Exfoliating your skin

Well-formulated exfoliants with AHA or BHA (we will explain what they stand for in a moment) are extremely beneficial to your skin. These products combat signs of ageing, spots and other skin issues.

The abbreviation AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid, which includes glycolic acid and various lactic acids. The letters BHA stand for beta hydroxy acid, also known as salicylic acid. Products containing these ingredients are mainly used to remove dead skin cells or to exfoliate.

How does exfoliation work?

The skin naturally gets rid of skin cells every day. Sun damage, a dry or oily skin, genetic factors or skin conditions can disrupt this natural process. This can result in a dull or flaky skin, blocked pores, spots, milia (milk spots) or an uneven skin tone.

An exfoliant helps to rebalance the natural process. If you remove the dead skin cells gently, you can prevent blocked pores and spots, reduce the depth of wrinkles and even get rid of dry skin. You will look instantly younger.

What is the difference between an exfoliant with AHA or BHA?

Both types of exfoliants help to reduce wrinkles. They stimulate the production of collagens and strengthen the skin. The products’ specific properties will determine the best choice for you:

  • AHAs are recommended for dry skin or skin that has been damaged by the sun, because they exfoliate the skin surface and improve the skin’s moisture levels.
  • BHA is recommended for an oily skin and for skin suffering with spots, blackheads or milia. This is because BHA can penetrate blocked pores and prevent spots and acne from forming.
  • BHA has an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect. These are two more reasons to use a BHA exfoliant if you have spots, acne, or a red, sensitive skin.
  • BHA is recommended for people suffering from rosacea. Not everyone suffering from rosacea can tolerate an exfoliant, but it is worth trying a BHA exfoliant to see if your skin reacts positively to it.

How do I use an AHA or BHA exfoliant?

  • If you will be using an exfoliant for the first time, you should take care to build it up gradually over several weeks. This is because your skin needs to get used to the product. Start by using it two to three evenings a week and watch carefully how your skin responds. Depending on your skin condition and your own preference, you can ultimately use a product containing AHA or BHA once or twice a day.
  • Use the product with AHA or BHA after cleansing your face and after applying toner. Don’t rinse the exfoliant off. Then you can apply any other products in your skincare routine.
  • You can apply it to the skin around your eyes, but not to the eyelids or immediately under the eyes. Avoid direct contact with the eyes

It is best not to use scrubs to exfoliate

It is best not to use scrubs, because they have a detrimental effect that you won’t find with the AHA or BHA exfoliants:

  • With a scrub, you only reach the outer layer of skin on the skin surface and not the majority of the unhealthy, accumulated dead skin cells.
  • Many scrubs have a rough, uneven texture. This can damage your skin by causing tears or small wounds that affect the skin’s protective barrier.

If you really want to use a scrub, then use a face cloth with a bit of your usual facial cleanser on it. It works just as well as a cosmetic scrub. Furthermore, face cloths are softer and do not contain any ingredients that will block your pores, something that can really be a problem when you use a scrub on an oily spotty skin.

How often should I exfoliate?

Regular exfoliation gives your skin a healthy, youthful radiance.

To find the best frequency for exfoliation, you should try it out and see how your skin reacts. For some people, once a day is best, for others every other day or once a week. Incidentally, exfoliation does not have any negative effect at all on the formation of healthy skin cells in the deeper layers of the skin.