Chemical exfoliation products have become increasingly popular over the last few years because they offer visibly quicker results than manual exfoliation techniques, but what exactly are they? And why are they getting so much attention?
This blog will discuss what chemical exfoliation is and why it’s a better alternative to manual exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation involves applying a chemical agent to the skin to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter, smoother skin underneath.
Tools or Skincare products that will physically scrub the surface layer of the skin, such as dry brushes, towels that have tiny beads in them, or peeling gels. So these exfoliants and scrubs do work, but the main thing is you have to be gentle because it could cause micro-tears in your skin.
What are Chemical Exfoliants
There are two main types of chemical exfoliation. Among the products with AHAs and BHAs are toners, serums, face masks, and moisturizers.
AHAs ( alpha-hydroxy acids )
BHAs ( beta hydroxy acids )
Both AHAs and BHAs are similar in that they reduce surface cell buildup on your skin by removing dead skin cells. However, they differ in their active ingredients.
AHAs are derived from natural ingredients like fruits or milk sugars, and they are water-soluble, while BHAs are oil-soluble, and the main one is salicylic acid. AHAs and BHAs work differently, but they can be used together.
Which type should you use?
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). AHAs work by loosening bonds between old cells, allowing them to slough off more easily. BHAs work by removing the glue that holds dead skin cells together.
Different Types of AHAs Acid.
There are many different types of AHAs, but we will discuss three today, glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acid.
Sugar cane-derived alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) glycolic acid is a water-soluble acid. It is one of the most widely used AHAs in skincare. Glycolic Acid is the strongest acid due to its small molecule size one of the best products is Alpha Liquid Gold 5% glycolic acid.
Alpha Liquid Gold helps with fine lines, dullness, and pigmentation. After cleansing, moisten a cotton pad and apply it to the face and neck after applying its normals to feel tingling on your face for a few minutes.
Only after a few applications does the skin becomes brighter and firm. Alpha Liquid Gold Exfoliating Tonic helps with dark spots and also has some silk proteins which help to hydrate and nourish your skin. But if you have sensitive skin please do a patch test before using any product.
Lactic acid is less irritating on the skin but works the same way to remove dead skin to give brighter glowy smooth skin. And it’s also derived from milk and it’s only AHAs that exfoliate and moisturize skin same time.
I recommend ordinary lactic acid as it is very affordable. This product is a great addition to your nighttime routine because it smooths your skin, reduces fine lines, and improves cell turnover.
Improve the appearance of pores while brightening the complexion and reducing hyperpigmentation.
Lactic acid improves hydration levels in the skin you can use this product one or two times a week better to use in the evening routine. Yes, you can layer this product with other AHAs, and BHAs can also layer this product with hyaluronic acid.
Mandelic Acid is an AHA that comes from bitter almonds, and it has antibacterial properties best suited for acne-prone skin. Youth to the People toner with mandelic acid is part of my current skincare routine. It is a gentle exfoliant.
In addition to cleaning pores, it smoothes skin texture. You can use this toner at night. I don’t use this every single day, but I use it on alternate days.
Youth to the People Mandelic acid is derived from natural ingredients such as kale, green tea, and spinach. It has completely transformed my skin. The product keeps my skin fresh and glowing.
These acids resurface your skin and remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking radiant and healthy. You should wear sunscreen during the day because your skin becomes more sensitive when you use acids on it. I usually prefer to use acids in my night skincare routine because they help regenerate your skin.
BHA acids are mainly salicylic acids, and they help to treat acne and clogged pores. These are oil soluble so they easily absorb into the skin and break sebum to clean your pores. I would recommend the inky list Alpha Best for oily acne-prone skin it clears my skin a little, even after the first use.
You can use this product morning and evening time layered with your serums and moisturizers. But don’t forget sunscreen in your morning routine.
The second product is Ordinary salicylic acid 2% solution serum best for skin congestion and unclogging pores best for oily skin if you have breakouts you can also use this as a spot treatment over a pimple once a day on the target area but as a serum use, this 2 or 3 times a week listen to your skin again don’t forget patch test and must apply your sunscreen in the morning.
Don’t Mix with other exfoliants in your routine but you can layer this product with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide last but not least this one is one of the affordable salicylic acid options.
Common mistakes when using chemical exfoliants
Before applying chemical exfoliants. It is recommended not to apply too much. One should not use them more than twice a week. Before using acids, perform a patch test on your skin. The purpose is to detect any allergies or sensitivities to ingredients such as lactic acid or glycolic acid.
Usually, chemical exfoliation won’t do any harm if used at home. But because you haven’t had treatment in a while, your skin could be sensitive. So start slowly with a mild product and build up to a more intense one if necessary.
I hope this post is helpful if you are new to chemical exfoliation. If you have sensitive skin, read all the ingredients of any skincare product before using it. Wear sunscreen in the morning after using AHAs or BHAs.