By Kaleigh Fasanella, she/her
Exfoliating on a regular basis can certainly help keep your skin smooth, soft, and glowing—but as some of you may already know, going overboard can cause a host of issues, from irritation and redness, to dryness and increased sensitivity. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to be gentle about exfoliation, as the last thing you want is to wind up with a stripped skin barrier.
At the end of the day, you do not need to intensely exfoliate in order to reap the results of removing dead skin buildup. Youth To The People’s Director of Field Sales + Education, Jacob del Rosario, explains:
“A more gentle approach will often be just as beneficial as using a higher concentration of AHAs, BHAs and PHAs, without compromising the skin’s protective barrier,” he says. One chemical exfoliant Rosario highly recommends for daily use is mandelic acid, and that’s because it’s widely known as *the* most gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) in the skincare game.
“Mandelic acid is gentle yet still works to unglue the bonds that hold dead skin cells at the surface,” explains Rosario. “This could be music to the ears of someone with goals of smoother skin, less visible surface texture, and an overall brighter look, that also may have known sensitivities to active [ingredients].” He says it’s truly an “exfoliator for all.”
Additionally, when mandelic acid is used in conjunction with dead skin dissolving salicylic acid and hydrating gluconolactone—Rosario says you’ll not only notice immediate results, but also long-term benefits of clearer, brighter, and softer skin that’s more even in tone. This is exactly why all three ingredients are included in the new Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant. Ideal for all skin types, including sensitive, this unique leave-on exfoliator is gentle enough to be used daily as it contains low concentrations (see: 3% AHA, 2% BHA, 1% PHA) to combat dryness and irritation. On top of that, it also contains licorice root—a soothing ingredient that helps calm redness and boost hydration.
All this to say, regardless of your skin type, it’s important to be mindful about being tender with exfoliation so as not to compromise your skin barrier health. By using a gentle daily exfoliant with an optimal concentration of acids, you’ll get all of the skin-glowing benefits without the annoying irritation.
Written by Kaleigh Fasanella for Youth To The People