A couple of days ago I uploaded a blog post where I reviewed every type of exfoliation on the planet! today’s post is a sequel to support the chemical exfoliation category discussed.

chemicals exfoliators includes hydroxy acids and retinol, and enzymes to renew your skin.

While DIY and OTC scrubs can help enhance your skin’s appearance, chemical exfoliation can offer more dramatic results.

As with physical exfoliation, chemical exfoliation can irritate the skin if done incorrectly. If you’re unsure about how to incorporate a chemical product into your routine, see a dermatologist or other healthcare provider for guidance.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
AHAs are a group of water-soluble acids typically derived from sugary fruits. Popular AHAs include:

glycolic acid, which comes from sugar cane,
lactic acid, which is found in milk and pickled vegetables.
citric acid, found in citrus fruits
tartaric acid, from grapes
malic acid, found in apples.
These acids help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place.

Types of chemical exfoliation

Depending on the type, AHAs may also help with:

mild hyperpigmentation like age spots, melasma, and scars
enlarged pores
fine lines and surface wrinkles
uneven skin tone
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
BHAs, on the other hand, are oil-soluble. These acids go deep into your hair follicles to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores.

Acids for each skin type

Because of this, BHA products are primarily used to treat acne and sun damage.

Salicylic acid is the most common BHA. It’s well known as an acne treatment, but it can also help calm general redness and inflammation.

Cosrx AHA and BHA clarifying acne toner
Cosrx AHA and BHA clarifying treatment toner remains kbeauty cult favorite

Retinoids are a class of medications derived from vitamin A. They’re used to soothe sun-damaged skin, minimize signs of aging, and treat acne.

They work by protecting your skin from free radicals and promoting collagen production.

there are several topical retinoid available these includes:

  • retinol
  • adapalene
  • alitretinoin
  • tretinoin
  • bexarotene
  • tazarotene

Retinoids vary in concentration. If OTC options aren’t working, talk to a dermatologist. They may be able to prescribe a stronger formula.

What works best for your skin type?

 chemical exfoliating for each skin type

Choosing the right exfoliating technique for your skin type will minimize your risk of irritation and help you achieve the best possible result.

Sensitive skin

If your skin generally stings or is otherwise irritated after using new products, it’s considered sensitive. BHAs are typically less irritating than other chemical or physical exfoliants.

In some cases, sensitive skin is a symptom of an underlying condition. You should always talk to a dermatologist or other healthcare provider before using new products if you have conditions such as eczema and rosacea.

Using AHA/BHA on rosacea

Normal skin

Normal skin is clear and not easily irritated. Many people who have “normal” skin find that they can try any exfoliating technique or product without experiencing adverse effects. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Dry skin

Dry skin is flaky or rough. AHAs such as glycolic acid can break through the surface layer of your skin, allowing your moisturizer to hydrate your new skin cells more effectively.

Oily skin

Oily skin appears shiny and feels greasy. People with oily skin are often able to use stronger chemical and physical exfoliators, such as motorized brushes. Store-bought and DIY scrubs may also be a good option.

Combination skin

Combination skin like mine is characterized by a mix of oily and dry sections. You should focus on each area individually and alternate products as needed.

For example, you may be able to use a chemical exfoliator or scrub on oily areas one day and a low-level AHA on dry areas the next day.

Acne-prone skin

If you’re prone to breakouts or have mild-to-moderate acne, look for products containing retinoids, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.

How often should you exfoliate?

While most people would advise you to exfoliate two to three times a week, I believe it all depends on the state of your skin and the potency of your cosmetic. If you wake up in the morning with dull skin, there is no harm in using an AHA/BHA to brighten up your skin.

You can also use either AHA or BHA more regularly if they are contained in beauty products such as toners and facial washes.

Skincare pyramid

However, I would recommend using AHAs and BHAs in separate skincare routines, one in the morning, and one at night, or on alternate days. Nevertheless, you could use both at the same time, the only catch is using BHAs on the T zone area and the AHAs on the dry part of your skin. never layer this product in the same routine as it may cause over-exfoliation.

How to use AHAs and BHAs in your skincare routine

What kind of AHA and BHA can be paired?

I’ve found out that these products work excellently together

How to mix AHA and BHA in a skincare routine

bottom line; you should try out different approaches and routines until you find what works for your skin and its needs.

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