Sleep Oil

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (7)
(Video) Face Reality Skin Care | How to Create a Custom Acne Protocol

Credit: Humble and Rich

Because it's great:This sleeping oil is the perfect example of the power of retinol! Ingredients like avocado and chia oil are said to help with wrinkles and collagen synthesis, strengthen the skin and increase its radiance.

For:Aging or dry skin

Preis:About £45.00 (~$71.70)

to takeiconic beauty

INKEY List Retinol Sodium

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (8)

Credit: INKEY

Because it's great:The INKEY list is known for its affordable, hassle-free products, so this is a great start if you're trying a retinol serum for the first time! This serum contains squalane to combat the drying effects of retinol on the skin and a stronger 0.5% garnet retinoid to boost the skin's renewal process.

For:Aging skin or uneven skin tone

Preis:18 €

to takeIt looks incredible

Crema de Retinol A-Passioni™ Drunk Elephant

BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (9)

Photo credit: Ymor Beauty

Because it's great:This cream is packed with superfood-rich ingredients like marula and jojoba oils to boost skin's moisture levels and antioxidants like kale and winter cherry to protect skin from environmental aggressors.

For:Aged or sun damaged skin

Preis:Ab 40 $

(Video) An Esthetician’s Anti-Aging Morning Skincare Routine with Facial Massage | Skincare Expert

to takeSephora

How to Layer and Combine Different Face Acids

It is important to note that hydroxy acids increase sensitivity to the sunalways use sunscreenafter using any of these medicines. BHAs can also cause dryness, so use a good moisturizer after application to avoid flaking or itching!

For this reason, AHAs and BHAs work well together for normal and oily skin types, as AHAs help provide the extra moisture that BHAs need. However, dry skin types should stick to AHAs, as BHAs can further aggravate and dry out the skin.

As for the combination with retinol, it is best to use it at night, since some retinol products break down in sunlight. Alternatively, you can apply the retinol or BHA/AHA first and wait for it to absorb before applying the second product.

It is not recommended to use all three at the same time as it may be too much for your skin, but a combination of AHA + BHA, AHA + Retinol or BHA + Retinol will work just fine.

We hope you are all on your way to better skin after reading this article!

Save even more with YouTrip by paying for your favorite facial acidsAmerican dollarobritish poundfor maximum savings!

If you're not free yetYouTrip-KarteStill use promo code <BLOG5> to register and get S$5 free in your account. For more great tips and guides like these, check outJoin our Telegram community (@YouTripSquad)miSign up for our free weekly newsletter hereor below!

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*All prices quoted are accurate to the nearest dollar as of April 7, 2021 SGT 11:00 PM.

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BHAs vs AHAs vs Retinol: The Definitive Guide to Understanding Facial Acids - Blog - YouTrip EN (10)


Which is better retinol or AHA BHA? ›

But does retinol work better without AHA or BHA exfoliants? In short, no. Research has actually shown that retinol combined with exfoliants (like AHAs) helps to fade hyperpigmentation in skin, and improves the results you get from both ingredients.

Can I use retinol and AHA BHA together? ›

Using the hydroxyacids AHA and BHA with retinol

Using retinol and hydroxyacids such as alpha hydroxyacids (AHAs) and beta hydroxyacids (BHAs) together will increase the effectiveness and side effects of both skin care ingredients.

Is AHA or BHA better for aging skin? ›

If you're looking for an all-inclusive anti-aging treatment, then an AHA may be the best fit. A BHA may better suited if you want to calm down inflammation and get rid of acne.

Can I use AHA BHA in the morning and retinol at night? ›

Just take care to avoid using both ingredients at the same time of day, as this can easily lead to irritation. Instead, if your skin can handle both ingredients on the same day, you can try using an AHA in the morning and retinol at night, or vice versa.

Is retinol or AHA better for wrinkles? ›

If you want to prevent and address fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage, retinol is your best choice." In other words: the mechanisms of action or retinol and glycolic acid are distinct yet complementary.

Does AHA BHA reduce wrinkles? ›

The well-known benefits of AHA's include exfoliation, moisturization, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, collagen synthesis, firming and skin lightening.

