It is no secret that using products that exfoliate your skin leaving you with a smooth and glowing complexion. This is why so many people do it. However, a lot of people are unaware of the benefits of doing a chemical exfoliation over the more commonly known physical exfoliation.
A chemical exfoliant uses different types of acids to dissolve the dead skin cells that build up on our skin. This build up is what prevents our skin from looking smooth, healthy and radiant. The two most commonly used chemical exfoliants are Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Alpha Hydroxy Acid is a term that is used for a group of acids that are derived from different sources, including plants and animals. AHAs are water loving acids and their main job is to promote cell turnover in your skin. Their ability to dissolve and exfoliate surface dead skin cells is what helps reduce fine lines, pigmentation and improve the overall complexion of your skin.
Types of AHAs
- Glycolic – derived from sugar cane
- Lactic – derived from milk
- Tartaric – from grape wine
- Malic Acid – derived from apples
- Mandelic – derived from bitter almonds
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs or Salicylic Acid)
Beta Hydroxy Acid is another type of chemical exfoliant. Unlike it’s water loving counterpart, BHAs are oil soluble. This is why BHAs are able to exfoliate the skin at a deeper level than AHAs. BHAs are an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial acid which makes them extremely effective in the treatment of acne-prone skin. Like most skin-care products, the job of BHAs surrounds clearing acne, preventing oily skin and creating a smooth and glowing complexion.
AHAs vs BHAs
Although both AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants, they both work better on different skin types. Given the fact that AHAs are water soluble, they work best for people that have dryer skin. This is because they remove the dead skin cells that contribute to dry skin. Using AHAs allows moisturizer to absorb deeper into the skin. Since BHAs are oil soluble, they are most ideal for people who suffer from oily or acne-prone skin. This is because BHAs are able to travel deeper into the skin. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial factors, people with acne-prone skin have been able to see a drastic difference.
While there are multiple different brands and products involving chemical exfoliants, there are definitely a few holy grail items that you may want to invest in.
Exfoliating your skin, using either chemical or physical exfoliants, is an amazing step to add to your weekly skin-care routine. Chemical exfoliants have been proven to fight acne and hyperpigmentation which ultimately leave you with the skin that you have been yearning for. Once you are able to notice that smooth, glowing complexion, all the products in your bathroom will definitely maintain the title of being your best friend.