Yup, you heard that right, ACIDS.

When it comes to dead skin cells, our usual solution is a facial wash with microbeads. This is even true for body scrubs and even toothpaste because we believe that microbeads get the gunk that not ordinary hygiene products can. Though years back, this does the trick, this 2019, we need to upgrade this by using topical acids.

In fact, researchers say that most available exfoliants in the market that have cosmetic microbeads are harmful to the environment. Due to micro-plastics’ miniscule size they are hugely problematic specifically to marine life. There are trillions of plastic microbeads washed down our drains every day and a huge percentage of this number gets into our bodies of water.

Some countries started to ban products that include microbeads and if this does not convince you enough to switch your usual microbeads exfoliating routine to acids, I do not know what will.

What are the best acids to use?

As we age, the shedding process of dead skin cells slows down and the only solution in aiding this is through gentle exfoliation through leave-on acids. There are tons of acids available in the market but let me focus on two very important ones for the skin — alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids.

How does Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA work?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids mainly target dry, dull, sun-damaged skin. It provides moisture and renews the skin surface leaving it soft and supple. And while this works well for dry skin, it works just as great for oily skin, giving the moisture it needs. There are many types of AHA — from glycolic for anti-microbial, lactic for anti-aging and citric for sun protection.

How does Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA work?

Beta Hydroxy Acids, on the other hand, mainly target clogged pores — from blackheads, bumps, and even for milla. It unclogs the deepest dirt of your skin leaving it clear and smooth. It goes deeper than AHA and makes sure that it removes excess sebum. Salicylic, a kind of BHA, can come handy for redness and inflammation.

How to use AHA and BHA?

Because of their overall exfoliating benefits without the obvious peeling and harsh effects to the environment, they both reduce the build-up of acne, inflammation and the overall appearance of forming wrinkles. But having said so, everything comes in moderation. Using AHA or BHA solutions can only be done 2-3 times a week or every other day, depending on your skin condition and reaction. Most importantly, using these may make you a little sensitive to the sun, so do make sure that you wear sunscreen every time.

Here are just some skincare products with AHA and BHA that will help you achieve your #GlassSkin goals:


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