There are two types of exfoliation - physical (which we don’t like so much) and chemical (which we love!)
Two of the most common forms of chemical exfoliants are AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids).
AHAs are water soluble and they work by breaking down bonds between our epidermal cells, this increases desquamation and cell replacement - resulting in smoother, softer, glowing skin. Some examples are Lactic acid, glycolic acid and pyruvic acid. AHAs are mainly used for concerns of pigment, texture and to increase hydration within the skin.
BHAs are oil soluble they also work on breaking bonds between our skin cells but have the added benefit of being able to travel into our pores - where oil sits. Because of this they are mainly used on acne prone skins and also work to decrease inflammation. They are commonly used to treat blemishes, blackheads, enlarged pores and redness as BHAs have antimicrobial, anti inflammatory and comedolytic properties. The most common BHA is salicylic acid.
Low strength AHAs and BHAs can be found is home products like cleansers or serums and we encourage you to get in touch to find out how to best incorporate these ingredients into your home care routine.
Higher strengths AHAs and BHAs can be utilised in skin peels performed by our dermal clinicians or if you can’t get in for a treatment try an at home peel pad containing both AHA and BHA to instant smoothing (available on our website).