Skincare Diaries - Chemical Exfoliation
Posted on October 11 2018
Last week we talked about physical exfoliation! Today we are going to tackle the chemical approach. Don't be scared, it isn't as intimidating as it sounds.
Chemical exfoliators remove cells differently depending on what they are. There are actually several types of asides but the most commonly used and easy to find are AHA and BHA. Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is great for dry to normal skin, it's water soluble so is mostly going to get rid of that surface build up. Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is oil soluble which means it can cut through a lot and get into the pore and melt gross out, this is usually good for oily skin that clogs, gets bumpy or has breakouts.
There are many products that are just an AHA or a BHA but equally as many are combinations of both since they both do different things, they are a good complement to each other.
I have combination skin, which means I have some super oily spots, and some super dry ones. I prefer a gentle AHA BHA combined chemical exfoliation on my skin for the day to day. I do this at night personally, but there are many who use acids first thing in the AM, and some who use them twice a day!
For my personal skincare I found using a chemical exfoliator twice a day was simply too much and my skin got angry and irritated. I had to play with the products to find a routine that my skin was happy with, which ended up being chemical exfoliation once a day, in the evenings.
This step will come after you complete your double cleanse, regardless of how often you do it, or when you do it. It’s the second step on your skin care agenda. If I had to suggest any step of skincare that was worth investing in a really killer product and never skipping, it would be this step.
Keeping your skin constantly turning over, and sloughing off dead skin is the best way to ensure that any products you use after this for treatment or nourishment are actually going to penetrate and have the opportunity to work. Imagine your feet, if you went for a pedicure and all they did was slather some serums and lotion onto your dry cracked feet, how good do you think the product would penetrate and how good would your feet look?
No, they have to exfoliate and remove the dead cracked nasty stuff (which is way more obvious on feet, especially mine) before they can apply stuff to actually soften and nourish your poor skin. Same is true for your face, it may not be as glaringly obvious as the foot, but it’s the same.
Pixi makes a glycolic acid tonic (AHA family) that is super gentle and works on most skin types. Its affordable and has a nice subtle scent! I suggest starting with once every other day and as long as your skin responds well, you can increase your usage to once a day. Some people with super sturdy skin can use this 2X a day but it is always best to slowly increase your use.
Last note, these things only work if you do them on some kind of consistent schedule. Exfoliating once randomly and then a second time randomly, is about as effective as working out once in a while.
Consistency, over time. That is the ticket. Nothing works if you do it sporadically. It has to become a habit that you are married to.
And do not forget your neck. Beautiful head, on a turkey neck. No.
Want a quick summary of how exfoliation can help your skin? Check this out!
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