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Why me??

Can BHA/AHA exfoliants permanently damage skin?

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I was thinking of trying Paula's Choice BHA 2% Liquid to smoothen my skin and fade red marks, but my mom is strongly against this.

She warns that exfoliants strip many layers of the skin and expose the immature, baby skin causing it to be reddish/pinkish and sensitive to sunlight, thus causing sunburn and permanent skin damage. Apparently she has a friend who used an exfoliant product (I dont know which one) and got sunburned skin, which refused to heal even after years.

From what I've read about AHAs and BHAs, they only remove the outer, dead layer of skin, so I dont really think my mom's words are all true. However, BHA/AHAs do increase our skin's sensitivity to the sun, so I was wondering if there was any real danger if I used it without any sunscreen.

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I was thinking of trying Paula's Choice BHA 2% Liquid to smoothen my skin and fade red marks, but my mom is strongly against this.

She warns that exfoliants strip many layers of the skin and expose the immature, baby skin causing it to be reddish/pinkish and sensitive to sunlight, thus causing sunburn and permanent skin damage. Apparently she has a friend who used an exfoliant product (I dont know which one) and got sunburned skin, which refused to heal even after years.

From what I've read about AHAs and BHAs, they only remove the outer, dead layer of skin, so I dont really think my mom's words are all true. However, BHA/AHAs do increase our skin's sensitivity to the sun, so I was wondering if there was any real danger if I used it without any sunscreen.

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Any form of exfoliation is going to strip away the outer most layer(s) of skin so your skin will have less of a barrier to protect itself against sun damage.

If anyone is exfoliating then an spf of 15-20 at least should be used during that time. In the long run you will lessen the risk of any problems resulting from UV damage.

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Will repost this:

Now i'm going to tell you about the most important part of your skin care routine. The part that makes the greatest difference in the look of your skin. Yet, this is the part that most of you don't do properly. Why not? Because it's somewhat counter-intuitive as per traditional skin-care ideas. So what is this step? Exfoliation.

Now, exfoliation is a serious business. It is perhaps the most critical step in bringing back long lost radiance into your skin. However, the vast majority of the adult population under-exfoliates. Why? Because one of the most skin-care fallacies says, exfoliation or over-exfoliation, may thin the skin in the long run. Now, if you agree, I understand because it's intuitive to think so. However, this statement is completely unfounded scientifically. The skin is a dynamic organ- the more you wear it down the more it grows. Don't be afraid of exfoliation! Most people vastly under-exfoliate. Don't be afraid - as long as you follow directions on the label and apply some common sense.

So, how do you know if you exfoliate enough? Look in the mirror: if you see clogged pores around the nose and forehead, and bumpiness under the skin; if the face is lacking radiance, looks dull and sallow - you are not exfoliationg enough. Most of these problems can be successfully addressed by proper exfoliation. Although we always have to bear in mind that individual results do vary.

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How long should you exfoliate for?

Because I use a face wash but I only work it in my face for about 10-15 seconds.

Is that too much or too little?

Or what is the best amount of time to massage it in for?

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Bha and aha gels and creams exfoliate right, so if you use them should you not exfoliate regularly with other products like baking soda or facial masks? and is it alright to use a daily face wash that exfoliates while you are using the bha or aha? thanks

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There's no doubt that AHA/BHAs exfoliate the very very top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells which then reveals the smoother 'newer' skin below. As a result the smoother skin below which was previously being 'defended' by the layer of dead skin cells is now exposed to environmental damage and thus your skin is more sensitive to the suns rays*. But your mums argument is kind of flawed - you should be using sunscreen anyway no matter if you have exfoliated or not. Plus, your mums friend probably didn't use a sunscreen after exfoliating and that is an example why there are warnings on most bottles of AHAs and BHAs which says something along the lines of 'using this product will increase your skins sensitivity to the sun, avoid sun exposure for a week or use a sunscreen over SPF 15'

*Note that the layer of dead skin which I said 'defends' the skin below provides some protection, just not as much as using a sunscreen (recommended) or products which protect against environmental damage e.g. pollutants.

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Bha and aha gels and creams exfoliate right, so if you use them should you not exfoliate regularly with other products like baking soda or facial masks? and is it alright to use a daily face wash that exfoliates while you are using the bha or aha? thanks

I was also wondering the same thing, i'm exfoliating with baking soda at night and applying apple cider vinegar.. i just purchased the AHA cream and wonder if i can use it along with those?

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