Do I need to exfoliate if I use retinol? ›

Can you exfoliate and use retinol in your routine? The short answer is yes. Both a chemical exfoliant and retinol help to resurface the skin, fade dark spots, clear pores and soften fine lines and wrinkles. But they don't always play nice together.

What not to mix with retinol? ›

Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol.

What should you not pair with AHA BHA? ›

Some of the main skincare ingredients you should not apply to the skin after using AHA and BHA are the following.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Retinol.
  • Benzoyl peroxide.
  • Physical exfoliating scrubs.
Dec 29, 2021

Which acid is best for anti-aging? ›

Glycolic acid is the most popular alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) used in skin care. It comes from sugar cane, and is the smallest AHA, so it's the most effective at getting into the skin. Glycolic acid is a fantastic anti-aging agent that seems to do it all.

Is retinol or hyaluronic acid better for older skin? ›

Ellen Marmur, founder of MMSkincare, “if you are looking for a hydration boost and anti-inflammatory, then hyaluronic acid is the right choice. If you are looking to combat wrinkles and aging, then retinol is the better choice.”

Does BHA age your skin? ›

Beta-hydroxy acids, or BHAs, are ingredients that are intended to reduce the signs of aging in the skin.

Do I need to wash retinol off in the morning? ›

At night we might be using night creams that contain actives such as retinol which are not recommended to be used in the morning so it is essential to wash your face in the morning to remove those residual creams/serum.

Should you use retinol every night? ›

Use retinol once or twice a week at first to see how your skin reacts, and gradually work up to every other day or three times a week. Another key tip for using retinol is to incorporate it into your nighttime skincare routine only, as it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Should you put moisturizer on after retinol? ›

Regardless of your skin type or which product you use first, a layer of moisturizer should always be applied after retinoids.

What is better for wrinkles collagen or hyaluronic acid? ›

Both chemicals are critical to keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful, but they work in different ways. For example, hyaluronic acid helps to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. In contrast, collagen helps to rebuild and strengthen the skin's connective tissues from within.

What is better for Crepey skin retinol or collagen? ›

Using retinol will give you better results than using just collagen products alone. Because retinol is the product that brings collagen back to life using retinol is always going to be more powerful and more beneficial to your skin.

What is better than retinol for wrinkles? ›

Also known as retinoic acid, tretinoin is about 20 times more potent than retinol. It's stronger because retinoic acid is a form of vitamin A that acts directly on the skin to boost cell renewal, turnover, and DNA damage repair.

How do Koreans avoid wrinkles? ›

A dermatologist in Seoul once told me off the record that they don't have any wrinkle-targeting products in their skin-care routine because they don't believe in them. Instead, they trust in the power of SPF and in-office treatments to keep skin bright and smooth.

Does BHA increase collagen? ›

Both AHAs (amongst which glycolic acid) and BHA (salicylic acid) help to reduce wrinkles. They stimulate the production of collagen and strengthen the skin. The products' specific properties will determine the best choice for you.

Does AHA increase collagen? ›

This can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. AHAs help to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing fresh new cells underneath. With long-term use, AHAs may also increase collagen and elastin in the skin.

Should you put retinol all over your face? ›

Apply retinol in a thin layer to your entire face (be careful not to get it in your mouth, nose and eyes). You should use a dose that's about the size of a pea. For the first couple weeks of treatment, apply retinol only every other day. Finish with a facial moisturizer that won't clog your pores (non-comedogenic).

Can you put retinol on unwashed face? ›

Always do a gentle cleanse

Above all, you want to ensure the skin is properly cleansed before even thinking about using retinol. New York City-based dermatologist Shari Marchbein stresses that washing your face with a gentle cleanser, first, is key.

What exfoliator to use with retinol? ›

Instead, use a product with AHAs in the morning and retinol at night. AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, are great chemical exfoliants and are often less abrasive than physical exfoliating scrubs.

What skin type should not use retinol? ›

Those with sensitive or easily irritated skin should approach retinol use with caution,” Panzica says. First-time retinol users have reported irritation, including redness, dryness, and peeling.

