Remember when it’s itchy, chemical exfoliants are reserved for spa days? Chances are, it’s a distant memory now. The best chemical exfoliants have taken over the show, entering skincare enthusiasts’ beauty routines as easily as a new moisturizer or serum. However, knowledgeable people still help pave the way to explain the difference between all the acids you’ll see on skincare product labels – and which acids you should invest in for your skin type. mine.

While there’s a lot to know, three stand out from the crowd: “Glycolic acid is typically derived from cane sugar, lactic acid is derived from milk, and salicylic acid is derived from willow bark,” Stacy said. Honda – senior esthetician at Penelope & The Beauty Bar and a partner at DAPHNE Studio – told TZR via email. “They work similarly to loosening and sloughing off dead skin cells and resurfacing the skin. The main difference is that glycolic acid and lactic acid are water-soluble alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and salicylic acids are water-soluble acids.” beta-hydroxy (BHA) ) is oil-soluble, so it penetrates deeper into the pores.”

As you can imagine, some exfoliating acids are better for some skin types than others. Honda continues: “Because salicylic acid is oil-soluble, it works well with oily, congested skin. Glycolic acid is great for wrinkles and lactic acid is better at moisturizing and helpful for hyperpigmentation.” “In general, lactic acid is gentler and more suitable for sensitive skin.”

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However, you still need to be careful when using chemical exfoliants – although you may already know it, because overall acid Thing. “The benefit of using chemical exfoliants is that the skin can be left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated,” says Dr. Shari Sperling of Sperling Dermatology. “However, it also makes your skin more susceptible to sunburn, so you must be careful to apply sunscreen after your skin has healed. But you should wear sunscreen anyway.”

Though with patience, careful hands and the right products, refreshed and rejuvenated skin is still within your reach. According to Honda and Dr. Sperling, the best chemical exfoliants you can use at home.

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