AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (Beta hydroxy acids)

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (Beta hydroxy acids)

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (Beta hydroxy acids)

The ingredients of AHAs & BHAs and their sources
Glycolic acid: sugarcane
Latic acid: milk, fruit
Malic acid: apple
Tartaric acid: grape
Hydroxy caprylic acid: hops
Citric acid: fruit
BHAs (lipid-soluble)
Salicylic acid: plants

AHAs are water-soluble and can only penetrate the outer stratum corneum. The higher concentrations are used to induce an acid peeling effect. They are effective to stimulate keratinocyte growth. For medical treatment, the concentration is higher than 20%, even more than 50%.
The main function of AHAs is to modify the barrier function of the skin. There are the functions of some ingredients. 
Glycolic acid can stimulates the production of collagen. Epidermal and dermal remodeling of the extracellular matrix can result from high concentrations. However, longer treatment intervals may result in collagen deposition. These effects seem related to the concentration and low pH.
Lactic acid could enhance the natural moisturizing factors and is much kinder to skin than glycolic acid
Lactic acid does have effects on the metabolism of the cell, and even when supplied as lactates at a higher pH, they can still induce changes to skin by improving hydration.
AHA and Vitamin C they interact on the adhesion of the corneocytes and increase the penetration into the deeper layers of the skin. An important concern about AHAs is that they may sensitize skin to UV damage. It is too aggressive for people with sensitive skin. If the right dose is being used, it will get more vitamin C into the cells.

BHAs may be more effective because they are lipid-soluble and can penetrate the stratum Corneum. They also have the benefit of being more effective at lower doses. The absorption of BHA is around 6-12 hrs which is slower than AHA.

Both AHA and BHA have effects on desmosomes and promote desquamation.

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