How To Choose The Right Exfoliant For Your Skin


How To Choose The Right Exfoliant For Your Skin

By Shammi Mondal 

You wash your face, feel a few uneven bumps, and turn to the internet for advice. You then find recommendations with confusing ingredients like ‘AHA’ and ‘BHA.’ In a nutshell, the function of both these actives is to exfoliate your skin to give you the glow of your dreams. Before you make a commitment to one of them, think about what you really want to target. If you still can’t make up your mind, we spoke to Dr Jaishree Sharad to guide you in finding your perfect match. 


AHA: The collagen generator  

“AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) stimulate collagen production which boosts cell regeneration,” says dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad. Collagen, the protein that gives your skin its elasticity, reduces as we age. But AHA generates more collagen in your skin, making it a powerful anti-ageing ingredient to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 

AHAs are mainly derived from sugary fruits like sugarcane. Mandelic acid, citric acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid are types of AHAs that are used in skin peeling treatments as they help remove dead skin cells and reveal smoother texture. These actives can be used on all skin types, but it is advisable to incorporate it in your skincare routine gradually as it might dry your skin.  


BHA: The acne warrior  

If you have any acne-prone or oily skin, BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) are your saviour. They are primarily used to reduce acne, skin inflammation, blackheads, and whiteheads. Wondering how? 

“BHAs are oil soluble, which means they can break down the oil on your skin. They penetrate deep into your skin and remove excess sebum and oil,” says Dr Sharad. This unclogs the pores, exactly why BHAs are great for people with oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin.  

“You must never combine an AHA with a BHA, however you can use them separately on alternate nights. Also, always protect your skin with a sunscreen when using these actives,” suggests Dr Sharad.  

If you are looking only for anti-ageing solutions, try an AHA. If you want to control acne and oiliness, look for BHAs.