Chemical exfoliation has been around for some time now and is recognized as helpful in obtaining brighter, smoother, and better skin. Read on for why you should consider including it in your skin care routine.
What Is It?
Unlike regular exfoliation, chemical exfoliation is the loosening of dead skin cells through chemical means. Regular exfoliation uses anything like rough grains, ground nuts, or microbeads to help remove dead skin, but chemical exfoliation penetrates deeper into the skin and continues to work for as long as it is left on. Chemical exfoliation is also slightly less damaging to the skin–regular exfoliation can make tiny cuts in the epidermis which can become breeding grounds for bacteria and irritation over time.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are one type of chemical exfoliant. AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acid are two ingredients you’ll want to look for when searching for the perfect exfoliant. When applied according to packaged instructions, these acids reveal smoother, plumper, and brighter skin. Plus, they’re really good at helping to retain moisture. AHA products are seen as safe starting points for those interested in chemical exfoliation.
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) is a stronger chemical exfoliant. The most common BHA is the ever-popular salicylic acid, which is a commonly found in acne skincare products. When used regularly, BHAs are known to help with wrinkles, aging skin, and clogged pores. Since this type of acid is harsher than AHAs and dries out the skin, it is important to gradually work it into your routine to avoid irritation.
How to Add Chemical Exfoliation Products Into Your Skincare Routine
Using products that include AHAs and/or BHAs is a great way to incorporate chemical exfoliation into your skincare routine. Just make sure not to use too much too soon! The best way to incorporate chemical exfoliants into your routine is to find a cleanser that contains AHAs and/or BHAs. When cleansing the skin, remember to leave it on before rinsing to ensure the product has ample time to clean and rejuvenate the skin. Use sunscreen liberally when cleansing with a chemical exfoliant because, when used regularly, the acids make the skin very sensitive to the sun.
While the benefits of chemical exfoliation may not show up as quickly as physical exfoliation, they do a much more thorough job overtime that is less damaging to your complexion.