If you ever wondered about using acid-based skincare products as part of your skincare routine, you're probably familiar with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). Most skincare brands have at least a few products with these key ingredients. But what are they? How do they help our skin stay flawless? And what's the difference between the two?
Well, let's start by defining what AHAs and BHAs are. These types of acids are categorized as hydroxy acids. And hydroxy acids help remove dead skin cells through exfoliation which allows new skin cells to surface. Some hydroxy acids you might have heard of are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. We usually find these ingredients in skincare products (chemical peels) that are made to treat common skin conditions like acne. When these acids are topically applied, they smooth, tighten, firm, and brighten the skin.
The key benefits of both AHAs and BHAs are that they work as an exfoliant, provide moisture, and repair sun-damaged skin. The main difference between the two is that AHAs are water-soluble and BHAs are lipid or oil soluble.
Whether you choose to use alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids, here is how your skin can benefit from them and the products you should try.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids Do It All
According to Healthline, alpha hydroxy acids are primarily used for hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, fine lines, melasma, and uneven skin tone. Common alpha hydroxy acids include glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, and mandelic acid. Most AHAs are derived from a plant-based source like fruits, nuts, and sugar cane, but lactic acid is sourced from milk. This means it's much gentler on the skin and safe to use on sensitive skin.
You can add AHAs a few times a week to your morning skincare routine. See how your skin feels or reacts to it. And be sure to use moisturizer and sunscreen to prevent burns or irritation.
Beta Hydroxy Acids Are Your Acne Solution
Compared to alpha hydroxy acids, there is only one beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid, which it's derived from willow bark. Many over-the-counter facial cleansers contain salicylic acid as well because of its acne-fighting properties. In a Glamour article, dermatologist Robert Anolik, M.D. said, "BHA is lipophilic, so it's drawn to oils. That means it will not only exfoliate the top layer but also target the sebaceous glands down in the pores, clearing the clogs that create whiteheads and blackheads while also helping fade the pink marks that are left over from old outbreaks."
Salicylic acid can also correct dark spots without skin irritation because of its anti-inflammatory properties. BHAs can be used a few times a week too.
How To Use AHAs and BHAs
The beauty of AHAs and BHAs is that you can use them together. Try alternating each product by using one type in the morning and the other as part of your nighttime routine. You can use AHAs and BHAs on alternating days too. But never layer these two products together! Remember, these are acids that act as exfoliants—so they can cause dryness and irritation.
Make sure to use low concentrations because higher concentrations can irritate the skin. Anything with a concentration of 10% or less is what you want. If you're not sure, ask your esthetician or dermatologist how to incorporate these acids into your skincare routine.
Must-Try Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy Acid Products
Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acid-based products can be found at your favorite beauty stores like Ulta or Sephora. They can also be found at online skin stores like Amazon, Dermastore.com, or from your favorite skincare brands.
Here are a few trending AHA and BHA products you can try:
I swear by The Ordinary brand because it's high-end quality and affordable AF, but try whatever beauty brand you like. The skincare brands I use vary, but I do include a medical-grade salicylic acid and glycolic acid scrub in my skincare regime. It helps with my acne, and I definitely feel the difference in my skin texture after one wash.
Listen, AHAs and BHAs are the game-changers you need in your skincare routine.
So, get your glow on sis.
To get your beauty fix and to stay up to date with the latest trends, check out the xoNecole Beauty section here.
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Camille is a lover of all things skin, curls, music, justice, and wanderlust; oceans and islands are her thing. Her words inspire and her power is her voice. A California native with Trinidadian roots, she has penned personal essays, interviews, and lifestyle pieces for POPSUGAR, FEMI magazine, and SelfishBabe. Camille is currently creating a life she loves through words, self-love, fitness, travel, and empowerment. You can follow her on Instagram @cam_just_living or @written_by_cam.
This post is in partnership with BET+.
Kingdom Business is back for its second season, with even more sermons, songs, and serpents. The series picks up where it left off, with actress Serayah as Rbel caught between the stripper pole and the pulpit. With the first lady of the church working desperately against her, Rbel must find a way to live her dreams and honor her friend while figuring out her faith in the process.
Season one served a collection plate of rivalry, deceit, and revenge –– among many other tribulations. Between the 28-year-old’s acting, conviction, and harmonious voice, here are a few reasons why season two of Kingdom Business is a must-watch.
If the Spirit Doesn’t Move You, Serayah’s Singing Voice Will
Rbel, formally known as Rebecca Belle, is a stripper whose life forcibly takes a turn after suffering a tragedy. Through her quest to find the truth, Rbel finds herself at odds with the head of a local church, First Kingdom’s Denita Jordan, played by the legendary Yolanda Adams. Rbel unknowingly emerges as what a faithful Christian embodies: a perfectly imperfect human who works every day to try their best while leaning on God. Although struggling with her faith, each ballad sung by Rbel can be felt, as the lyrics relate to personal struggles we all endure in different ways. Gospel songs hit differently when your life is in shambles, and chile, Serayah is singing new life into folks.
