Exfoliating is an effective way to get rid of dead skin cells and reveal a brighter, smoother layer underneath. There are numerous exfoliators out there, but the two most popular types are Alpha Hydroxy Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acid . These acids work differently on the skin and can tackle specific problems such as acne, sun damage, hyperpigmentation or dullness. However, if used improperly, these powerful treatments can lead to irritation and sensitivity. Therefore, it’s crucial to master the art of exfoliation using AHA and BHA for optimal results.
What Are AHA And BHA?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids, also known as AHAs, are water-soluble acids derived from fruits , sugar cane or milk. They work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells on the surface which encourages shedding without any abrasive scrubbing effect.
The most common AHAs are glycolic acid lactic acid citric acid . Among them all glycolic acid iis widely used due its small molecular size that penetrates deeper into skin
AHAs help improve fine linesand wrinkles fading age spots/hyper-pigmentationand brightens your complexion while making it softer.
By contrast Beta hydroxy acids comes in one form that is salicylic acid. Compared toA-H-A’s, B-H-A’s has larger molecules which only dissolve in oil-based substances. .
Beta-hydroxyl will penetrate through oily pores more effectively than alpha-hydroxyls. That’s why bhas tend be thought effective for acne-prone, oily skin. BHAs also possess anti-inflammatory agents, making them an effective treatment for acne.
How Often Should You Exfoliate with AHA and BHA?
Over-exfoliating can result in redness, peeling and increased sensitivity. As much as you may benefit from using AHAs/BHAs daily at the initial stage it could be harsher for your skin to accept that sudden increase. Since every individual has their unique complexions thus exfoliation frequency is dependent on factors such as age, sensitivity, skin type among others but two times a week will suffice.
For those with drier or sensitive skin types opt for a gentle product instead of powerful ones. A good way to start would be once or twice per week. For people whose skintype leans more towards the oily side could opt to use products that are double strength. Otherwise begin slow & gradually amp up usage. If skin begins to show signs of irritation like stinging, burning or raw, PULL BACK IMMEDIATELY.
It’s crucial when beginning usage focus should shift towards how often? not how long. Ideally, it should only take 30 seconds each time. One pass is enough then rinse off well ensuring no residue left behind.
The Right Way To Use AHA And BHA
The frequency at which you utilize determines the concentration at which the product sits. There are spots where they reside longer than others due drying effects resulting in those areas becoming excessively dry. Never try over-application when working on troublesome areas. When utilizing an acid-based toner/moisturizer do so evenly covering all facial parts while avoiding contact with eyes, mouth & open wounds if any. Always ensure you patch test before applying anything new. Several products come in differing strengths depending on manufacturer so monitor your reaction closely!!
Can I Use Them Together?
Combining these ingredients is sometime advisable during chronic acne conditions. However, using two acids on the same day risks over-exfoliating.
For a smoother & evenly balanced skin, a good hack would since AHAs are water solution while BHAs are oil solvents first use AHA then later use BHA or the other way round. After giving time lapse of 15-30 minutes between each type. The break in-between allows one acid to fully penetrate before following up with the next. This also helps keep redness/ inflammation at bay.
How To Care for Skin After Exfoliation
After exfoliating it is highly recommended to follow up with SPF protection as well as moisturizing oils. At this stage sunscreen protection becomes even more paramount. Avoid exposing oneself in direct sunlight right after exfoliation. Remember, chemical exfoliators increases photosensitivity making one vulnerable. Prioritizing protecting your skin with either cumulatively using physical barriers eg, clothing, hats or sunblock Before heading out will suitably regulate further damage.
Do not be tempted to pick at freshly skinned face as doing so interferes with absorption of products subsequently applied. Let pores naturally heal after using face-tea. Once recovered try on any indicated product your face can handle Without fai lfollowed by moisturizer. Always keep stimulated blood-flow areas smooth by applying hydration serum.
When done correctly A-H-A’s/B-H-A’s provide beneficial outcomes. However too frequently usage brings about side effects like itchiness, dryness alongside flakiness. In which instance take a break from all chemical-based treatment till their resolved. Irrespective of its benefits its highly advised for safety reasons you first consult aesthetic experts before starting an exfo treatment regime.
Exfollitation tends work differently from person to person thus sensitivity rates vary greatly always pay attention unregulated changes. When cautiously monitored expect positive results.