We’ve all been taught that the formula for clear, beautiful skin starts with a proper cleanse. However, many of our teachers left out the fact that in order to maintain our radiant skin, we must begin this formula with regular exfoliation. Throughout the year, our skin goes through changes and is forced to adapt to the revolving seasons. To keep your skin smooth and bright all year round, exfoliating is the key to success.

Exfoliating acids have fast become staples in our beauty regimes because of their proven ability to resurface the skin, without the damage that often comes hand-in-hand with mechanical, or ‘scrub’ exfoliators.

AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. As facialist Katharine Mackenzie Paterson explains, “AHAs are a series of acids, mostly derived from plant and animal sources, although some are synthetically produced. Well known AHAs such as glycolic, mandelic and citric acid can be found in a variety of skincare products such as toners, exfoliators and serums.”

BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. According to Mackenzie Paterson, “the main difference between an AHA and a BHA is the chemical structure of both of these compounds”.

These chemical exfoliants work in two ways: by lifting off the build-up of dead cells on the skin’s surface to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion (in the case of alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs), or by penetrating into the pores to shift build-up and help clear breakouts (in the case of beta hydroxy acids – BHAs).


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