We’re always on the hunt for the latest must-have ingredients for our skincare routine. Lipohodroxy acid – commonly known as LHA – is one ingredient that everyone is talking about. While you’ve likely heard of AHAs and BHAs, LHA might have slipped under your radar. As a gentle exfoliator, it has something to offer almost every skin type.
This article takes an in-depth look at lipohodroxy acid, covering everything that you need to know about the ingredient and how it differs from other popular ingredients in skin care products.
What is lipohodroxy acid?
Lipohodroxy acid is the latest must-have acid for your skincare routine. It’s derived from salicylic acid, a BHA, and is a gentle alternative to other chemical exfoliators that aren’t suitable for acne-prone or sensitive skin types.
What makes lipohodroxy acid different from BHAs is that it has a higher molecular weight and increased lipophilic properties, making it more hydrating for your skin. If you want to incorporate a gentle exfoliant into your skincare routine, LHA is the ingredient you’ve been waiting for.
Differences between AHA, BHA, LHA, and PHA
With so many different acronyms, it’s easy to get confused between different exfoliating and cleansing ingredients. While they have similar properties, they are not one-size-fits-all ingredients, with certain acids better suited for specific skin types.
AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. They’re ideal for those with dry or rough skin as it’s a water-soluble exfoliator. It’s ideal for anti-aging treatments but also makes your skin more sensitive to UV radiation.
BHAs are what LHA is derived from. They’re typically used for oily skin types and are fat soluble ingredients that work to penetrate your skin in a deeper way than AHAs, helping to unclog your pores and tackle excess sebum production. Salicylic acid – from which LHA is derived – helps to protect the skin from UV radiation.
Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHAs)
PHA include lactobionic acid and gluconolactone. It’s ideal for sensitive skin, including for those with conditions like eczema and rosacea due to their larger molecular structure. As it penetrates the skin slower, PHAs help to boost your skin’s moisture, while gently exfoliating. Compared to AHAs, PHAs can help to tackle sun-damage skin and does not make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation.
What makes LHA different from these other chemical exfoliants is that it is a gentle cleanser which is suitable for both sensitive and acne-prone skin due to its higher molecular weight and lipophilic properties.
What does LHA do for your skin?
Lipohodroxy acid is a multi-tasking ingredient that works to rejuvenate, repair, and renew your skin. It works primarily as a gentle exfoliator, while also acting as an acne treatment. Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties, LHA can tackle breakouts without causing irritation to sensitive skin.
LHA is also comedolytic, meaning that it works to prevent blemishes by removing excess oil from your pores. It helps to target your skin’s sebum-rich glands to tackle future acne breakouts.
As a chemical exfoliant, LHA also works to soften your skin’s surface to achieve smoother skin by removing impurities and dead skin cells. As a result, it can help to tackle everything from dullness to dryness and flaky skin. If you’re trying to achieve a healthy glow, LHA could be the secret ingredient that you’re looking for.
Can you mix LHA with other exfoliating acids?
One of the benefits of LHA is that you can mix it with other exfoliating acids. As it’s a gentle exfoliator, it can remove dead skin cells to help boost the efficacy of other exfoliating acids. You can use LHA as the first cleansing step in your routine, before following it up with other exfoliating acids.
What skin types are LHA suitable for?
As a gentle exfoliant, LHA is ideal for those with a sensitive skin type or whose skin doesn’t agree with harsher chemical exfoliants. As it has a larger molecular structure, it doesn’t penetrate as deeply into your skin. It’s an ideal alternative to salicylic acid and perfect for those with acne-prone and sensitive skin, making it a gamechanger for your skincare routine.
Although it’s suitable for all skin types, it’s best to gradually introduce LHA into your skincare routine. Start with a lower concentration and gradually work your way up as your skin adjusts to the ingredient. If you have sensitive skin, you want to avoid over exfoliating your skin, which can lead to irritation and redness.