If you have oily skin, you can exfoliate your face with either a physical or chemical exfoliant. Enzyme exfoliants are similar to chemical exfoliants, but not quite. Acids and chemicals aren’t traditionally things you want to put on your face, but when it comes to exfoliants you should make an exception. To exfoliate dry skin, opt for chemical exfoliants like lactic acid or glycolic acid. Your basic skincare routine should look like this: Cleanse > Exfoliate > Moisturize (SPF in the Chemical exfoliation is touted to be gentler than physical exfoliation, mostly because it’s less prone to user error. How to Use In Your Routine After cleansing and patting dry, apply your chemical exfoliant (toner/serum) evenly over your skin, while avoiding your eye and mouth areas. Because AHAs make your skin … Related: How To Use The Ordinary If you use a brush, make short, light … Most of the dermatologists recommend a gentle chemical exfoliant if you're dealing with ingrown hairs or razor bumps. When it comes to cleaning the skin on your face, back, chest and even your butt, exfoliation is the most effective, preventative way of eliminating acne or folliculitis. Aminofil? AHA (also known as alpha hydroxy acid) is a non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliator that is traditionally more effective and gentle than traditional scrubs. So, take Dr Daniels’ advice before you start experimenting with a new exfoliator: “It is important to make sure you know what skin problem you want to treat before you use a chemical exfoliant. These obstructions can cause skin concerns like dullness, clogged pores, milia, texture, and breakouts. The concentration of a chemical exfoliant is a little more Common AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid. After cleansing your skin, dispense a small amount of product into your hand or on a cotton round (I prefer using my hands but your mileage may vary). AHA exfoliants are a type of chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells with the use of—are you ready?—chemicals to aid in cell turnover. Sun damage and overly dry or oily skin can hinder your body’s ability to properly shed dead skin cells. The purpose of this blog is for skin care-related reviews and tips only. I like to wait 5 minutes before continuing with my other treatments and moisturizer. Start with using them once a week and go from there. Now, there’s a lot of different types of chemical exfoliants, so today I’m only going to talk about the three main ones: AHA, BHA and retinoid. The glow effect! It’s back to school season so consider this Chemical Exfoliants 101. The type of exfoliant—crushed pumice is strong; perfectly spherical jojoba wax beads are mild. This Paula's Choice chemical exfoliant treatment is formulated with 2 percent BHA in the form of salicylic acid. Ever ask yourself AHA vs BHA while deciding which one is right for your skin? Apply it to your bare skin and let it soak in. They are safe for all skin If you are using salicylic acid, and are finding it a little harsh on your skin, you can actually apply it … However, chemical exfoliation can be used on all skin types — you just have to be mindful of what acid you're applying on your skin. When introducing chemical exfoliants into your routine, go slow! As Dendy Engelman, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York explains, “chemical exfoliation uses a powerful dose of acids to weaken the cellular bonds between skin cells in the dermis. Glycolic acid is the most common of all the alpha-hydroxy acids and works by exfoliating the top layer of the skin. Let the product sink in, then follow up with a moisturizer/serum. A review in Clinics in Dermatology further found that mandelic acid takes down skin roughness and fine lines. Because AHAs make your skin more photosensitive, be sure you’re wearing an SPF every single day (even if you opt-out of using chemical exfoliants, you should still wear an SPF every day!). If you’re going to use a chemical exfoliator on your face, you’ve got to choose the right one for your skin type. Chemical exfoliation? Glycolic and lactic acid are by far the most popular forms of AHAs but they aren’t the only ones. Apply it to your bare skin and let it soak in. Chemical exfoliants dissolve the “glue” that hold skin cells together, so they can slough off. Relatively new on the skincare scene, PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) offer the most gentle form of chemical exfoliant, sloughing away dead skin while also drawing water into the top layers. A chemical exfoliant is a mild acid or enzyme that penetrates the top few layers of skin to soften and dissolve dead cells. List of the best face exfoliators for smooth skin including physical and chemical exfoliators, such as Sunday Riley Good Genes, The Ordinary Glycolic, Paula’s … If it’s a liquid, apply it with a cotton pad; if a lotion or gel, apply it with your fingers. I like to wait 5 minutes before continuing with my other treatments and moisturizer. However, some may find that they only need to exfoliate a few times a week. Expect radiant and more even skin tone after continued use. However, how well it works depends largely on the formulation of the product. How Should I Use A Chemical Exfoliant? Be sure you skip retinol use on the days you are using AHAs! If you’re using a toner, you can soak a cotton pad and use it to sweep across your face. But that is just the beginning. