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About exfoliants:

Acid percentage is not the only thing to consider when choosing a BHA or AHA product. With both products, pH is also very important. A lower pH (about 2.0) will make more of the acid 'available' - so it is stronger & capable of better skin penetration. For instance, if you have two 2% BHA products & one has a pH of 3.2 & the other has a pH of 2.0, the one with the pH of 2.0 will be stronger & penetrate the skin better. The same is true of AHAs.

About BHA:

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA/salicylic acid) is:

  • lipid-soluble, so it is able to deeply penetrate the skin to exfoliate & help clear the pores from the inside out

  • antibacterial, so it can be extremely helpful in clearing acne

  • anti-inflammatory, so it can be useful in preventing/healing ingrown hairs, keratosis pilaris, & the red bumps you sometimes see after shaving/waxing
          

About AHA/lactic acid:

Lactic acid is:

  • water-soluble, so it works mostly on the surface of the skin, helping with fine lines, hyperpigmentation, & sun damage

  • less likely to cause side-effects (such as irritation, burning, stinging) than glycolic acid

  • a humectant, which increases the skin's ability to hold moisture & absorb other substances

  • capable of increasing new cell growth & collagen production

 

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