This week’s skincare Q&A was put to us by one of our lovely Instagram followers, who asked whether combination skin can use an AHA / BHA Toner.
It’s a great question, especially because combination skin is characterised by different parts of the face having different skin concerns (often an oily T-Zone and dry cheeks).
Today, we’re running through the best acids for combination skin, including products that combine multiple acids.
AHAs address the skin’s surface only, making them a great choice to take care of wrinkles and flaky dry skin. It also makes them a good choice for combination skin. The key acids to look out for include:
Glycolic acid is a natural AHA and chemical exfoliant with proven results for different skin types, including combination skin. Glycolic acid also has a lot of research behind it.
Malic acid is another type of AHA that can work well for combination skin types. Often found in fruits, such as apples and pears, malic acid serves as a gentle exfoliant that also adds hydration back into the skin. Additionally, it can help with hyper pigmentation.
Lactic Acids are a less aggressive types of AHA than glyolic acid – they have bigger molecules so they penetrate the skin slower. Lactic acid works by breaking down and dissolving the structure of dead skin cells. Lactic acids stimulate the exfoliation of skin cells by interfering with the bond that hold the cells together, causing them to become loosened and fall away.
BHAs work at the surface of the skin and within the pores to help “degunk” the skin. They get rid of excess dry skin cells and also leave skin hydrated. Among their other benefits, BHAs exfoliate skin, reduce redness, stimulate collagen production and provide a mild anti-bacterial function.
Products that combine acids, particularly AHAs and BHAs, are ideal for combination skin, as they target both the skin’s outer layer (to take care of flaky skin) and the deeper layers (to get rid of deep-set dirt, oil and sebum). Our top picks for combination skin are:
PACKage I Love Myself Makeup Boosting Mask – this face mask contains an AHA BHA Complex (with salicylic acid + citric acid + glycolic acid + lactic acid + malic acid + tartaric acid), offering mild exfoliation benefits to remove dead skin while also hydrating.
Mizon AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner – This skin-balancing toner resets the skin to its correct pH level after cleansing to aid absorption of any active ingredients in the skincare products you use next.
Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner – This hydrating toner is packed with beneficial aloe and salicylic acid. Instead of purified water, it uses Aloe BHA leaf water with BHA and snail secretion filtrate to help prevent skin damage from irritants and stress.
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner – this is an exfoliating toner that eliminates dead skin cells, working to prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads before they cause problems. Infused with natural acne-fighting acids, it controls excess oil and sebum while nourishing and hydrating skin.
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