Your Guide to Exfoliants this Fall
As the weather starts to cool down and the leaves begin to change, it's time to start thinking about your fall skincare routine. One important aspect of any skincare routine is exfoliation. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and reveal fresh, glowing skin. But with so many different types of exfoliants available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your skin. In this Dermy Doc Guide, we'll break down the different types of exfoliants and provide tips on how to use them effectively.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
AHAs are water-soluble acids that are derived from fruits and milk. They work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be easily removed. AHAs are great for brightening and smoothing the skin, and can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Some common AHAs include glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid. These acids are often found in serums, toners, and peels. When using an AHA, it's important to start with a low concentration and gradually work your way up to avoid irritation. AHAs can also increase sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear sunscreen during the day.
Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHAs)
PHAs are similar to AHAs, but they have a larger molecular size, which means they are gentler on the skin since they don’t penetrate as deeply. PHAs work by exfoliating the top layer of the skin with the added bonus of also helping to retain moisture. They are great for people with sensitive skin or those who are new to exfoliating.
Some common PHAs include gluconolactone and lactobionic acid. These acids are often found in moisturizers, serums, and toners. PHAs can be used daily and are less likely to cause irritation or sun sensitivity.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)
BHAs are oil-soluble acids that work by penetrating deep into the pores to unclog them. They are great for people with oily or acne-prone skin, as they can help to reduce breakouts and blackheads.
The most common BHA is salicylic acid, which is often found in cleansers, toners, and spot treatments. When using a BHA, it's important to start with a low concentration and to avoid using it too frequently, as it can cause dryness and irritation.
Physical or mechanical exfoliants work by physically removing dead skin cells with a scrubbing motion. They can be effective at removing dead skin cells, but they can also be harsh on the skin if used too frequently or if the particles are too large.
Some common physical exfoliants include sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, and microbeads. When using a physical exfoliant, it's important to be gentle and to avoid using too much pressure. It's also important to choose a product with small, gentle particles to avoid damaging the skin. Some microbeads are actually insoluble, meaning they can be harmful to our ocean and it’s animals, so we recommend avoiding them.
Enzyme exfoliants work by breaking down the proteins that hold dead skin cells together. They are typically gentler than physical exfoliants and can be great for people with sensitive skin.
Some common enzyme exfoliants include papain (from papaya) and bromelain (from pineapple). These enzymes are often found in masks and peels. When using an enzyme exfoliant, it's important to follow the instructions carefully and to avoid leaving the product on for too long, as it can cause irritation.
To sum it up, exfoliation is an important part of any skincare routine, but it's important to choose the right type of exfoliant for your skin. By understanding the different types of exfoliants and how they work, you can choose the right product for your skin type and avoid irritation or damage. Remember to start with a low concentration and to listen to your skin - if it's feeling dry or irritated, it may be time to switch to a gentler exfoliant. With the right exfoliant, you can reveal fresh, glowing skin this fall.