Who should avoid retinol? ›

Retinoids, including retinol, aren't recommended if you're pregnant or nursing. You'll also want to proceed with caution if you have: sensitive or dry skin. rosacea.

What happens when you stop using retinol? ›

Many studies show that retinoids improve acne and wrinkles- but what happens to the skin when you stop using retinol? The short answer is- you will get a short-term benefit after stopping retinol but eventually your skin will return back to baseline (how it was before you began retinol).

What happens if you use AHA BHA everyday? ›

Using too many AHAs, BHAs, and chemicals at once can cause irritation. In turn, this can make wrinkles, acne, and other skin concerns more noticeable.

What serums don t go together? ›

Here are scenarios where extra caution is in order:
  • Retinoid or Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid. ...
  • Retinoid or Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide. ...
  • Retinoid or Retinol and Vitamin C. ...
  • Retinoid or Retinol and Salicylic Acid. ...
  • Soap-Based Cleanser and Vitamin C. ...
  • Two Products With the Same Actives.
Jan 22, 2020

Can I use vitamin C serum and AHA BHA together? ›

Alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy and Vitamin C are all acidic ingredients. Therefore, when you layer AHA/BHA with Vitamin C, you will experience irritation on your skin. What you could instead do is use Vitamin C in the morning and AHA/BHA in the night or alternate between AHA/BHA and Vitamin C every night.

What acid is best for sagging skin? ›

If you want to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and tighten saggy skin, glycolic acid is a superhero in doing just that. Glycolic acid works as an antiaging product by regenerating collagen production.

What Vitamin slows down skin aging? ›

The intake of natural vitamin E products helps against collagen cross linking and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to aging of the skin.

What vitamin helps Crepey skin? ›

To try and reduce the chances of developing crepey skin, it is essential to include the following in a balanced diet:
  • antioxidants such as carotenoids, tocophenols, and flavonoids.
  • vitamins A, C, D, and E.
  • omega-3 fatty acids.

Will retinol help 60 year old skin? ›

Because retinoids help your skin make more collagen, they soften wrinkles and fine lines. They also stimulate new blood vessels, which can give your skin a rosy color. Retinoids also help fade age spots and smooth rough patches. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is a popular prescription choice for aging skin.

Should a 60 year old woman use retinol? ›

While retinol (or vitamin A) usage is encouraged by experts from your 30s onwards, if you want skin to appear more youthful, it's an absolute must in your 60s. With the post-menopausal reduction in DHEA, our skin sees a drastic reduction in collagen production and elastin, causing it to lose laxity and volume.

Is it too late to start using retinol in your 60s? ›

The good news is that it is never too late to start incorporating retinol into your skin care routine. People in the 60s and beyond have begun using retinol and still experienced results.

Do BHAs help with wrinkles? ›

Although BHAs (like AHAs) have benefits for all skin types (hydrating, making fine lines and wrinkles less visible and improving firmness, skin tone and texture), they are particularly suitable for people with normal to oily skin, congested or enlarged pores, acne-prone skin and signs of skin ageing.

What acid prevents wrinkles? ›

Hydroxy acids.

Using an AHA product regularly prepares your skin to better absorb other products and stimulates the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin. AHAs , beta hydroxyl acids and a newer form called polyhydroxy acids have also been shown to be effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Does BHA fade dark spots? ›

BHA (salicylic acid) or AHA (glycolic acid) are exfoliants that often work in tandem with hydroquinone for the pigmentation-fading effect to be more apparent. BHA and AHA remove old skin cells to make room for new ones, offering a rejuvenating effect and lightening brown spots in the process.

What happens if you start using retinol everyday? ›

So if you start using retinol every day out of the gate, you can end up with some painful inflammation and a damaged skin barrier, negating any potential positives. One way to avoid that irritation is to start slow, explains Ranella Hirsch, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Boston.

How long do you leave retinol on before moisturizer? ›

Retinol (leave to absorb for 10-20 minutes)

“It is important to leave a 10-20 minute wait time before applying the next product. Retinols are powerful antioxidants and it is important to allow it to fully absorb if you want to avoid your skin becoming sensitive,” says Dr Liakas.

