Blog Post

The Best Chemical Exfoliants You Can Buy In 2022


It’s not hard to remember a time when acids were confined to chemistry class or the weapon of choice for Bond villains — not used as exfoliants that go on your face. Fast forward a few years, and chemical exfoliation has gone mainstream, stepping out of medical clinics and onto drugstore shelves as chemical exfoliants, exfoliators, and more.

The reality is acids are not frightening at all. When harnessed in controlled quantities, they can dissolve dead skin cells, as well as oil, dirt, and bacteria, to deliver a level of clean you simply couldn’t get from a face wash or physical exfoliator. Instead, it provides a deeper exfoliation to help clear out the most stubborn of skin problems. 

Big pores? Glycolic acid. Dull skin? Mandelic acid. Dry skin? Lactic acid. Oily skin? Salicylic acid. Despite contrary belief, chemical exfoliators are suitable for a wide variety of skin types and don’t have to be a burden on your skincare routine. 

Here are our top picks for the best chemical exfoliants depending on the specific skin issues you may be dealing with.

Photo by Lumin on Unsplash

Best Overall Chemical Exfoliant

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Dr Dennis Gross is the godfather of acids, so it’s no surprise his first at-home chemical peel is a cult-favorite. A blend of five acids (including salicylic to dissolve excess oil), plus antioxidants and vitamins, it comes in two steps: one to exfoliate and one to strengthen skin. This is the chemical exfoliant to splurge on if you want to change the tone and texture of your skin overnight.

Buy Now

DR DENNIS GROSS Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Best Everyday Chemical Exfoliant

Anthony Purifying Astringent Pads

Astringent pads are a great option if you want total ease a few swipes over the skin and you’re done. Strong enough to give results but soothing enough for daily use, Anthony’s blend of witch hazel, azelaic acid and aloe vera will strip the skin of impurities and excess oil without drying your complexion. With 60 vegan-friendly pads in the tub, you get a decent bang for your buck, too.

Buy Now

ANTHONY PURIFYING ASTRINGENT TONER PADS X60

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Dry Skin

The Ordinary Lactic Acid + HA

Lactic acid is as hydrating as it is exfoliating. Combine that with the humectant properties of hyaluronic acid (capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water), and you’ve got one serious dry skin destroyer. Ensure water doesn’t escape once it is drawn up to the top of the dermis by sealing it in with a good moisturizer.

Buy Now

Lactic Acid 5% + HA

Best Chemical Exfoliant for Oily Skin

Dermalogy by NeoGenLab Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads

Battling oily skin? Don’t fret – these easy-to-use pads are just the trick. Formulated with Resveratrol, which is a powerful antioxidant found in wine, these pads deliver firming and tightening benefits, leaving skin looking fresh, healthy, and youthful while also removing the excess sebum that accumulates on more naturally oily skin.

Buy Now

NeoGen Dermatology Peeling Pads

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Sensitive Skin

111SKIN Exfolactic Cleanser

Having sensitive skin is a frustrating condition to deal with. The trick is to use products less often so your face has time to calm any inflammation or irritation. Instead of a pure chemical exfoliant, opt for a cleanser with exfoliating properties. This one by 111SKIN is designed to stay on the skin for only a short period before being neutralised by water.

Buy Now

EXFOLACTIC CLEANSER

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Combination Skin

DCL Multi-Action Penta Peel

For a chemical exfoliant that packs a serious punch, it’s hard to go wrong with DCL’s Multi-Action Penta Peel Pads. Don’t let the name frighten you, though. The product doesn’t leave your face tight or red. Instead, the blend of acids (salicylic, hyaluronic, lactic, phytic and mandelic) will conquer all concerns, leaving your face so smooth you won’t be able to stop touching it.

Buy Now

DCL Multi-Action Penta Peel 50 pads

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Acne Prone Skin

Alpha H Clear Skin Tonic

If you have acne prone skin, reach for a product containing salicylic acid. The only oil-dissolving acid, it will get deep into blocked pores and clean them out. Clear Skin Tonic by Alpha H is enriched with chamomile, cucumber, arnica and thyme to calm any inflammation and redness.

