What are AHAs, BHAs and PHAs?

by HIKOCO New Zealand

Hi Beauties! Today I am going to introduce to you guys about three very important ingredient which will help your skin smooth and clean. These are AHAs, BHAs and PHAs! These three ingredients stand for Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids and Poly Hydroxy Acids, respectively and are commonly used for exfoliation.


AHAs are naturally derived from milk and fruit extracts. AHA would be more suited for drier or mature skin because the molecules in AHAs act as a humectant attracting water. They work best for fine lines and light pigmentation issues as they break down the top layer that holds dead skin cells together, smoothing and refining the outer most layer of skin. However you will need to be extra through with your daily SPF application to ensure skin is fully protected while using products with AHA. This is because AHAs can temporarily thin the top layer of skin.


BHAs are commonly a form of salicylic acid and these are naturally derived from Willow Bark Trees. BHAs are well-known as an acne treatment, but it can also help calm down general redness and inflammation. BHAs are oil-soluble and unlike AHAs, BHAs work at a deeper level on the skin, getting into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum. Even though BHAs don’t make your skin as sensitive to the sun as AHAs, it is advised that you still use SPF products every day to prevent further damage from the sun.


PHAs act as chemical exfoliants. Similar to the AHAs, PHAs are humectants and work by exfoliating dead skin cells on the surface which results in a more even skin tone and texture. PHAs are also rich in antioxidants and stimulate epidermal growth and repair. PHAs are ideal for all skin types and are especially good if you have sensitive skin which cannot tolerate AHAs or BHAs. This is because PHAs have a larger molecular structure which penetrates the skin at a slower rate.


Some products to recommend from HIKOCO with AHAs, BHAs and PHAs…



This anti-acne toner contains all three of the ingredients explained. It works as an effective exfoliator to leave the skin clearer, smoother and more radiant than before. It helps to repair damaged skin to healthy skin. It is ideal for all skin types. The toner has a pH of 5.5 which is slightly acidic. This pH calms the alkalized skin after cleansing and improves the pH balance of the skin to prevent trouble and maintain healthy skin. It can be used day and night. After cleansing, apply the toner onto your face using cotton pads. 



This product soothes the skin and helps smooth the texture of your skin. The AHA,BHA and PHA gently clean up dead skin and waste materials accumulated on the skin and helps balance the regeneration cycle of the skin maintaining a bright and healthy skin. It is ideal for all skin types. It can be applied day and night. Apply this product at the serum or essence stage of your skin care routine, take 3-4 drops and gently massage and spread over your face.

*Note: avoid using Vitamin C product with these products, as AHA BHA & PHA can reduce the effects of Vit C.


The three ingredients work well together and are very helpful to result in a healthier skin. Because the products I recommended contain all three ingredients AHA, BHA and PHA and are ideal for all skin types. If you are have not found the right products to help with skin problems or to have a smoother healthier skin it would be highly recommended to have a go using products with AHA, BHA and PHA 👍


Written By. Seung Yun Lee

Title Photo 📸 http://major-b.com

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