Key to radiant skin - Chemical exfoliants explained

Key to radiant skin - Chemical exfoliants explained

Navigating a skincare world can feel slightly daunting, there are always new ingredients popping up each week and it can be hard to keep up! Truly, to achieve your dream skin you do not have to follow all the trends, it all starts from the first step – cleansing. Firstly, if done properly it can change your skin. Secondly, it is also one of the easiest and best ways to incorporate chemical exfoliants. Keep reading to be on your way to your most beautiful, radiant skin!

What are chemical exfoliants in skincare?

They come in different forms such as cleansers, toners, masks, peels or leave on treatments like serums.

Key ingredients include Alpha hydroxy acids (short AHAs):

  • Glycolic acid – typically derived from sugar cane
  • Lactic acid – typically a by-product of the bacterial fermentation of sugar or sourced from milk
  • Citric acid – typically derived from oranges and lemons
  • Mandelic acid – typically derived from bitter almonds

Beta hydroxy acids (short BHAs)

  • Salicylic acid – typically derived from willow trees

How do chemical skin exfoliants work?

Chemical exfoliants work to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s outer layer to reveal smoother, brighter, less congested and more radiant complexion. Results are usually seen after 3 weeks of using exfoliating acids. However, they should always be incorporated in your skincare regime to maintain beautiful and healthy glow.

What chemical exfoliant is best for my skin?


People who have oily skin usually tend to have more visible pores, are prone to oiliness and congestion that leads to acne, blackheads and uneven skin texture. Therefore, BHA – Salicylic acid is the best chemical exfoliant for oily skin types!

It is oil-soluble and penetrates deep into the pores to remove dirt and build-up of dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is great at controlling sebum production and keeping acne at bay!


People with dry skin sometimes tend to avoid chemical exfoliation, however they are truly the people who can benefit from it! In this case, Glycolic and Lactic acid are your best friends when it comes to chemical exfoliants, as not only do they improve skin texture but also provide your skin with much needed hydration.

MZ Skin Radiance & Renewal Instant Clarity Refining Mask contains 10% Alpha Hydroxy complex, which aims to deeply exfoliate, stimulate cell turnover, as well as even out skin tone. Lactic acid in particular is used to treat hyperpigmentation and reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles. It is one of the mildest exfoliating acids suitable for sensitive skin. For best results, apply generously onto clean face, neck and décolleté, leave for 15 minutes and rinse thoroughly with warm water. It is a more intense peel treatment that is recommended to use no more than twice a week.

Cleanse & Clarify Dual Action AHA Cleanser & Mask is another great MZ Skin product containing AHAs for more gentle, everyday exfoliation. Carefully formulated with a blend of Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Fruit Enzymes to cleanse and exfoliate without irritation for a refined skin texture. The perfect prep to reveal smoother, brighter and more radiant skin.

If you have dry and sensitive skin, Mandelic acid is also a great choice as the molecules of the chemical exfoliant are bigger therefore penetrate the skin slower and cause less irritation.


If you are one of the people that have normal or combination skin, great news for you! You can alternate between all the exfoliating acids depending on your skin concerns. Experiment and find what works best for you.

Once you start incorporating chemical exfoliants into your skincare routine consistently, results will surprise you! If you wish to learn more about how to perfect your skincare regime, book a free virtual consultation here.