Buy Now

Clear Skin Tonic

Best Gentle Chemical Exfoliant

The Inkey List PHA Toner

Relatively new on the skincare scene, PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) offer the most gentle form of chemical exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells while also drawing water into the top layers. If your skin is dull, dry or congested, this is The Inky List’s PHA Toner is the chemical exfoliant to go for. Combining the gentle acid with aloe vera and niacinamide (a form of vitamin B), this toner will  have you looking fresh.

Buy Now

THE INKEY LIST PHA 100ml

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Ingrown Hairs

Malin+Goetz Ingrown Hair Cream

Physical exfoliation is a great way to take care of everyday ingrown hairs. For particularly stubborn ones, or for sensitive skin that loathes too much fuss, however, there’s Malin+Goetz’s chemical exfoliant cream. Glycolic and salicylic acid will get rid of any trapped debris, while vitamin B5 helps heal broken skin. It works on both the body and face for that post-manscaping routine.

Buy Now

ingrown hair cream.

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Blackheads & Bumpy Skin

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Ask any grooming expert how to tackle pesky blackheads, and they will tell you that this is the product for this issue. Created by industry favorite Paula’s Choice, the two per cent salicylic acid formula wastes no time dissolving oil sitting inside clogged pores. For the full effect, combine it with a charcoal mask to see off the rest of the deep-rooted gunk.

Buy Now

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Spots & Uneven Skin

Votary Blemish Rescue Oil

If it’s just the occasional spot you suffer from rather than full-blown acne, give this blemish-rescue oil a go. Applying oil to a spot might sound counterintuitive, but that’s not the case. Spots are almost always dry and damaged around the area they’ve surfaced, breaking the skin and causing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This little warrior negates all of that, dissolving bacteria while nourishing the surrounding area.

Buy Now

BLEMISH RESCUE OIL - TAMANU AND SALICYLIC

Best Exfoliating Pads

Bliss That’s Incredi-Peel Glycolic Acid Pads

Sometimes you need the strength of a chemical exfoliant in a quick and easy-to-use pad. Moulded after Bliss Spa facial peels, these pads use 10% glycolic acid to improve skin after one use. Targeting fine lines, discoloration and other imperfections, the pads leave skin looking brighter and smoother at a fraction of the time other exfoliants would.

Buy Now

Bliss Incredi-Peel Pads

Best Exfoliating Mask

Olehenriksen PHAT mask

Made for all skin types, this age-fighting face mask works like a facial and has potent PHAs and Nordic birch sap to exfoliate, illuminate, and brighten skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes and emerge with skin that is as smooth as can be — and so soft that neither you nor your loved ones will want to keep their hands off.

Buy Now

OleHenriksen PHAT Glow Facial

Best Chemical Exfoliant For Body

REN AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum

Acids aren’t just for your face; your body is prone to collecting dead skin cells that even the best shower gel can’t wash away, so it needs exfoliating too. Part serum, part moisturizer, part exfoliant, Ren’s AHA-infused body treatment will soften any rough bumps, get rid of built-up cells and pep-up dull areas, so you can strip off without shame and reveal smooth skin.

Buy Now

AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum

Best Skin Smoothing Exfoliant

Sunday Riley Good Genes

This versatile exfoliant can be used in the morning or at night (or both!) depending on what you need. Best used as a leave-on treatment or face mask, this lactic acid, AHA serum targets pores, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots. It is also clinically proven to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines, smoothing out your face and giving you a taste of the fountain of youth.

Buy Now

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Chemical Exfoliation FAQs:

What is a chemical exfoliant, and how does it work?

Chemical exfoliants are acids that react with the skin, removing built-up layers of dead cells and excess oil that can cause dull skin and blemishes.

“The results of chemical exfoliation are generally more uniform versus physical,” adds the godfather of acids himself, Dr Dennis Gross. “Though physical exfoliators do remove dead skin, it’s like taking sandpaper to a wood surface; if you look closely, you can see scratches. Chemical exfoliants safely remove the top layer of dead skin, allowing new, youthful, healthy skin to show through.”

However, all acids have a different cellular composition. Those made up of large molecules focus on the outer layers of skin, while some are much finer, able to dive deep within the dermis for a more thorough exfoliation.

What are the different types of acid? 

Here’s a quick rundown of the type of acids you’ll find in chemical exfoliators and what each one does.

