They are advancing rapidly by a few years and the chemical exfoliants containing only that have become mainstream, leaving the medical clinics and formulas of all the main skin care products.
The reality is that acids aren’t scary at all. Used in controlled quantities, they can dissolve dead skin cells, as well as oil, dirt and bacteria, to provide a level of cleanliness that simply cannot be obtained from a wash your face or physical exfoliator.
Large pores? Glycolic acid. Matte skin? Mandelic acid. Dry skin? Lactic acid. Oily skin? Salicylic acid. There is an acid for every skin condition, so overcome fear and immerse yourself in your best skin.
What is a chemical exfoliator?
Chemical exfoliants are acids that react with the skin, removing the accumulated layers of dead cells and excess oil which can cause dull skin and imperfections.
“The results of chemical exfoliation are generally more uniform than physical results,” adds the same godfather of the acids, Dr. Dennis Gross. “Although physical exfoliants remove dead skin, it’s like carrying sandpaper on a wooden surface – if you look closely, you can see the scratches. ”
How do chemical exfoliators work?
“Chemical exfoliators safely remove the top layer of dead skin, allowing new, young and healthy skin to appear,” says Dr. Gross.
However, all acids have a different cellular composition. Those made up of large molecules focus on the outer layers of the skin, while some are much thinner, able to dive deep into the dermis for more accurate exfoliation.
How often should I use a chemical exfoliant?
“In the past, dermatologists advised against daily exfoliation – forget this,” says Dr. Gross. “Today we have progress in the formulations that allow us to exfoliate daily without stripping or irritating the skin.”
If you are not familiar with acids, it is advisable to start with a chemical exfoliant twice a week and proceed until the day.
Chemical exfoliants: types of acid
AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids)
AHA they are a family of acids – including glycolic, lactic, mandelic, malic and tartaric – which are soluble in water. These are the ones you go to if the texture, pigmentation, pores or a pale complexion ruin you. “AHA [are] an excellent chemical exfoliating agent, “explains Dr. Gross.” These improve cell turnover for a brighter, clearer and younger look. They can also help lighten brown spots that result from sun damage. ”
BHA (beta-hydroxy acids)
BHAs – which mainly consist of salicylic acid – are soluble in oil and therefore able to dive deep into the pores to dissolve excess sebum which can mix with dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria to cause imperfections. If blackheads, blemishes and general oiliness are your concern, choose a BHA.
Chemical exfoliants: Dr Dennis Gross’ Acid Index
“Glycolic acid is an AHA with the smallest molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate the skin for deeper exfoliation. Glycolic acid is used to improve the appearance and texture of the skin through exfoliation, while reducing fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone. ”
“Lactic acid is a naturally occurring acid that is more delicate than glycolic acid. Lactic acid helps exfoliate and accelerate cell renewal and turnover. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a multi-tasker. ”
“Salicylic acid is a BHA that exfoliates the skin, reducing the number of blockages in the pores during the construction of elastin and collagen. It is also an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory acid that helps calm and clarify the skin, making it suitable for combination with acneprone skin. ”
The best chemical exfoliators for all skin types
The best daily chemical exfoliator
Anthony Purifying Astringent Pads
Astringent electrodes are an excellent option if you want maximum ease: a few steps on the skin and you’re done. Strong enough to give results but soothing enough for daily use, the Anthony mixture of witch hazel, azelaic acid and aloe vera will remove the skin from impurities and excess oil without drying the skin. With 60 veganfriendly pads in the tub, you get a decent bang for your dollar too.
The best chemical exfoliator for sensitive skin
111SKIN Exfolactic cleanser
Sensitive skin is a frustrating condition to deal with. The trick is to use the products less often, so your face has time to calm any inflammation or irritation. Instead of pure chemical exfoliant, opt for a cleanser with exfoliating properties. This 111SKIN is designed to remain on the skin only for a short time before being neutralized by water.
The best chemical exfoliator for acne
Alpha H Clear Skin tonic
If your face isn’t foreign to breakouts, look for a product containing salicylic acid. The only acid that dissolves the oil will penetrate deep into the blocked pores and clean them. Alpha H’s Clear Skin Tonic is enriched with chamomile, cucumber, arnica and thyme to calm any inflammations and redness.
The best gentle chemical exfoliator
The PHA toner from Inkey List
Relatively new to the skin care scene, PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) offer the most delicate form of chemical exfoliator, eliminating dead skin and absorbing water in the upper layers. If your skin is dull, dry or congested, this is the chemical exfoliator to choose. Choose The Inky List’s PHA toner, which combines mild acid with aloe vera and niacinamide (a form of vitamin B) to make you look fresh.
Best chemical exfoliant for combination skin
DCL Multi-Action Penta Peel
For a chemical exfoliator that offers a serious punch, it’s hard to go wrong with DCL’s Multi-Action Penta Peel Pads. Don’t let that scare you, though. The product does not leave the face narrow or red. Instead, the mixture of acids (salicylic, hyaluronic, lactic, phytic and mandelic) will conquer all worries, leaving the face so smooth that it cannot stop touching it.
Best chemical exfoliator for ingrown hair
Malin + Goetz Ingrown hair cream
A physical scrub is a great way to take care of everyday ingrown hair. For those who are particularly stubborn or for sensitive skin that detests too many stories, however, there is the chemical exfoliating cream by Malin + Goetz. Glycolic and salicylic acid will get rid of any trapped debris, while vitamin B5 helps heal broken skin. Works on both body and face for that post-manscaping routine.
The best chemical exfoliator for oily skin
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel
Dr. Dennis Gross is the godfather of the acids, so it’s not surprising that his first homemade peel is a favorite of the cult. A mixture of five acids (including salicylic to dissolve excess oil), in addition to antioxidants and vitamins, occurs in two stages: one for exfoliating and one for strengthening the skin. This is the chemical exfoliator to show off if you want to change the tone and texture of your skin overnight.
The best chemical exfoliator for the body
REN AHA smart renewal serum
Acids are not just for your face – prone to pick up dead skin that too best shower gel it cannot wash away, even your body needs to be exfoliating. In part serum, in part moisturizing, in part exfoliating, Ren’s AHA infused body treatment smoothes any rough bumps, eliminates built-up cells and pep-ups the opaque areas, so you can undress without shame.
The best chemical exfoliator for dry skin
Ordinary lactic acid + HA
Lactic acid is both moisturizing and exfoliating. Combine it with the wetting properties of hyaluronic acid (capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water), and you will have a serious destroyer of dry skin. Make sure that the water does not come out once sucked to the top of the dermis by sealing it with a good moisturizing.
The best chemical exfoliator for blackheads
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Ask any grooming expert how to deal with annoying blackheads and they will tell you that this is the product for this problem. Created by the industry’s favorite Paula’s Choice, the 2% salicylic acid formula wastes no time in dissolving the oil inside the pore. For the full effect, combine it with a carbon mask to see the rest of the deeply rooted gunk.
The best chemical scrub exfoliator
Votary Blemish Rescue Oil
If it is only the occasional spot you suffer from rather than full-blown acne, try this oil for the rescue of imperfections. Applying oil to one spot may seem counterintuitive, but it is not. The spots are almost always dry and damaged around the area where they emerged, breaking the skin and causing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This little warrior denies this, dissolving the bacteria while feeding the surrounding area.