AHA or BHA: Decoding Everything About Chemical Exfoliation
Do you remember the time when people used to say that acids are dangerous liquids and shouldn’t be around you? Well, they still are, but there are some skin-friendly acids too that help to rejuvenate your skin and remove the dead cells, giving you super fine and glass-like skin.
So let’s break the science behind chemical exfoliation and how it benefits your skin!
What Is Chemical Exfoliation?
In simple terms, chemical exfoliants are acids that remove built-up layers of dead cells and dirt from your face, leaving your skin with a glass-like finish. It’s vital to remove all the accumulated dirt from our face as they cause blemishes and makes our skin dull.
Even if you are not going out daily, you must incorporate a suitable chemical exfoliator in your skincare routine. There are many chemical exfoliants in the market, like Glycolic acid, Mandelic Acid, Lactic acid, and Salicylic acid, but it’s very crucial to understand which acid will work the best for your skin.
Types of Chemical Exfoliants
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA)– AHAs are supposed to re-texturise your skin. They work on the upper layer of your skin and removes the dead cells and dirt so that your skin can regenerate and look more smooth. Two of the most prevalent chemical exfoliants under the AHA branch are Glycolic acid and Lactic Acid.
When to use AHA – If you have dull skin and clogged pores, you can use AHAs.
- Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA)– BHAs are supposed to work a layer deeper than AHAs. They work on your skin’s internal layer and cleanses your skin from within. The most popular chemical exfoliant under the BHA branch is Salicylic acid.
When to use BHA – If you have acne-prone skin and deeply rooted blackheads, you can use BHAs.
- Poly-Hydroxy Acids (PHA) – New to the block, PHAs are a milder form of AHAs. They are relatively more hydrating and gentle on your skin and have antioxidant benefits. The most popular chemical exfoliant under the PHA branch is Lactobionic Acid.
When to use PHA – If you have a sensitive and irritable skin type, you can use PHAs.
Note: As we are talking about acids, a patch test is always recommended, or you can go a step ahead and consult a dermatologist before deciding which acid to pick.
How to Chemically Exfoliate Your Skin?
If you want to incorporate a chemical exfoliator in your skincare routine, make sure to keep these points in your mind :
- Use the chemical exfoliation products separately and not together, or you may end up over-exfoliating your skin.
- If you are a beginner, start with a product that has a mild percentage of the chemical exfoliator.
- Make sure to do a patch test before using it on your face.
- Before beginning the process, use a cleansing balm or cleansing oil so that the chemical exfoliator can work better on your skin.
- You can chemically exfoliate your skin daily, twice a week, or every few days, depending upon your skin’s need.
If you want to know whether to use a face wash, toner, or serum to chemically exfoliate your skin, watch this video :