Exfoliating is very important. That serum and aging moisturizer you might have spent hundreds of dollars on isn’t really working if it’s being absorbed by dead, clingy skin. The goal of a serum is to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin.
I whole-heartedly believe that chemical exfoliators are superior to manual exfoliators. They work much better, less of a mess and really penetrate the skin. While manual exfoliation is great, it only removes dead skin that is sitting on the top layers. It may make your skin smooth before that big night out but thats it. Within a few days your skin will return back to how it was pre-scrub, unless you exfoliate again.
To put it simply, manual exfoliation doesn’t last like chemical exfoliants do. Everyone who has skin texture issues, who desires smoother skin and a healthy glow, its essential they adopt the habit of chemical exfoliating.
Before I get into my favorites, I want to discuss the different types of chemical exfoliators, mainly AHA and BHA. Now to make this easier to comprehend, I’ll leave all the big scientific terms out and get straight to the point. AHA is great for dry skin and getting off those pesky rough patches that people with dry skin tend to get. BHA is more suited for people who have issues with oil production which causes acne, blackheads, whiteheads and milia. BHA can penetrate through oil while AHA cant.
I have dry to combination skin and use both AHA and BHA. I think everyone should use both but obviously if you have more issues with acne and blackheads it’s best to use BHA most of the time and AHA here and there. My reasoning for this is because we can all benefit from both these exfoliators. Who doesn’t want to get rid of flaky, dry skin with AHA? Who doesn’t want to get rid of or prevent acne from forming?
I usually use a BHA in the morning under my makeup since it’s not as heavy as AHA is. Plus, it seems to control my oil a bit. Since BHA won’t shed my skin like AHA does, it also makes sense since I don’t want my makeup scabbing off with the dead skin through out the day. I use AHA at night and after 3 to 4 days I will manual exfoliate to get rid of any dead skin.
At last, we get to my favorite products.
I fell in love with Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle years ago and can honestly notice a difference when I am not using it. It doesn’t sting nor burn, it’s quite moisturizing (best to apply at night) and really gives my skin this beautiful smooth glowy look. Plus it’s only around $14-$18 and the tube lasts forever!
Dr. Denis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads do wonders for my skin as well. It’s quick and easy! You can use it any time of the day. Under makeup or at night layered with your favorite serum (I always apply Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair over it).
After Neutrogena discontinued my old favorite BHA product I was on the hunt for a good BHA cream. They were surprisingly hard to find and I got ahold of SK-II’s Skin Refining Treatment. It does wonders for my pores and is a great base for makeup. It goes on like La Mer’s Soft Creme, it’s texture is divine! It’s extremely expensive, around $160 but totally worth it as I have seen a tremendous improvement in blemish reduction and milia.