From using harsh scrubs to choosing chemical serums that match your skin type, skin exfoliation standards have come a long way. Today, you have many options to pick the right exfoliator from.
Primarily, the exfoliants are divided into two types – chemical and physical. Physical exfoliant has existed for a long time, but chemical exfoliant is now storming the industry, and it makes for a lovely addition to the skincare routine. And now, if you are wondering what it is and which one is suitable for your skin type, let’s dive in!
What Is a Chemical Exfoliant?
Comprising beneficial acids, a chemical exfoliant helps to clear your skin and make it radiate by eradicating a layer of dead skin. They unclog your pores, diminish signs of aging, and if you have dull skin, acne scars, spots or pigmentation, a chemical exfoliant can help fix that. Additionally, it shields your skin from free radical damage and is a lot gentler and softer than physical exfoliants.
They are of two types as well, which are:
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA): This acid includes ingredients like lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid and malic acid. They help your skin with issues like pigmentations, enlarged pores, texture, fine lines and dark spots.
- Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA): This one is made of Salicylic acid, which is most commonly utilised in all skincare products. Salicylic acid is oil soluble and helps your skin get rid of excess sebum while also unclogging your pores. And for anyone dealing with acne-prone, blackheads/whiteheads or oily skin, BHA is ideal.
Choosing the Right Chemical Exfoliant
Why must your skincare regimen be the same when every skin differs?
Now, if you are new to exfoliation, you need to start with something that has a lower concentration. And based on your skin type, let’s see which chemical exfoliant is meant for you!
Dry skin often suffers from dullness due to a lack of proper hydration. So if you have skin like that, you must use lactic acid or glycolic acid, as these chemical serums prevent signs of aging from becoming apparent. Moreover, it also eliminates dryness, dark spots and pigmentation.
Acne-Prone, Oily Skin
Are you someone who deeply struggles with breakouts caused by your immensely oily skin that cannot stop with excess oil production? If so, salicylic acid is the right choice for you! It opens the clogged pores and cleans them out, thus reducing the acne instances. Moreover, it removes the excess layer of oils, eliminates whiteheads/blackheads, and helps you get rid of dead skin. That said, always use moisturiser after using salicylic acid since it quickly dries up your skin. Also, do not over-exfoliate!
Finding the right skincare products for sensitive skin is one of the most challenging tasks. After all, you need to find a product that is not harsh on your skin.
Sensitive skin responds very well to Polyhydroxy acid (PHAs) since they are far less irritating than AHA and BHA. Besides, PHAs have a bigger molecule size and are an overall gentle ingredient.
Normal or Combination Skin
Standard or combination skin types must find the ingredient that matches their specific skin concerns. So depending on how your skin acts, you could use salicylic acid, glycolic acid or hyaluronic acid.
While the magic of chemical exfoliants is irrefutable, using them all of a sudden and in hefty quantities will not help either. So pick the right exfoliant as per your skin type, and exfoliate twice a week. Besides, always patch test a product to see how your skin reacts to it.
Most of all, never forget your sunscreen since Australia has the most melanoma cases due to high sun exposure. On top of that, a chemical exfoliant can make your skin easily susceptible to UV damage, so always use sunscreen. And with the proper skincare routine, you will be forever glowing!