Alpha Hydroxy Acid vs Beta Hydroxy Acid

Alpha Hydroxy Acid vs Beta Hydroxy Acid: What’s the Difference and Which is Better?

If you’re just starting to look into your skincare routine more thoroughly and you’re unsure what the difference is between AHA and BHA, you’re not alone! 

These are two common ingredients you’ll notice on skincare product labels, but many people are still unaware of what they each do, what skin type they’re best for, and how to pick the one that’s right for you. 

Luckily for you, we’re here to break down the major differences so you can make smart skincare choices that leave your skin healthy and glowing. Throughout this guide, we will compare alpha hydroxy acid vs beta hydroxy acid to help you understand the main differences between them, and which might be best for your skin needs.

What’s the Difference Between Alpha Hydroxy Acid vs Beta Hydroxy Acid?

Let’s dive right into our comparison of alpha hydroxy acid vs beta hydroxy acid by taking a deeper look at each of these compounds in more detail. 

What is Alpha Hydroxy Acid?

Alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs, are a group of water-soluble acids that are naturally found in food products like sugarcane, milk, and citrus fruits. These include acids like lactic acid or glycolic acid. 

AHAs are used to exfoliate the skin chemically by breaking down the bonds between skin cells so it’s easy to slough off old cells and reveal a brighter, smoother complexion. 

What is Beta Hydroxy Acid?

Beta hydroxy acids, BHAs, are a type of exfoliating acid commonly used in skincare products to clean out the pores. It can occur naturally, like through plants, though much of the cosmetics today contain BHAs that were created in a lab. 

BHAs are useful for more advanced skin issues like bumpy or rough texture, acne, dermatitis, and more. You may recognize some of the popular BHAs used in skincare products like salicylic acid or tropic acid. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acid vs Beta Hydroxy Acid: Which is Better For Your Skincare Routine?

Now we can do a side-by-side comparison of beta hydroxy acid vs alpha hydroxy acid so you can determine which is the better match for your skin needs. 


For starters, AHAs are water-soluble acids, while BHAs are oil-soluble. In other words, AHAs are effective on the skin’s surface, as are BHAs. But, BHAs can penetrate deeper through the skin’s oils into the pores. 


Both AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants that help slough off dead skin cells from the surface. Again, AHAs work more on the skin’s surface to promote a brighter complexion, and BHAs work to exfoliate inside of the pores to clear them of oil and other buildup. 

Skin Type 

Knowing what your unique skin type is will help you decide whether to use alpha hydroxy vs beta hydroxy acid. AHAs are more widely applicable to people with normal or combination skin types. On the other hand, BHAs are more useful for people with oily or acne-prone skin. 

So, depending on where your skin falls into these two categories, you’ll likely opt for one of these skincare ingredients over the other. 

Skin Concern

Along with your skin type, the skin concerns or issues you’re dealing with will likely steer you towards using BHAs or AHAs. If you are more concerned with common issues like anti-aging, irregular texture, and a dull complexion, then products containing AHAs are likely the better choice for you. 

But, if you’re someone who is dealing with pesky acne breakouts or blackheads, you’ll probably want to use BHAs that will help you effectively clear out your pores. 

Sensitivity and Irritation

Another thing you might want to consider when comparing alpha hydroxy acid vs beta hydroxy acid is to see which is better for sensitive skin. If you’re someone who has sensitive skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or acne, you don’t want to use products that will cause further irritation and damage. 

Both AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants, so using them each in the proper dosage is essential to avoiding unwanted irritation. AHAs are often stronger and more prone to causing irritation. However, with proper use, this should be avoided. 

Effectiveness Over Time

Many people will also want to compare alpha hydroxy vs beta hydroxy acid when it comes to how effective they are at transforming their skin over time. In other words, you probably want to know how soon you can see results, and whether these improvements will last. 

You’ll be happy to learn that with AHAs, you’ll start to notice results almost immediately. Once you start using it, you will quickly start to see a clearer, more smooth complexion that is brighter and with fewer fine lines. 

BHAs don’t work as immediately, and you’ll likely notice a gradual improvement in your skin with regular use over time. 

Compatibility With Other Products

The last important comparison between beta hydroxy acid vs alpha hydroxy acid is their compatibility with other skincare products. 

Since AHAs are so strong and effective, you don’t typically need to use them alongside other strong products like retinol or other types of exfoliants–and doing so may even cause unwanted irritation and sensitivity. But, pairing your products containing AHAs with moisturizers is a great idea to help boost hydration and let the product sink deep into your skin. 

