It’s time to shed your skin
Why remove dead skin cells?
Dead and dry skin cells do not fully shed from your skin by themselves. They linger on, blocking skin pores and leading to acne or other skin issues including dry patches, flaky skins and early signs of ageing. Therefore, it is necessary to exfoliate your skin regularly and acids can be super effective. When you remove dead skin cells you allow the moisture levels of your skin to increase as waterfilled living cells are brought closer to the surface. It also removes pigmentation and blemishes vanish, helping you to prevent acne.
How it works
When we look at the surface of our skin, we see a layer of dead skin cells, and below that, a layer of living skin cells. As we get older, the layer of dead skin cells become thicker and the layer with living cells gets thinner, because the dead skin cells do not naturally detach from our skin as fast as they once did when we were younger.
To help remove the excess dead skin cells, we need the right products to peel them off. You can either choose products with grains (Mechanical peeling) or products with acids (chemical peeling). The mechanical peeling can be quite harsh for the skin on the face, while the chemical peeling is gentler. (We are talking about home products, not chemical peels at a doctor).
So, how do you do it?
When we apply, for example, a cleanser or a mask with AHA acid onto the skin, the lipid layer that holds the cells together is loosened. Leave it on for a few moments and then simply wash it off with a damp pad or wipe. When the layer of dead cells is regularly peeled off with AHA, the layer with living cells gets thicker, giving the skin a fresher look and feel.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
AHAs are water-soluble chemical exfoliants—put simply, they loosen the bonds between the cells on the surface of your skin, making the process of purging dead skin cells faster. AHA is ideal for targeting wrinkles and/or hyperpigmentation, and achieves a brighter, smoother, and more even complexion. They also contain humectant properties, meaning they’re ideal for dry skin.
The most common AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid, usually derived from fruit sugar and milk. Glycolic acid’s small molecular structure allows it to work more effectively on the cells, but this also makes it more likely to irritate your skin. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use the gentler lactic acid.
Other common AHAs are mandelic acid (derived from almond extracts), tartaric acid (derived from grape extracts), and citric acid (derived from citric fruit extracts). AHAs increase photosensitivity, so when including them in your routine, it’s extra important to use sunscreen.
Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
BHAs are also chemical exfoliants but unlike AHAs, which work on the surface of your skin, oil soluble BHAs penetrate deeper into your skin, dissolving oil and clearing out your pores. They’re especially recommended for those with oily, acne-prone skin types who are looking for clearer, calmer skin.
Salicylic acid is the most common BHA and is known as an anti-acne treatment — it’s anti-inflammatory qualities dissolve skin-clogging sebum. It can be quite harsh though, so if you’re looking for something gentler, betaine salicylate is alternative BHA option .
BHAs can also be drying, since they don’t have humectant properties like AHAs, so make sure not to skip the hydrating steps of your skincare routine.
Retinol is a skincare superhero — it’s a Vitamin A derivative that boosts skin cell turnover for younger-looking skin. It increases collagen production, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and clears out your pores.
While you can get retinoids over the counter (most commonly in the form of retinol), stronger concentration retinoids like tretinoin require prescriptions. Note that when you first start using them, your skin may go through an adjustment period with dryness and flakiness, so proceed with caution — load up on moisturizer and sunscreen.
It’s recommended to avoid using retinoids and AHAs/BHAs at the same time. Too many chemical exfoliants can damage your skin’s moisture barrier, plus they have different pH levels. If you must use both, use one in the morning and one in the evening as we suggested above, or on alternate nights.
Good routines and quality products are an investment in your future self. We strive to empower women with knowledge, not only to give you beautiful skin but to boost your self-confidence and inner strength to go out there, change the world and create a brighter and more sustainable future! Better skin for a better you.