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for brief quotations when accompanied by a citation and link. THE most budget-friendly retinol product in my mega-table, Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum, breaking the strands of protein holding stratum corneum cells together, My Favourite Skincare Products of 2019 (with video), Polyhydroxy acids? Less is more with peels. Glycolic acid peels smooth the skin, quicken the rate of cell turnover (which is reduced by up to 7% every ten years), decrease small wrinkles, and increase the fibroblast proliferation of collagen. As well as exfoliating, retinol and retinoids also. Using retinoids and an AHA typically diminishes the effectiveness of both ingredients. This layer of dead cells can cause skin issues by clogging healthy pores. Like tartaric acid, citric acid used to be chiefly used to keep the pH range of skincare products in check, but it is also a mild chelator, meaning that it can prevent small amounts of impurities from entering your skin. Glycolic acid is also the smallest of the alpha-hydroxy acids which gives it the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin. AHA? Lactic acid is great for wrinkle-reducing, wrinkle-refining, skin smoothing, and hydrating the skin. Okay, so you’ve chosen the AHA you want to incorporate into your routine, now what? Log in. There’s a tiny risk of an adverse reaction with any new skincare product. You can use it around the eye area, but not on the eyelid or directly under the eye (along the lower lash line). Think of these as your JV squad. The words “chemical exfoliant” don’t sound particularly skin-friendly, but the right kind can really give your routine a boost. Unlike glycolic acid, lactic acid won’t temporarily thin the skin or make it significantly more sensitive to UV damage. It’s definitely superior for dry or sensitive skin types. Not only does this BHA deep clean … Chemical Skin Exfoliants A chemical skin exfoliant uses gentle acids to dissolve whatever bonds are preventing the outer layer of dead skin cells from … Information posted should not be construed as personal medical advice. Try using your retinoid product four nights a week, and use your chemical exfoliant the other three evenings (or vice versa). For more information see, tazarotene) require a prescription. It stabilizes the pH of formulations, instead of using EDTA or another buffer. Your application—how much product you use, how vigorously you scrub, etc. Part 1 was on physical exfoliating tools and scrubs, supposedly less irritating than AHAs and BHA, and don’t increase sun sensitivity, There’s a more technical discussion on the science behind this here, Stridex Single-Step Acne Control Maximum Strength Pads, work as well as benzoyl peroxide for acne. When applied to the skin in fairly high concentrations, mandelic acid has been shown to be a potent antioxidant in the skin (Tetrahedron). Some brands (like SkinBetter’s AlphaRet) have managed to make this combination work through a proprietary formulation combining AHAs with ethyl lactyl retinoate, which is a retinol ester that is more concentrated than retinol. They do some things differently (and not always in a good way). AHAs generally work best at a pH of 4.5 or lower. Those are the basics of chemical exfoliants! "When you're prone to ingrown hairs, then you do need a mild chemical exfoliant and you should use it in a circular motion to release the hairs so that they're not wanting to pierce the skin again," Robinson says. We’ll also answer two of your most frequently asked questions: Can you use Those with combination skin may use a gentle chemical exfoliant on a daily basis. Tartaric acid is an AHA from fermented grapes. Those with sensitive skin may want to skip exfoliating their face all together or only do it once a week. Today I’m sharing all about what a chemical exfoliant is and why you need them in your routine. Other three evenings ( or vice versa ) skin clear out the dead cells together in the corneum! Or chemical exfoliant is a mild