The Paula's Choice website uses cookies - How does this affect you?

Currency

AHA & BHA Exfoliants

Exfoliants: the quickest way to smoother skin

Leave-on exfoliants gently remove built-up dead skin cells, revealing healthy new skin. They smooth wrinkles, reduce pigmentation from sun damage, fade post-breakout marks, make dry, dull skin looking radiant again, unclog pores and prevent breakouts. First time user? Apply once a day 2-3 times per week, then gradually increase to once or twice daily. During the day, follow with an SPF 25 or greater.

 

AHA

Glycolic acid / Lactic acid

Best for normal to dry skin | Skin concern: dry, sun damaged skin

  • Exfoliates the surface of skin
  • Improves multiple signs of ageing
  • Smooths wrinkles, fades brown spots
  • Stimulates collagen and improves uneven skin tone
  • Hydrates skin and reduces dullness
  • 100% fragrance and colourant-free

 

Shop now AHA

 

BHA

Salicylic acid

Suitable for all skin types | Skin concern: oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin

  • Exfoliates the surface of skin and inside the pores
  • Great for blackheads, white heads and breakouts
  • Smooths wrinkles and stimulates collagen production
  • Unclogs and visibly minimises enlarged pores
  • Reduces redness and inflammation
  • 100% fragrance and colourant-free

 

Shop now BHA

 

Not suitable for those allergic to asprin (acetylsalicylate) or its derivatives

 

How do I use an AHA or BHA exfoliant?

You can apply an AHA or BHA product once or twice a day after cleansing and toning. Apply with a cotton pad or directly to the entire face, including around the eye area (avoid the lower lash line and eyelids), no need to rinse. You do not need to wait for your exfoliant to dry—you can apply any other product in your routine, such as moisturiser, serum, eye cream, sunscreen, immediately afterwards. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater. If you’re using topical prescription products for rosacea or acne, apply the AHA or BHA exfoliant first, and then follow with your medications from lightest to heaviest texture.

What is the difference between AHA and BHA exfoliants?

When properly formulated, both AHAs and BHAs are brilliant options for exfoliating the surface of skin. Both work to reduce wrinkles, improve collagen production, and firm skin but each has special qualities you'll want to consider when deciding which one to use:

AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) is preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin because it exfoliates on the surface of skin and improves moisture content.

BHA (beta hydroxy acid) is preferred for oily, acne-prone skin and for treating blackheads and white heads because it can get through the oil clogging your pores. BHA has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action, two more reasons to use a BHA exfoliant if you have acne or sensitive, reddened skin. BHA is also preferred for those struggling with rosacea. Not everyone with rosacea can tolerate an exfoliant, but those who can may see reduced redness and smoother skin.

If your skin is sun-damaged and you're also struggling with acne or clogged pores, add a BHA product to your routine.

Which concentration is best for me?

AHA (glycolic acid) products are most effective at a 5% to 10% concentration and BHA (salicylic acid) at 1% to 2% concentration. The percentage that is most effective varies depending on the ingredient. Rest assured that the BHA products are not any less effective due to lower concentrations. Experiment with different strengths of AHA and BHA to see which concentration gives you the best results. If you have doubts, you can try our trial sets or contact our experts for advice.

Can I use an AHA product at the same time as BHA products?

You can use an AHA and BHA at the same time, though it is not really necessary. If you want to give this a try it is best to apply them separately, one during the day and one in the evening.

Is it possible to exfoliate too often?

Exfoliating your skin is extremely beneficial, experiment to find out the frequency most effective for your skin. It is possible to overdo it, and your skin will tell you if you've gone too far. For some people, once or twice a day works best; for others every other day, or even once a week. Test out what works best for you.
Exfoliating does not negatively affect how healthy skin cells are generated in the lower layers of skin. If anything, exfoliating unhealthy dead skin cells on the surface of skin can improve collagen production, increase skin's ability to hold moisture, and allow pores to function normally!

Shop now AHA

Shop now BHA

Secured payment methods

Payment Method

Shipping

For delivery of your order & shipping tariffs click here.

100% Guaranteed

30-day money back guarantee.
E-mail or call us at +31 20 345 84 26.

Insider beauty news

Sign up to get expert beauty advice and special offers delivered straight to your inbox.