Paula's choice 8% aha gel review: a beautiful exfoliant

Our skin naturally exfoliates dead cells every day, but over time – primarily as a result of age và unprotected sun exposure – this shedding process slows và may stop altogether. This results in dull, dry, or flaky skin; clogged, enlarged pores; bumps, wrinkles, loss of firmness, & uneven skin tone.

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Helping skin gently exfoliate its build-up of dead skin – the way it did naturally when we were younger – reveals the beautiful, soft, hydrated skin hiding underneath. Without question, a leave-on AHA (altrộn hydroxy acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) chemical exfoliant can make a world of difference to your skin’s appearance. We"re often asked which one is best, and the answer is less complicated than you might think.

How AHAs & BHA are Similar

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids, i.e. glycolic và lactic acids) và BHA (beta hydroxy/salicylic acid) both work khổng lồ "unglue" the bonds holding dull, dead skin on the surface. Once those bonds are broken – gently and evenly – skin naturally sheds its used-up cells. So, although you won"t actually see your skin exfoliating, you"ll soon see (& feel) the smoother, younger-looking skin.

To work effectively, AHA và BHA exfoliants must be formulated within a narrow pH range, between 3 & 4. Paula’s Choice Skincare is aware of the retìm kiếm around this issue, so all of our AHA & BHA exfoliants are formulated to be as effective, and as gentle, as possible. As with every Paula’s Choice product, our chemical exfoliants are fragrance-không tính tiền plus each contains quality blends of skin-soothing ingredients.

Additionally, AHA & BHA both:

diminish the look of lines and wrinklesmake skin look & feel firmerhydrate skinimprove the look of dull, uneven skin tonesmooth rough, bumpy texture

But each also has unique properties that make them suited for different skin types & concerns.


Our bestselling BHA exfoliant

Our #1 hàng hóa worldwide & cult favourite, this gentle leave-on exfoliant quickly unclogs pores, smooths wrinkles and brightens và evens out skin tone.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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AHA exfoliants smooth và soften

A moisturising AHA lotion exfoliant that gently removes built-up layers of dead skin khổng lồ reveal remarkably smoother and softer skin.

Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant

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How AHAs & BHA differ

AHAs are water soluble so only work on the skin’s surface. They are generally preferred for normal lớn dry, sun-damaged skin, due khổng lồ their ability khổng lồ enhance natural moisturising factors within skin (as mentioned above sầu, BHA is also hydrating, but it hydrates skin in a different way khổng lồ AHAs). AHAs have sầu also been proven to be effective sầu in reducing the visible signs of sun damage, including crepey skin & wrinkles.

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BHA works on both the skin’s surface và deep inside the pores. It’s oil soluble, so is best suited lớn normal to lớn oily skin prone khổng lồ bumps, clogs, blemishes and enlarged pores. BHA also has natural skin-calming properties, so it’s gentle enough for skin that"s sensitive sầu or prone to lớn redness or rosacea. This well-rounded, gentle ingredient is even suitable for bumpy skin prone khổng lồ milia.

Can You Combine AHA and BHA?

With so many combined yet unique benefits, we"re often asked, “Should I use both an AHA và BHA sản phẩm lớn get the best results?” In short, no, but it’s up khổng lồ you. All Paula’s Choice AHA và BHA exfoliants are formulated to lớn work brilliantly on their own and will provide remarkable results for various skin types và concerns.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with using both or experimenting to see which one works best for you by either (1) applying them at the same time, either morning or evening, or (2) alternating their use. Using an AHA exfoliant và a BHA exfoliant at the same time (both provide what’s known as chemical exfoliation, rather than the "mechanical" action of a scrub) is not as complicated or scary as it might seem. If you"re choosing well-formulated, gentle exfoliants, there really isn"t a downside – you just have to monitor how your skin responds & adjust usage if needed.

You don"t need khổng lồ use both an AHA & BHA exfoliant at the same time out of fear that you"re "missing out" because one is more anti-ageing than the other. In truth, both provide anti-ageing benefits; they just bởi so differently. The reason for using an AHA và BHA exfoliant at the same time is really about whether or not your skin needs more thorough exfoliation. This might be the case for those who have advanced signs of sun damage, deep wrinkles, stubborn clogged pores & bumps, or dull, flaky skin.

How lớn Use Both AHA và BHA In Your Skincare Routine

Should you apply an AHA and BHA exfoliant at the same time twice per day? Probably not. Most people don"t need that level of exfoliation but experiment to see which combination and frequency of application work best for you. (See what we mean about the need to experiment?)

As for how lớn use both at the same time – apply the exfoliants after cleansing & toning, starting with whichever has the thinnest texture; for example, apply a liquid texture before a gel or lotion. You don"t need lớn wait for one khổng lồ absorb before applying the next, & you can immediately follow with the rest of your skincare routine – it won"t affect the pH of either exfoliant.

Alternating between AHA and BHA products lớn exfoliate your face might seem too complicated, but it doesn"t have sầu to be that way. It’s fine to lớn alternate, & it can be a great way for all skin types lớn experience the distinct benefits of each. In fact, many people find that alternating AHA & BHA exfoliants is the perfect solution khổng lồ address their unique concerns.

Here are some tips on how to alternate exfoliants and how often khổng lồ exfoliate:

Most people can exfoliate once a day, in the morning or evening based on personal preference.If you want lớn alternate an AHA & BHA, simply decide which exfoliant to lớn use at the beginning of each week and then alternate day by day. You can also use one for a week, then switch lớn the other the following week.

Ultimately, there’s no single best way khổng lồ use AHA and BHA exfoliants; it’s all about experimenting to find out what works best for you và then adjusting based on the changing needs of your skin. What counts is that you keep on using a leave-on chemical exfoliant, which we"re sure you"ll willingly bởi once you see how it transforms your skin (get ready for compliments)!