Serayah is a Formidable Opponent to The Yolanda Adams
As one of the best-selling gospel artists of all time, it’s no easy task to take on the role of a person on the opposing side of greatness. Serayah’s Rbel does an excellent job meeting Jordan at her level while shining through her solos. Throughout season one, Rbel emerges as a top streaming artist, an accomplishment that begets something of a holy war.
Serayah’s Acting Range is Engaging
As a former stripper trying to make a name for herself in the gospel industry, you can imagine the struggles that could come with it. Rbel goes through a range of emotions, all understandable and relatable. Despite several crises of faith, Serayah ensures Rbel delivers a humbling performance that makes the audience root for her redemption.
The Kingdom Business Soundtrack is Everything
Streaming now on Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music, the Kingdom Business: Season 1 soundtrack is one you’d want to add to your playlist for high and low times. Aside from four soul-soothing songs from Serayah, the soundtrack also features singles from co-star/Hamilton’s Chaundre-Hall Broomfield, gospel artist Chandler Moore, and legend Yolanda Adams.
Serayah’s Rbel Makes You Root For Her
With First Kingdom beginning to crumble under the pressure of lies, infidelity, and deception, Rbel’s window to take that top spot seems wide open; however, the end of season one showed us the Spirit had other plans. Whether you believe or not, Serayah’s Rbel makes you want to see her win. Who doesn’t love a good underdog with a laid 22” bust down? Whether she seeks Him or not, God is proving to be on Rbel’s side. But is it enough to turn everything around for her? Will Rbel lean on faith or fear?
With secrets coming to light, success within reach, and the devastating conclusion of season one, you don’t want to miss season two––especially with more guest collaborations. Kingdom Business returns to BET+ on Nov 2.
BET+ Original | Kingdom Business | S2 Official Traileryoutu.be
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The fall and winter months are seasons that show a lot of promise. As the days gradually shorten and temperatures drop, it’s a time that offers space for fellowship and connection in spite of the noticeable gloominess. Still, it’s hard not to notice the profound impact that the lack of daylight can have on our daily routines, even down to our mood.
You know that feeling that comes as the weather and daylight shifts that makes you just want to hibernate until spring? Well, surprisingly enough, it’s quite natural to start feeling a bit down as the colder months roll in. The decrease in light exposure triggers changes in our biological clocks that can lead to disruptions in sleep patterns, affecting the production of mood-regulating hormones like serotonin and melatonin.
What Is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression also known as “seasonal depression or winter depression.” Those with SAD can see changes in their mood and symptoms that are similar to depression and tend to show symptoms during the fall and winter months due to the lack of sunlight.
“Individuals with SAD might experience more intense sadness and social withdrawal during periods of time in the fall and winter months,” Dr. Chanda Reynolds, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and host of the Paging Dr. Chanda podcast, tells xoNecole.
“Since other types of depression are a bit more pervasive, and the symptoms are more consistent across seasons, it's not as impacted by that seasonal piece, whereas SAD is.”
Recognizing the Common Symptoms of SAD
SAD is predictable in its nature as it typically arrives and departs with the changing seasons — from late fall to early spring. And while the signs of SAD run parallel to those of other types of depression, one tell-tale sign that you might be experiencing SAD is when the dip in your overall mood and mental health shifts.
“If you’re feeling sad more days than not, experiencing changes in your appetite and sleep patterns. Showing symptoms of fatigue — like always feeling exhausted no matter how much rest you get — or having a loss of interests and things that you once found pleasurable,” Dr. Chanda says. “These are all things that one might experience with major depressive disorder, but it's different if it’s more within those fall and winter months.”
Light Therapy for Managing SAD
“One of the things that causes SAD is the lack of light exposure,” Dr. Chanda states. “When we're out in the sun, we're able to absorb the rays from the sun that produce vitamin D, which produce different neurotransmitters in the body that induce happiness; we're then able to feel a steadiness in our mood and joy. But if that's not happening because we're not getting as much sunlight exposure, our mood is going to go down.”
Light therapy is a helpful treatment to alleviate the symptoms of SAD as it exposes you to a bright light that mimics natural sunlight. “You're exposing yourself to light so that you can receive more vitamin D,” she explains. “It's really important for Black people too. Since we're melanated individuals, Black people are less likely to have that vitamin D in our skin that allows us to produce the different neurotransmitters that are needed from the sun when we have exposure to sunlight.”
Boost Your Mood: Leaning on Community for SAD Relief
If you think you might be dealing with SAD, it’s important to take advantage of the sunlight that you do have in the day and lean on your community in order to beat the winter blues.
“That might mean taking a walk to go get your lunch during the day or waking up earlier and taking a walk outside," Dr. Chanda advises. “Whatever we need to do, take advantage of the sunlight that we have while we have it.”
“Letting others know about what you need can be so helpful and rewarding to the people around you. Because the fact of the matter is people are reluctant to share when they need support because they feel like other people don't care. But there are people around who care, there are people around who want to know how you're doing and what you're experiencing.”
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