Five Ways To Chemically Exfoliate Your Skin

It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to
guest post on Laura’s, a fellow beauty addict, blog. Today I want to talk about
exfoliation. In particular, different ways to chemically exfoliate your skin.
It doesn’t always have to be about scrubby granules or things that get stuck in
your sink. In fact, AHAs and BHAs are some of the star players in sloughing
away dead skin (by dissolving their bonds with your skin’s surface) without
damaging the new layers underneath.
Alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic and lactic acid,
are one of the gentlest and great for sensitive, mature and very dry skins.
They hold in moisture well and over time can encourage the production of
collagen and strengthen your epidermis which makes for plumper, healthier
Beta-hydroxy acids (such as salicylic acid) are the
stronger of the two and tend to work best for oily/acne prone skin types or
those who can take a more intense chemical exfoliation. They penetrate deeper
to break down anything that is clogging your pores.
Of course, with all chemical exfoliants, they are best
used at night on clean skin. It’s also important to use sufficient SPF during
the day as these acids will leave your skin more susceptible to sun damage if
unprotected. Now that we’ve got the key notes out of the way, here are five
ways to chemically exfoliate your skin.
This cult favourite can be used as a daily toner or
targeted treatment. My first foray into the world of chemical exfoliants and a
great way to test the waters if you have sensitive skin. Glow Tonic is very
gentle with 5% glycolic acid, aloe vera and witch hazel to refine and brighten
the complexion. I’ve been using this for two years now and it has done wonders
to improve the texture of my skin and keep those pores clean. 
A skincare edit wouldn’t be complete without a little
Korean beauty “skintertainment“. The idea behind these single
sachet is that each puff (like a palm sized powder puff) is pre-dosed in a
chemical exfoliant treatment solution. You add a little water to the puff,
squish it and it will start to bubble and foam. You then apply it to clean skin
in gentle circular motions. The puff also adds a light helping of manual exfoliation
and leaves skin feeling smoother and looking more radiant.
K-beauty brand WISH
produce one of these with both Vitamin C, glycolic and
lactic acids as well as polyglutamic acid. Poyglutamic acid is produced
from a fermented Japanese soybean and has been discovered to be more hydrating
than hyaluronic acid (which this treatment also contains), improve dark spots
and pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles by penetrating to the deepest
layers of the skin. Starskin Beauty’s
Glowstar Foaming Puff is a more
easily available option in the UK and contains both glycolic and lactic acids
as well as carrot and tomato to aid that brightening effect.
Everyone’s favourite for quick targeting and on the go
treatments. There are a lot of options on the market varying in price but it’s
the percentage of acid that you’ve got to look out for. The First Aid Beauty Pads and Nip + Fab’s “Extreme” Pads
both contain 5% glycolic like the Glow Tonic. The latter also contains BHA
salicylic acid so would be more suited to those prone to acne or blackheads.
My favourite are the Wine Peeling Gauze Pads by Korean brand NEOGEN. These contain a blend of AHA’s (glycolic, lactic and
tartaric) as well as natural AHA resveratrol. This is made by fermenting red
wine and makes a great antioxidant too. It also contains fruit acids high in
Vitamins A and C.
Higher end brands such as Peter Thomas Roth, Cane +
Austin and Rodial provide glycolic acid treatments in the 15-20% mark. However,
so does Pixi with their Glow Pads
which also contain soothing rosewater. These come in at £24.
Although cleansers take the top spot as my favourite
skincare product, face masks are up there in the top three. There are many
varieties from textures to formulations to applications. The first chemical
exfoliating face mask I ever tried was REN’s
Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
with a blend of glycolic, lactic,
citric and tartaric acids. Masks rich in fruit enzymes also do an amazing job.
I like to apply the Kiehl’s Pineapple
& Papaya Scrub
as a mask and let it eat away at those dead skin layers.
Papaya is great for treating redness too.
In the K-Beauty world, peeling gels aren’t technically
considered face masks or scrubs. They are gels rich in fruit enzymes that when
applied to dry skin will start to “ball up” as they’re massaged in.
This is the gathering of the peeling gel as it picks up all the dead skin
leaving little jelly like blobs on the skin ready to be washed away. Fruit
enzymes break down keratin protein which is what easily removes dead skin and
leaves you with a softer, smoother skin and a fresh glow. Mizon’s Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel is a
popular choice. And the best part is, no microbeads or other tiny granules are
going to end up in your sink or down the drain.
What’s your favourite way to exfoliate?

Thank you, Sarirah! Check her blog out here.