Considering Chemical Exfoliants? Here Are The Tips On Using AHA & BHA Products
Having beautiful skin is a little bit of science and a lot of art. Predominantly, the genetic composition plays an important role in deciding a lot of qualities of your skin. Nevertheless, mastering the art of skin care is the real determinant in having glowing skin at every stage of your life.
Alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids are key products used in achieving a beautiful, glowing complexion.
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) are derived from organic fruits acids and include, glycolic acid (sugar-cane), malic acid (apples), lactic acid (milk), citric acid (citrus) and mandelic ( almonds). These acids remove the superficial dead skin layer and penetrate through the top skin layer, causing exfoliation, which in turn stimulates the skin to regenerate and form healthier skin cells.
Beta-hydroxy acids also cause exfoliation. Salicylic acid( SA) is a beta-hydroxy acid derived from willow bark. In addition to its exfoliative properties, it dissolves and reduces sebum production (the oily substance produced by the skin). It has anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used in anti-acne therapy.
The effective exfoliation achieved by regular application of these products, either by their daily use or getting professional peels, ultimately gives the skin a smooth texture, reduces the appearance of pores and evens out the skin tone.
Here are some tips on using AHA and BHA products:
1- Read the label
Get in the habit of reading the label of the chemical exfoliant to check if it has alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy acid or both.
2- Check the concentration of the acid:
Most commercial lines will have concentrations less than 10 percent. Higher concentrations may be more effective in achieving exfoliations, however they can also cause irritation if your skin is sensitive. Experiment to find which concentrations gives you the best results without causing irritation.
3- Apply the exfoliants on clean skin
Remove any make-up and and apply the exfoliant directly after your skin cleansing routine. If you use a toner, apply it after the toner dries.
4-Moisturize your skin
Apply your moisturizer or serum after the exfoliant is completely absorbed by the skin and the skin is dry. Exfoliation can dry the skin, hence extra care in choosing and applying the moisturizer is important so the skin regeneration process can be effective.
5- Avoid contact of the product with the eyes.
You can apply it to the skin around the eyes, but not the eyelids. These products contain acids that can cause serious damage to the eyes. Read the instructions on the label carefully.