When should I stop using retinol? ›

Discontinue use if you have negative side effects after a few weeks of use and contact your physician to help reassess your skin type and find a solution that will protect your skin barrier . Consider using moisturizing and soothing topical skin care products with retinol to counteract its negative side effects.

Can I use retinol under my eyes? ›

Should you use retinol under your eyes? Yes, definitely. While it is true that retinol – a form of vitamin A – is a powerful ingredient and the skin under your eyes is delicate, there's no reason why you should miss out on the amazing benefits of retinol.

Why is retinol giving me more wrinkles? ›

First, the answer is yes, retinol can make wrinkles worse, especially when you first start using it. What is happening is a drying effect, and one can get epidermal sliding from separation from the dermis.

Can retinol make you look older? ›

This will make your skin look older and accentuate wrinkles” — which is probably not what you're going for when you start using the stuff. And there's no question that retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.

How do you know if retinol is working? ›

You CAN see results in a few days, but you MIGHT NOT see results until after a few months of use.
  • If you see improvement early on in treatment, it might not just be in your head.
  • Improvements can take a while to see with retinoids, so stick with it for a few months before giving up.
Mar 20, 2020

Should I moisturize first before retinol? ›

You should always apply retinol at night, after cleansing, and before your nighttime moisturizer. Five minutes is enough to wait for your retinol to sink in before applying moisturizer; you want to layer them, not mix them.

What is the sandwich method for retinol? ›

What is a retinol sandwich? “To sandwich the retinol with moisturizer before and after application to prevent potential irritation is a great tip,” says Weiss. “The moisturizer before acts as a barrier to combat any irritation from the retinol and moisturizing after helps seal the moisture in.”

Can I use BHA instead of retinol? ›

Our Skin Health Experts all agree that a BHA like salicylic acid and natural vitamin retinol can be used in the same skincare routine, but you must apply them correctly.

Which is more effective retinol or salicylic acid? ›

Retinol helps reduce visible skin aging while Salicylic Acid clears up breakouts, but using them at the same time can cause irritation.

Is AHA same as retinol? ›

Is AHA the same as retinol? No AHA and retinol are not the same. This confusion may be a result of the misconception that retinol exfoliants the skin, when in fact, it increases the skin cell turn over cycle resulting in new skin cells making their way to the surface quicker.

What not to pair with retinol? ›

Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol.

What should you not do with BHAs? ›

Some of the main skincare ingredients you should not apply to the skin after using AHA and BHA are the following.
  1. Vitamin C.
  2. Retinol.
  3. Benzoyl peroxide.
  4. Physical exfoliating scrubs.
Dec 29, 2021

Is there anything better than retinol? ›

As of late, bakuchiol is undoubtedly the most popular ingredient to replace retinol in skincare routines. For one, it's plant-based, which automatically makes the decision to switch over feel like a responsible one.

Is there anything better than retinol for skin? ›

As Dr. King mentions, peptides make a great retinol alternative. Versions such as copper peptides, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, and hexapeptides increase skin elasticity and firmness, stimulate cell regeneration, and diminish creasing, respectively, making them extremely versatile when it comes to antiaging.

Which AHA is best for wrinkles? ›

Glycolic acid helps break up and exfoliate dead skin cells by loosening the cellar adhesion and your top layer of skin. Also, the use of glycolic acid proves to aid in the clearing of overkill of debris and excess oil. If you want to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, glycolic acid is a superhero in doing just that.

Can I use vitamin C with AHA and retinol? ›

If you're using retinol or vitamin C with a natural acid, try alternating them to avoid skin irritation. For example, try applying a BHA or AHA to your skin in the morning and applying a natural retinol serum or vitamin C in your nighttime routine to avoid skin sensitivity from sun exposure.

What age should you start using a retinol? ›

Begin in Your Mid 20s or Early 30s

"Your mid-twenties are a great time to start using retinol," says Ellen Marmur, M.D. "Many patients who have used it for years swear by it."


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