What Does BHA Do For Your Skin?
BHA is considered a chemical exfoliant, and its primary purpose is to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
Many exfoliating products are physical exfoliants, which means that they physically slough away dead skin cells. A sugar scrub is an excellent example of a physical exfoliant.
BHA works on a chemical level to remove dead skin by dissolving the bonds that make them stick to your skin’s surface. While this may seem like a harsh process, it isn’t. In addition, BHA has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe your skin as you exfoliate.
On a more technical level, BHA works its magic on the top layers of your skin by lifting dead skin cells away to reveal the youthful, radiant skin underneath. BHA can:
Because of its hydrating, soothing and exfoliating properties, BHA can help with:
Many people assume that scrubs and physical exfoliants are the gentler option, but the truth is that chemical exfoliants like BHA are gentler and kinder to the skin.
Do You Moisturize After Paula’s Choice BHA?
If you’ve never used a chemical exfoliant like BHA, you may not know whether it’s okay to apply moisturizer afterward. After all, chemical exfoliants take some time to work. Won’t moisturizers and other products affect their efficacy?
Paula’s Choice recommends applying BHA after you’ve cleansed and toned your skin. Once you’ve applied your exfoliant, you should apply the rest of the products in your routine (serums, moisturizers, etc.) in the order of their texture – from thinnest to thickest.
The company states that you do not need to wait to apply your moisturizer either. The BHA will work its magic even after you apply other products to your skin.
How Often Should You Use Paula’s Choice BHA Liquid Exfoliant?
On the official Paula’s Choice website it says to:
However, I personally think that nobody needs that much exfoliation.
As I already touched upon this in one of my other posts, I will simply repeat that healthy skin, or more specifically a healthy epidermis isn’t about how “young” the skin cells are, but how well the cells are able to communicate with other cells across the layers of the epidermis, how well they are able to interface with something called the “skin microbiome’, and how well they are able to relate with their immediate environment.
The dead skin cells or “corneocytes” are indispensable in this healthy ecosystem, even though they may technically be considered “dead”.
Their maturity, structure, fortified cell walls, and higher surface area allows them to hold the most amounts of what is called the Natural Moisturizing Factors or NMFs.
NMFs are what allows the skin cells to hold on to water and maintain optimal hydration levels within the outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum.
Young and fresh cells are not able to hold on to much water because they are simply not strong enough to withstand the osmotic pressure of water building up within the cells.
Over exfoliation removes the matured corneocytes, leaving behind the immature cells that may look bright, plump, and radiant, but this also leaves your skin unable to keep itself hydrated.
Therefore, while regular exfoliation should still take place in a good skincare regimen, this is definitely a process that needs to be reserved for no more than 2-3 times a week.
How often should you use Paula’s Choice BHA?
Is it OK to use BHA everyday?
How many times should I apply 2% BHA Paula’s Choice?
What happens if you use BHA too often?