How to Layer Hyaluronic Acid and BHA

How to Layer Hyaluronic Acid and BHA

I’ll be the first to admit that navigating your way around the beauty industry feels as though you have landed on an alien planet, with no means of deciphering what on earth everyone is talking about. This is by no means anything to be ashamed of as you’ll find that even those who have had a few lessons can still find it quite mind boggling at times.

This is exactly why today we plan to clear up and confusion surrounding how to layer hyaluronic acid and BHA. Don’t worry as I’m sure by the end of today’s blog post, next time you land on that skincare alien planet you’ll feel a lot more confident.

Can you use BHA and hyaluronic acid together?

You can indeed, and in all seriousness, I strongly suggest you always team BHA and hyaluronic acid together. Both ingredients contain many, varied skin benefits that when teamed will amaze you in the results you’ll see.

Hyaluronic Acid

Naturally occurring as a polysaccharide in the body, hyaluronic acid’s main role acts as a lubricate for joints, nerves, hair, and skin. It has the capability to hold almost 1,000 times its own weight in water ensuring it is one of the most effective hydrating skin ingredients. It can draw in water into the skin and lock it into the outer surface barrier, this not only keeps the complexion looking plumped, but also prevent any signs of damage caused by exposure to UV rays, pollution, and other environmental aggressors.


The term BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid and is part of a large skincare family of chemical exfoliants, such as AHAs and PHAs. These potent skin favourites can slough away a build-up of dead skin cells, clear out the pores and reviving the skin (and that’s just a couple of their benefits!) The most known BHA is the blemish-busting salicylic acid. Unlike other AHAs salicylic acid is oil soluble meaning it can penetrate further into the skin, deep into the pores and removing any impurities, excess sebum, and bacteria. As effective as this ingredient is, however, it is known for causing some irritation to the skin so if you are prone to sensitivity, it is best to avoid using this ingredient.

When using hyaluronic acid and BHA together you will find that the hydrating properties of HA are able to counteract the drying effects of salicylic acid and other BHAs ensuring the skin remain comfortable without interfering with the rejuvenating benefits provided by the potent chemical exfoliants.

Can you layer salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid?

Absolutely, by layering salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid together you are allowing both ingredients to deliver the optimal skin results. For example, if you use an exfoliating toner containing the potent BHA before you are removing the physical barrier that sits on the surface of the skin. Once the dead skin cell build-up is removed any product application that follows will result in them reaching further down the lower layers of the dermis. This leads to you seeing results quickly. When you follow salicylic acid with hyaluronic acid as the hydrating agent will reduce the risk of any skin irritation that is a common side effect of the popular BHA, salicylic acid.

What order should you use hyaluronic acid?

If you have been knocking around these parts for a while, you’ll know that one of the most important skin rules is to apply your products depending on their consistency. Starting with the thinnest formula and working your way up to the thickest will ensure that all active ingredients blended into these formulas have the chance to absorb into the skin effectively, especially without having to combat physical barriers caused by products such as moisturisers, oils, and creams.

Do you use hyaluronic acid before or after salicylic acid?

This depends on which type of product you’ll find hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid. Generally speaking, you can normally expect to find the BHA to be formulated into exfoliating toners, serums, or light weight oils. As for hyaluronic acid the two main products found to contain this humectant the most frequently is serums and moisturisers. It doesn’t really matter when you apply both these ingredients, as long as you team them together, you’ll truly be amazed with the results they have on the skin.

Should I use moisturise after hyaluronic acid?

Quite often there is an idea that you achieve most of your hydration from your moisturiser, and although that is often the case, especially if the formula contains hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. The main task of a moisturiser however is to protect the protective skin barrier. It can do this with help of its rich consistency and blend of beneficial ingredients and when applied on top of all the previous steps in your routine will form a physical protective barrier on the outer surface of the skin. With the help from this barrier your skin will have a helping hand combating further damage as well as providing an extra source of hydration for any serum enriched with hyaluronic acid already applied to the skin.

What should we do after AHA BHA?

When dealing with AHAs and BHAs there are a few dos and don’ts that should be followed to ensure these ingredients work effectively.

Do - Apply a daily SPF in your morning routine

Even if you use your AHA or BHA in the evenings it is still vital to protect the new skin cells from any damaging exposure to UV rays. Applying a daily SPF of 30 and above will ensure the skin is fully protected and remains healthy.
Don’t- Use a physical scrub This will be too abrasive for the skin and will not only cause excessive skin damage but prevent any other ingredients or products working effectively. Do- Team your AHA and BHA with hyaluronic acid Any sign of irritation or skin reaction will be combatted with ease thanks to the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid. Don’t – Use a product containing AHA and BHA without a patch test Applying a new product or ingredient to the skin without a patch test is a recipe for disaster. Always apply a 10 pence size amount of product to the inside of your forearm and wait for 24 hours. If there are no signs of irritation, you’re good to go! And that is that for today’s blog post about how to layer hyaluronic acid and BHA, I hope I have answered your questions, but if there is anything else you wanted to know come and follow us on Instagram. Don’t forget, if its skincare you’re in to check out our new YouTube show The Green Sofa!

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