1. AHA (Alpha-hydroxy acids)

AHAs are a family of acids, including glycolic, lactic, mandelic, malic and tartaric, that are water-soluble. These are the ones you go to if texture, pigmentation, pores or a lacklustre complexion blight you. “AHAs [are] a great chemical exfoliating agent,” explains Dr Gross. “These improve cell turnover for a brighter, clearer and younger appearance. They can also help lighten brown spots that result from sun damage.”

2. BHA (Beta-hydroxy acids)

BHAs, which mainly consist of salicylic acid, are oil-soluble and therefore able to dive deep into pores to dissolve excess sebum that can mix with dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria to cause blemishes. If blackheads, spots and general oiliness are your concern, go for a BHA.

3. Glycolic Acid

“Glycolic acid is an AHA with the smallest molecular structure, which allows it to penetrate the skin for deeper exfoliation. Glycolic acid is used to improve the skin’s appearance and texture through exfoliation while reducing fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone.”

4. Lactic Acid

“Lactic acid is a naturally-occurring acid that’s more gentle than glycolic acid. Lactic acid helps exfoliate as well as speed up cell renewal and turnover. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a multi-tasker.”

5. Salicylic Acid

“Salicylic acid is a BHA that exfoliates the skin, reducing the number of pore blockages while building elastin and collagen. It’s also an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory acid which helps to calm and clarify the skin, making it suitable for combination to oily and acne-prone skin.”

How often should I use a chemical exfoliant?

“In the past, dermatologists advised against daily chemical exfoliation forget this,” says Dr Gross. “Today we have advancements in formulations which allow us to exfoliate daily without stripping or irritating the skin.”

If you are new to acids, though, it’s wise to start with a chemical exfoliant twice a week and work your way up to daily.

Are chemical exfoliants bad for your skin?

The short answer is while the name may sound scary, chemical exfoliants, when used correctly, are good for your skin — not bad. As long as you’re not overdoing it, you should be fine. If you’re concerned, do a patch test by testing the exfoliant on a section of your skin. 

What’s the difference between chemical and physical exfoliation?

You’ve likely heard of people scrubbing dead skin off of themselves with different tools in the shower or seen labels for “exfoliating beads” in face washes. This is what’s referred to as physical exfoliation or removing the dead skin cells manually.

Chemical exfoliation does the same thing using acids, which allows them to penetrate more deeply than physical exfoliation, which doesn’t get past surface-level gunk.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

The Best Hair Mousse for Men In 2022

The very best hair mousse is an unsung hero of men’s hairstyles. It’s

12 Of The Best Dandruff Shampoo For Itch-Free Living (2022 Edition)

Whether you sport a cool cropped look, luscious Samson-like locks, or something in

62 Of The Best Fathers Day Gifts Approved By Dads For Dads

It can be notoriously hard to find the best fathers day gifts. Especially

12 Of The Best Long-Lasting Colognes To Keep You Smelling Good All Of 2022

An afternoon date that unexpectedly segues into an evening date. That fateful, eternal

12 Of The Best Work Pants For Men To Help You Get and Keep the Job (2022 Edition)

When thinking about work pants for men, the first word that usually comes

Hair Dye For Men: Everything You Need To Know

Men’s hairstyles, contrary to a match, observe or a pair of trainers, is

32 Of The Best Mother’s Day Gifts That Are Better Than Gas Station Flowers

Remember when you were younger and your mom would put every crayon drawing

The 15 Best Beard Trimmers to Tackle Your Beard Goals (updated 2022)

Much like the hair on the top of your head, beards require some

18 Of The Best Men’s Sweat Shorts That Will Take You From Couch to Bar (2022 Edition)

Since when did it become socially acceptable to wear sweat shorts outside the

The Best Tom Ford Colognes: How To Pick The Right One For You

While it’s a daring assertion, there is reality in the contemplating that there

Test New | FashionBeans

For some guys, there’s still a hesitation around yoga classes, but more men

Test Post | FashionBeans

For some guys, there’s still a hesitation around yoga classes, but more men

Skagen Watches Review: Best Minimalist Watches On The Market in 2022?

