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Oh hey, AHA & BHAs

Oh hey, AHA & BHAs 👋🏾

Coming into the cooler weather, it's a good time to look at introducing or increasing your exfoliation! The skin goes through changes seasonally and it's a great idea for your skincare to flow with it. 

Dry skin, flakiness and increased breakouts are all skin concerns our Skin Service team see an increase in when seasonal change comes into the cooler & dryer months. What better way to keep these concerns at bay than regular exfoliation? AHAs, BHAs or even a blend of the two are great ingredients to introduce to the skin during this time, and allow even a sensitive skin to experience a gentle exfoliation.

What are AHAs?

Typically derived from natural substances, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are a class of chemical compounds that are commonly used in skincare products and loved for their exfoliating properties. Some of the most common AHAs include glycolic acid and lactic acid.

What are BHAs?

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are a type of exfoliating acid commonly used in skincare, with the most well-known BHA being salicylic acid. BHAs are oil-soluble, which differentiates them from AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), making them particularly effective for treating oily and acne-prone skin.

How do these work?

These acids provide a great, gentle exfoliation of the skin working to break down the bonds that keep dead skin cells to the surface of the skin, as well as helping to lightly dissolve any debris settling in the pores. This helps reveal a newer, brighter skin underneath! 

AHAs break down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to be sloughed off. This reveals newer, brighter skin underneath. Like AHAs, BHAs also break down bonds but they also penetrate deeper into the pores to clear out excess oil and debris, making them particularly effective for treating acne and blackheads.

The buildup on the outer layer of the skin can prevent your skin from receiving the full benefits of your goodies. By using AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate and clear away dead skin cells and impurities, you create a smoother surface that allows serums, moisturisers, and other treatments to penetrate more deeply and work more effectively. 

As the fresh, radiant skin is revealed after use, the refined surface helps to improve the ingredient absorption of your other esmi Skin Treats!

Skin Service tip:
It's best not to stack too many types of acids in your routine - just pick one or two key products containing these.

Combining AHAs and BHAs

While it's generally safe to use AHAs and BHAs together, it’s best to introduce them slowly into your routine to avoid irritation. Some products are formulated with both acids to provide comprehensive exfoliation benefits, but if using separate products, it’s often recommended to alternate them.

As we've mentioned, exfoliation is an amazing step in your routine to help refine skin, keeping it smooth and soft. However, it's just as important not to overdo it! Especially during the cooler months when our skin tends to be drier, over-exfoliation can lead to irritation and dryness. Typically, exfoliating 1-2 times per week is more than enough to maintain smooth, glowing skin, but always consider your skin type and adjust accordingly. Remember, a gentle approach ensures the best results!

What products include these?

esmi has a wonderful curation of products containing AHAs and BHAs. 

Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum
10% AHAs (5% Glycolic Acid and 5% Lactic Acid) 

Gentle Refine Cleansing Toner
3% AHA (Lactic Acid)  1% BHA (Salicylic Acid)

Detox Hydra-Fluid Moisturiser 
2% AHA (Lactic Acid)

Although AHA/BHAs are classically a more gentle form of exfoliation than an abrasive manual exfoliation, it's still best to do a patch test and ease in gently introducing these products if there is pronounced inflammation, a skin condition or sensitivity in the skin.

Shop esmi products containing AHAs and BHAs