Is It Safe to Use AHA 8% Gel and BHA 2% Liquid at the Same Time?

I use 8%AHA twice a week at night and 2% BHA 5 nights a week to help keep my skin clear. I am 42 y/o female with fair and sensitive skin with discoloration from past breakouts still with cycle related acne breakouts. Can I use both together every night safely? Can I also add Retin A in a couple nights a week to help with acne and wrinkles under the eyes, either by itself of with one or both of the others?

Doctor Answers 1

Is it safe to use AHA, BHA and Retin A at the same time?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The trick to using these products together is to introduce them very slowly.  If you have very sensitive skin, the ability to use all these together may be limited, even though these doses are fairly low. You don't want to inflame sensitive skin as it may lead to further discoloration.

The other possibility is to alternate nights: Retin A one night, AHA the next, BHA the next, etc.

If that works well, you might consider increasing the dose of each one, again slowly and one at a time, giving 2-3 weeks on each increase to see if there is going to be additional irritation.

Also consider the fact that we are going into a cold and dry time of the year, when skin is more irritable than usual, and you want to try new things cautiously.

Finally, there are products on the market, like some SkinMedica creams that have combinations of AHA and BHA.  Those are usually sold through doctors' offices.

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.