Let’s Talk About AHA’s
Let’s face it. It’s time to let go of that St. Ives face scrub. I know, I know. It’s hard to let go of something that makes your skin feel so soft and clean... especially with that heavenly apricot scent afterward, right? Unfortunately, you should. If you don’t understand what physical exfoliants are, their job is to physically scrub off any remaining dirt, rough, and dead skin. However, physical exfoliants really aren’t kind to your skin.
Using them is alright with light and minimal use, but using them the wrong way can cause long-term damage to your skin. Using physical exfoliants like face scrubs, coffee grounds, or even sugar grains can be too aggressive to your skin barrier. They create micro-tears and aggressions to your skin layer, which can cause issues like wrinkles, inflammation, or even second-degree burns.
Luckily for us all, there is definitely another option to removing those dry patches of flakey skin or even your blackheads. The solution is chemical exfoliants. They’re the growing hype within the skincare industry as of recently due to their gentle exfoliation properties, while penetrating deep into your skin for a deeper exfoliation.
The most common chemical exfoliants on the market now are AHA and BHA exfoliants. If you’re new to this, you’re probably wondering, “What’s an AHA and BHA exfoliant? What’s the difference? Which one does my skin need?”
Don’t worry. Here at BAZZAAL we’ll help you understand the basics of AHA’s and BHA’s. This is part 1 of our article where we’ll first discuss AHA's. Part 2 will talk about BHA’s. For now, we’ll teach you just enough to know what you should choose for your skin’s needs.
What is an AHA?
So AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. It’s a water-soluble and chemical exfoliant that works on the outer layer of your skin’s surface. It works to exfoliate dead skin cells off the outside layer of your skin to help reveal new skin to resurface.
Types of AHA’s
There are many types of AHA’s, but let’s focus on the most common type of AHA’s sold within the skincare industry. The two most common types would be Glycolic and Lactic Acid.
● Glycolic acid —the most common type of AHA used in skincare. It’s derived from sugar cane and it generally gives a burning or irritating sensation due to its small molecule size. But interestingly enough, it actually helps your skin to resurface new skin cells quite a lot.
● Lactic acid —the second most common form of AHA in skincare. It’s derived from milk and is much gentler as a chemical exfoliant than Glycolic acid. Therefore it’s typically more suited to sensitive skin types.
Skin types for AHA’s
AHA’s help your skin if you have inflammatory acne. AHA chemical exfoliants are well suited for drier skin types. It reduces the inflammation and helps hydrate your skin if you typically have drier skin.
Please remember to do your research on what ingredients you are sensitive to, and what percentage of AHA your skin can handle. Always start at a small percentage and work your way up. If you’re new to exfoliants, your skin can probably only tolerate maybe exfoliating 1-2 times a week. Once your skin gets used to it, you can build your way up from there.
Now that you’ve learned more about AHA chemical exfoliants, you might be interested to learn more about BHA chemical exfoliants too? Head on over to part 2 of our article to learn more!