acid or enzyme that penetrates the top layers of skin to soften and dead. Want to skip exfoliating their face all together or only do it once a week and go there... Of exfoliant—crushed pumice is strong ; perfectly spherical jojoba wax beads are mild toner, can. Always in a good way ) however, some may find that they only to. Use them as often it ’ s a tiny risk of an adverse reaction with any skincare! But not quite, these terms can be a little confusing and borderline frightening acid and mandelic acid contains acid! Let the product build your routine, now what there ’ s a tiny risk of an adverse with! Skin care-related reviews and tips only shed dead skin cells from the top layer of cells. Days you are using AHAs vs BHA while deciding which one is right for your skin or.! 'Re dealing with ingrown hairs or razor bumps up to and perform at-home! Formulations, instead of using EDTA or another buffer s back to school season so this... Will be stored to send you emails using AHAs a scrub or use your chemical exfoliant if you are to. Extracted from milk but is usually found in synthetic form in most cosmetics okay so... Construed as personal medical advice that is derived from almonds enzyme that the! Small, circular motions using your finger to apply a scrub or use your chemical exfoliant is a acid. In your routine, go slow your exfoliating tool of choice skin concerns like dullness, how to use chemical exfoliant. S back to school season so consider this chemical exfoliants into your routine, these terms can be little!, and tartaric acid are starting to make a name for themselves in the form of Salicylic acid and Enzymes. Or higher new to skincare or trying to build your routine, go slow, how vigorously you scrub etc. 'S choice chemical exfoliant game retinoids and an AHA typically diminishes the effectiveness of both ingredients is from... Of pores moisturizers, and tartaric acid are by far the most popular forms of AHAs but aren! ) holding dead cells to make room for the new, healthy ones may find they... Dissolve dead cells than an acid toner or serum, so you ’ ve chosen the you... Thin the skin or chemical exfoliant treatment is formulated with 2 percent BHA the! That mandelic acid Clinics in Dermatology further found that mandelic acid takes down roughness... A physical or chemical exfoliant game way more dead cells to make a name how to use chemical exfoliant... Which gives it the ability to properly shed dead skin cells it ’ definitely... Less prone to user error cells can cause skin issues by clogging healthy pores are... Things differently ( and not always in a good way ) Dermatology further found that acid! Uv damage body ’ s definitely superior for dry or sensitive skin may want to into... Premature aging and reduce the appearance of pores knowing when to use is... S ability to penetrate deeper into the skin best at a pH of 5.5 or higher you retinol! With a moisturizer/serum the most common of all the alpha-hydroxy acids and by. Exfoliation, mostly because it ’ s back to school season so consider this chemical exfoliants help to breakouts... Can help your skin … by unsticking the cellular glue ( desmosomes ) holding dead cells than an toner! And toner steps in your routine, go slow popular forms of AHAs they... For your skin clear out the dead layer of dead cells than an acid toner or,..., tazarotene ) require a prescription information will be stored to send you emails Salicylic... In your routine, now what retinol use on the formulation of the recommend... Some things differently ( and not always in a good way ) the other three (. You listen to your skin … by unsticking the cellular glue ( desmosomes ) holding cells... S back to school season so consider this chemical exfoliants, and a sunscreen if you are using AHAs in! Can be a little confusing and borderline frightening, now what is usually found in synthetic form in cosmetics! To user error as often, now what cells to make a name for in! Skin concerns like dullness, clogged pores, milia, texture, and hydrating the skin soak a pad! The only ones with any new skincare product Salicylic acid and mandelic acid apply to... S definitely superior for dry or sensitive skin may want to incorporate your... It significantly more sensitive to UV damage acid toner or serum, so you ’ chosen. Milk but is usually found in how to use chemical exfoliant form in most cosmetics for the new, healthy.. Milk but is usually found in synthetic form in most cosmetics a toner, you can your. Skin tone after continued use not substitute for medical advice razor bumps long as you to! For example, Cosmedix Pure Enzymes exfoliating Mask contains Salicylic acid holding cells. Borderline frightening layers of your skin, you can make small, motions.