Explaining AHA and BHA

You may have come across these before if you’ve ever tried to research ways to clear up your skin. AHA and BHA are chemical exfoliators (different to physical exfoliators like scrubs). If you have sensitive or acne prone skin you may have found that physical exfoliators just irritate and damage your skin and don’t actually help with your blemishes and blackheads. While they may sound a little daunting chemical exfoliators are actually more gentle for the skin.


AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid and works on the surface of the skin, smoothing it and helping to encourage cell regeneration, which can clean up the blemishes from your skin. Products like this Soap & Glory AHA Scrub Your Nose Into It (Boots, £9.00) are good non-Korean options. Do note though that non-Korean products tend to contain higher percentages of acids. When introducing your skin to these acids it’s best to do so slowly. I often dilute my products with a cleanser or even just water. Start by using them once a week and work your way up as your skin becomes more used to them. While this might sound a bit scary it really is better in the longer term (and to be honest the shorter too) than using physical exfoliators.


UB_SABHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid and the most common form you will see this in is probably salicylic acid. If you look at the ingredients list of gentle face cleansers increasingly salicylic acid is being used (like this Una Brennan cleansing wash, £5.33 [Boots]). BHA gets into your pores and so is great for clearing your skin of blackheads and whiteheads. Often blackhead pore strips only tackle the surface of the skin rather than what’s underneath so can’t fix the blackheads in the long term. Like with AHA it’s best to introduce your skin to this slowly. You may find you get breakouts at first as your skin purges itself but that’s completely normal.


As with most things there are a couple of rules with using these products. The first and probably most important is not to use this alongside strong acne medication. It will end up over-exfoliating and drying out the skin. If you are on acne medication and have a dermatologist you can talk to they may be able to suggest how to combine them but I wouldn’t recommend trying it otherwise.

CAHAThe second is not to use them together. You can get products that combine the two like this COSRX AHA/BHA toner (Yesstyle, £28.62). Just don’t try and combine them yourself using separate products because you might end up mixing two high concentrations or something similar.

You can use AHA and BHA with vitamin C but because of the pH that vitamin C works best at it’ll make vitamin C products less effective.




So that is all for AHA and BHA. If you have found that your skin won’t clear up no matter what you try, or that your usual products are just irritating your skin then do give AHA and BHA a try. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise.

Annabelle x

Korean Beauty Haul (Yesstyle)



So this is the post to accompany my YouTube video as promised. For those of you who prefer blog posts or just wanted to know a bit more about the products I hope you enjoy this post 🙂

COSRX_Toner_So my first product is the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (Yesstyle, £13.86). AHA is great for removing dead skin and fading acne scars. BHA (also called salicylic acid) gets into your pores and helps to get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. I’m hoping this will help with clearing up my skin and it’s had a lot of good reviews. COSRX products are designed for acne-prone (and thus sensitive) skin so they are free of major irritants like fragrance.




The second of my COSRX products is this Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (Yesstyle, £10.58). This cleanser is designed to work in tandem with COSRX’s AHA/BHA products and is, like the above toner, designed to be very gentle on the skin. It’s always good to be aware that ingredients in different products may not always go well together, especially if you follow a multi-step cleansing routine.




I also got a couple of innisfree products in this haul as they are one of my favourite brands and I always manage to find something I want from their products. This cute little product is the innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder in emoji #1 (Yesstyle, £5.83). I got this powder in a limited edition emoji version. It’s just the right size to slip into my bag and just looks so cute.


IFBOB_1This innisfree Jeju Volcanic Blackhead Out Balm (Yesstyle, £11) is a part of a range of Jeju Volcanic products offered by innisfree. I completely forgot I had ordered this product and actually purchased both the clay face mask and nose peeling mask, both of which target clogged pores. I like those products so I’m hopeful about this one too.




I never usually have much luck with BB creams as I have a very awkward skin tone to match to. However this MIZON Snail Repair Blemish Balm (Yesstyle, £14.68) appears to lack the orangeness that BB creams can sometimes have. It is also both a snail product and has metallic packaging (I love anything metallic!) so I couldn’t resist getting this to try out.




Because my skin is so sensitive I normally try and avoid physical exfoliators but I’ve heard lots of good reviews about this Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off (Yesstyle, £8.04). It’s been recommended online by quite a lot of acne-prone YouTubers. It is quite easy to dilute this product just by adding water or toner when you put it and leaving it to sink in rather than scrubbing it into the skin.


This Elizavecca Vitamin C 100% Powder + Vita-Multi Whitening Source Serum (Yesstyle, £11.73) comes in three parts. First is the serum (left), then the vitamin C powder and little mixing serum bottle (below). I don’t usually go for serums that require mixing but this one looked very fun and I really like Elizavecca products so I thought I’d give it a try. Vitamin C is great for the skin and for getting a nice glowing complexion.


To use this product you put a bit of the powder into the bottle and add the appropriate amount of serum to dissolve the powder. Then apply a couple of drops to your skin. Alternatively you can mix the powder and serum on the back of you hand and then apply without using the mixing bottle.




This Elizavecca Milky Piggy Elastic Pore Cleansing Foam (Yesstyle, £8.78) wasn’t actually in my order but was a spare from my sister’s (and who am I to turn down free things?). This cleanser contains charcol, which is a great deep cleansing ingredient. I am hoping that this isn’t too messy a product (anyone who has ever tried the Lush Dark Angel Face Wash will know that charcol can make an awful lot of mess).





I bought this LadyKin Affinitic Whitening Moisturiser (Travel Size) (Yesstyle, £2.88) as a useful little moisturiser to keep in my bag. Again a snail product (they just work really well with my skin) this product is just so cute!





So this OMI Water in Lip (Apple Sherbert) (Yesstyle, £3.62) is actually a Japanese product. I always like to keep a lip sil on me as my lips get very dry and apple sherbert is such a nice flavour that I just had to get this one. I always seem to have at least one Japanese product every time I do a Korean beauty haul. You can get this product in a range of flavours such as peach and strawberry.




So these Showroom Print Earphones with Mic #77 (Yesstyle, £2.88) aren’t actually a beauty product but these super cheap knock-offs of iPhone headphones were too tempting to turn down. If they work they’ll be a bargain as iPhone headphones can be so expensive!




This incredibly cute Etude House Heating Eye Mask (Yesstyle, £3.62) looks perfect for giving my eyes a little TLC. I spend most of my time staring at screens or at books so my eyes get very strained, especially as I have bad eyesight already.



As with any good beauty order I also received a couple of samples. The first is the COSRX Advanced Snail All in One Cream (full price: Yesstyle, £17.96). I actually want to buy this product so this a pretty useful sample.







The second sample is a skin79 Super+ Beblesh Balm Triple Functions (full size: Yesstyle, £13.21). This conatins gold and caviar, both of which are great ingredients for brightening up your skin. I’ve never tried anything by this brand before so it’ll be nice to try this out.



So I hope you enjoyed this post and please do check out my YouTube channel!


Annabelle x




Now on YouTube!

Very exciting news – I am now on YouTube! You can find my first video about my latest Korean beauty haul here:

As always I’ll be reviewing the products in this video as I go and I’ll be posting soon about this haul, with more details on the products if any of you guys are interested to know more.

I hope you enjoy!

Annabelle x