BHAs work more on the pores, which means you can still pair these products with other types of exfoliants or acne-fighting products without too much issue. 

So, Which is Better: Alpha vs Beta Hydroxy Acid?

In the debate of alpha hydroxy acid vs beta hydroxy acid, is there one that comes out as the best compound for skincare use? Both are widely used in skincare products today, and each provides its own unique set of benefits that different people will be drawn to. 

There isn’t necessarily one type of acid that’s better than the other. But, AHAs do tend to be more useful for the majority of people that are looking to improve their skin texture and appearance while fighting signs of aging. In general, you’re typically looking for products containing BHAs if you need pore-fighting products to treat your acne–which not everyone will need. 

You’ll need to consider your own unique skin type and concerns that you’re trying to address, but make sure to consider the above points while making your decision. As always, if you have additional questions or concerns related to your skincare regimen, it can be a good idea to consult with a skin professional like a dermatologist or an aesthetician to get personalized recommendations. 

Add AHA to Your Skincare Routine With Our Goat Milk Soap!

When you’re ready to get more AHAs introduced into your skincare routine, look no further than the soaps we have available at our storefront. Goat milk is naturally full of lactic acid, one of the most popular AHAs used in skincare products, so goat milk soap can be the missing link to your skincare regimen that you didn’t even know you needed!

Benefits of Using Our AHA-Rich Goat Milk Soap

We are known for having the best goat milk soap, which is naturally rich in AHAs to exfoliate the skin’s surface and leave it looking supple and youthful, while still providing nourishing hydration that other skincare products lack. 

So, no matter what type of skin or concerns you have, you will find many benefits of goat milk soap from our storefront. While other products containing AHAs can dry out the skin if you’re not careful, goat milk soap contains a natural amount of alpha hydroxy acids so you don’t have to worry about causing unwanted damage to your skin with frequent use. You can even use our goat milk soap for eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and other serious skin conditions–it’s that effective.

More specifically, the lactic acid that’s present in our products means you can use it for goat milk soap skin lightening to brighten your complexion and target pesky issues like discoloration, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and more. Our soap will work as a gentle exfoliant to clear away the dead skin cells that are giving you a dull appearance, and help you reveal a softer, smoother complexion underneath. 

How to Use Goat Milk Soap in Your Routine

It’s easy to start using goat milk soap in your daily skincare routine. Because it’s a naturally gentle product, you don’t have to worry about easing in your use of the product or accidentally drying out your skin. 

Simply use the product as you would any other soap in your daily skincare routine. Morning or night, you can rub the bar of goat milk soap between your hands under running water to create a generous lather. Apply the lather to your face, and massage it in for a good 10-15 seconds. Then, you can simply rinse it off and you’re good to go–it’s that easy!

As we mentioned above, you will likely start to notice an improvement in your complexion after just a few uses. So, you don’t have to wait any longer for good skin when you start using goat milk soap today. 

Combining AHAs with Other Skincare Products

It’s true you can use goat milk soap for rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and other sensitive skin issues. But, pairing it with other helpful skincare products like heavy creams and moisturizers will provide you with the best results for luscious, supple skin that glows. 

This is true for goat milk soap or any other skincare product you use that contains AHAs. Since these compounds are so effective and strong, it’s important to not skip out on moisturizing so you can be left with dreamy, youthful skin. 

Bringing Our Comparison of Alpha vs Beta Hydroxy Acid to a Close

At this point, you should now have a clearer understanding of alpha hydroxy acid vs beta hydroxy acid, and who they’re each best for. BHAs are more for clearing out pores and treating more severe skin conditions, but AHAs are more widely beneficial for anti-aging and skin brightening purposes. 

Getting your AHAs in through natural sources like goat milk soap will provide you with even more benefits, as the ingredients in goat milk soap work to exfoliate the skin with lactic acid, but also provide deep hydration through the natural fats present in the formulation. 

So if you’ve been curious about making the switch to natural soap and wondered what is goat milk soap good for, you can add it as a natural source for skin-loving AHAs to the list of reasons to do so! Even comparing goat milk soap vs coconut milk soap or donkey milk soap vs goat milk soap, goat milk soap always comes out on top for its incredible versatility and benefits it can provide you from head to toe. 

Visit our storefront today to take home a bar of our goat milk soap to get the softer, more youthful-looking skin you’ve been craving!

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