If you are a guy in need of a basic still pleasantly complex

25 Of The Best Crew Cut Haircut Looks for Men in 2022

If long, shaggy hairstyles aren’t your thing and close shorn buzz cuts seem

17 Of The Best Black Sneakers To Buy In 2022

We all know that a pair of crisp, white sneakers are definitely a

A Complete Guide To Smart Casual Dress Code For Men

Trying to find the true meaning of the phrase smart casual can quickly

The 30 Hottest Women in the World Today 2022

These days, being hot isn’t just about winning the DNA lottery and hiring

45 Of The Best Tribal Tattoos For Men in 2021

More than any single style, tribal tattoos draw upon traditional tattoo elements from

The 17 Best Hoodies for Men in 2021

It is hard to believe of anyone product of garments that has experienced

40 Of The Best Eagle Tattoos for Men in 2021

Popular across many cultures, the eagle is no stranger in the men’s tattoo

The Complete Guide To Men’s Buzz Cuts

Think that choosing a men’s buzz cut is as easy as choosing a

Why You Need A Pair Of Polarised Sunglasses

You’ve viewed it prepared on shades at your neighborhood opticians. Probably even listened

The Peaky Blinders Hairstyle: What To Ask For And How To Style It

With binge-observe performances from the likes of Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, razor-sharp

How To Choose The Right Haircut For Your Face Shape

Like your clothes, haircuts aren’t one-size-fits-all. But unlike your clothes, you can’t take

The Best Sneaker Brands In The World Right Now

There was a time not so very long ago when attending a special

Every Moustache Style It’s Acceptable To Have In 2020 (And A Few That Aren’t)

An unlikely little bit-player in a person of summer’s cinematic dramas has been

5 Men’s Fashion Trends To Keep For 2020

With a seemingly in no way-ending drip of new-ins and new-outs, it can

How To Dress Well: The 15 Rules All Men Should Learn

There are ample regulations in lifestyle as it is. Some, on the other

The Best Exercises For Losing Weight Fast

When it will come to shifting a couple kilos and burning fats, it

The Best-Dressed Men In The World 2019

You couldn’t call it a boring year for menswear, could you? Looking back,

how-to-rock-the-leopard-print-trend
How to Rock the Leopard Print Trend

Animal print proceeds its reign of the style jungle this loss, as well as

dress-to-put-on-a-wedding
What Dress to Put On a Wedding

Dark florals, rich structures, as well as punchy colours fit for any bridal gown

The Best Leather Jackets Guide You’ll Ever Read

Few items of menswear come packaged with as much attitude, heritage or unfiltered

9 Men’s Jumpers That Will Never Go Out Of Fashion

In the bleak midwinter, as the carol doesn’t put it, you need knitwear.

The Best Gore-Tex Jackets You Can Buy In 2019

What do a 60-year-old birdwatcher and that cool streetwear guy you follow on

The Best New Menswear To Buy Right Now

Beams Plus Knitted Rugby Shirt Japanese menswear don Beams Plus has torn the rule-book

Adidas LG SPZL: Our Sneakers Of The Week

Does anyone need more sneakers? A few pairs is probably enough, yet we still.

The Best New Menswear To Buy Right Now

Levi’s Folk City T-Shirt Levi’s latest vintage collection, Folk City, is influenced by the

The Complete Guide To Techwear

Hobbs & Shaw, the latest going-to-cross-a-billion instalment in the neverending Fast & Furious

Summer Fashion For Big Guys: Everything You Need To Know

Fashion can often feel like a club that’s shut to anyone who’s not

6 Key Men’s Swimwear Trends For Spring/Summer 2019

Mastering fashion trends in everyday clothes can be difficult enough, but when you

Why The Blue Dress Shirt Is The Ultimate Menswear Hero

The blue dress shirt, it’s hardly the most exciting of propositions. And yet,

The Best New Menswear To Buy Right Now

Arket Workwear Jacket Simultaneously light and durable, a workwear jacket makes for a great

Summer Trousers: Every Style You Need To Know About

Legwear is stressful at this time of year. Can you get away with

The Best Cuban Collar Shirts You Can Buy In 2019

The island brother to the Oxford, the Cuban collar shirt (sometimes known as

How To Wear The Most Difficult Menswear Colours

The designer, suitmaker and shopkeeper Sid Mashburn once said of a man’s wardrobe:

Suit Alterations For Men: 13 Tailoring Tweaks To Consider

At the very start of The Italian Job, Michael Caine’s character delivers one