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Here’s a crash course on chemical exfoliant - unlike physical exfoliants, they use the power of acidic ingredients to get rid of excess dead skin cells on the skin. 


What Is a Chemical Exfoliant?

There are two main categories AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid). Here’s how to know which is the best chemical exfoliant type for your skin.


Types of AHAs include skincare ingredients like Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, and Mandelic Acids. These exfoliants are water-soluble and work better on the uppermost layer of the stratum corneum.

The major benefit of using these exfoliating acids is their ability to slough away excess dead skin cells, leading to the other benefits of exfoliation.

First, skin looks more radiant as newer skin underneath is revealed. Second, pores tend to look smaller and refined, giving an almost glasslike look to the skin. Third, a chemical exfoliator works to boost skin’s cellular renewal. This means most exfoliants have major anti-ageing benefits such as diminished wrinkles and firmer skin.

Some AHAs also have a humectant benefit from the skin, helping it to hold on to moisture and preventing dryness. 


The most commonly used BHA exfoliant is salicylic acid. Compared to AHAs, salicylic acid is actually oil-soluble, meaning it can break down sebum and any oil-based congestion.

Salicylic acid also has anti-inflammatory benefits, making it great for calming down acne. 


Which Chemical Exfoliator Is Right for My Skin Type?

A BHA is the best chemical exfoliant for oily and acne-prone skin because they can decongest breakouts and prevent them from returning. Salicylic acid can also reduce the look of shine & visible pores over time.

AHAs are best for normal skin, dry skin, and mature skin due to their radiance-boosting and anti-ageing abilities. 

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Related Categories

All Exfoliant | Physical Exfoliant

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