How I Found Out About Chemical Exfoliation Around 2009, I was pretty much addicted to MakeupAlley, a site dedicated to honest reviews and unbiased discussions on products. At the time, I wasn’t as knowledgable as I am now when it comes to skincare. I would frequently ask on the discussion board what products would work for me. One day a few people recommended what, at the time, was called Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12%. When I looked up the reviews at the time I remember it having a pretty high score, somewhere in the 4.4 range. As of today it’s rated a 4.1 out 5.0, which considering it has over 500 reviews, is really good.
I was new to AHA’s, BHA’s and everything that chemically exfoliates the skin. It sounded scary and I was really scared to touch anything dubbed “chemically exfoliating”. I was also tired of my rough skin texture at the time that made my pores look larger than they were and my dry skin that made my makeup flake. I yearned for smooth, silky skin and after learning more about chemical exfoliants, I finally made the jump.
Why Should You Chemically Exfoliate? If you’ve never used a chemical exfoliant, you should! When we think of exfoliation, we think of rubbing something rough and abrasive over our skin. Yes, a scrub or loofah will exfoliate your skin but, only at the surface level. Manual exfoliation just removes the top layer of dead skin and can actually damage your skin. Chemical exfoliation is far superior to manual exfoliation for far more than the absence of rubbing your skin raw.
Not only does chemical exfoliation refrain from damaging your skin with harsh abrasives but, it also is more affective at removing dead skin. Chemical exfoliants penetrate the skin much deeper, reaching more layers of dead skin or skin that needs to be renewed. Manual can’t do that. Think of a chemical exfoliant as a mask that basically eats up all your dead skin cells and produces fresh, new skin. It’s also way less time consuming as all you need to do it apply the cream, lotion or gel and go on with your day.
I Just Chemically Exfoliated, Now What? Now I know I said chemical exfoliation isn’t as rough as manual exfoliation, that doesn’t mean that it’s as gentle as a regular day cream. Chemical exfoliation reveals fresh, new skin that is…raw. There I said that scary word we all fear. There is actually nothing to fear though. Yes, the skin is raw because it’s new and vibrant and no it’s not raw in the sense where you feel you got a chemical burn.
As long as you protect the newly surfaced skin, you’ll be fine. By protection I mean moisturizing and using a good amount of SPF as the sun can really damage your newly resurfaced skin. Remember it’s skin that hasn’t really seen daylight since it has been covered with oils, dead skin cells and all the other gunk we have on our face. I like to think of this newly surfaced skin as a new beginning. It’s a way to get the skin you want and fix past mistakes. Baby that new skin. Drench it in a good serum and moisturizer. Make sure it’s supple and clean. Be gentle and, on the first few days, don’t go overboard with the makeup. Oh and again, STAY OUT OF THE SUN!
I now use chemical exfoliants all over my body. I have dry skin and KP skin (Keratosis Polaris) on my upper arms and thighs (also known as chicken skin). Using a chemical exfoliant really helps smooth out my skin as well as moisturize it, although it doesn’t cure it. You can’t cure KP skin, you can only treat it.