11 new ways to exfoliate your face
Get smoother skin with these solutions
By Iantha Yu
Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / May 26 2017
It’s been drilled into our minds to cleanse and moisturise daily (at a bare minimum!), but one step that’s also seriously crucial is exfoliating. Why? The number one reason is because it directly contributes to the health of our skin by removing dead skin cells from the surface to reveal a smoother and brighter complexion - and who wouldn’t want that!
An effective way of exfoliating is with ingredients that can dissolve these dead cells, which is where AHAs and BHAs come in. “AHA is an acronym for Alpha Hydroxy Acid, which is a chemical compound designed to provide light exfoliating benefits to the skin,” says Tracey Beeby, Head Trainer for Ultraceuticals. “They are a wonderful alternative to using a granular exfoliant, which utilises physical beads to remove dead surface cells. Most skin types can use AHAs depending on the [concentration] they are used in [a formula] and the skin barrier function. If the skin barrier or epidermis is at optimum strength, usage of an AHA serum can be built up to daily.”
And as for BHAs, “There is only one type of BHA: salicylic acid, which is derived from salicylates or aspirin,” explains Beeby. “This ingredient has the ability to absorb lipids or oils on the skin’s surface. This makes it able to penetrate into the follicle to dissolve dead cells and assist in dislodging any comedones or blackheads.”
What we’re seeing lately in skin care is a burst of new formulas that blur the line between product categories. Exfoliating is no longer about the step that’s completed strictly twice a week; now, a multitude of products feature gentle levels of AHAs and BHAs that can be used even more often (some daily) to maintain smoother skin. Here are our new favourites.
Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose
If you’re already a big fan of Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold (like us), then you’d be pleased to see its sibling come on the market. Named Liquid Gold Rose, it features the same powerful exfoliant glycolic acid, along with the addition of rose extract, which is rich in vitamins A, C and E.
Medik8 Blemish Control Pads
If you prefer to exfoliate in a more convenient format, try these small wipes soaked with a salicylic acid formula on cleansed skin.
Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment
Recently reformulated, this incredibly hydrating moisturiser features glycolic acid to exfoliate, Activated C to brighten and white birch to heal.
Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
Got congested skin? Try a toner loaded with both AHAs and BHAs to thoroughly exfoliate the skin. As this product can be a little on the abrasive side, go easy with how often you use it and start by applying it every second day.
SkinMedica AHA and BHA Cream
This face cream boasts not one or two, but five exfoliating ingredients like lactic, glycolic, citric, malic and salicylic acid to address hyperpigmentation. Suitable for oily and dry skin.