Getting a Deeper Cleanse with BHA and PHA

Getting a Deeper Cleanse with BHA and PHA
March 31, 2024
Getting a Deeper Cleanse with BHA and PHA

Getting a Deeper Cleanse with BHA and PHA

How to hit like a smooth criminal


We often think about exfoliation as a once a week, maybe twice a week, activity. Some of us may go so far as to consider it a chore - which is a surefire way to turn your exfoliation routine into a monthly slog. 

What if there was a way to make it all a little bit easier? A shortcut to work a little light exfoliation into your existing skincare routine? What then?

Why care about chemical exfoliants?

We’ve had physical exfoliants for a long time. The way they work is by physical abrasion, rubbing away dirt and dead skin cells to leave you with a smooth and radiant complexion. If you’re on the lookout for physical exfoliants, you’d be looking for words like “scrub” or “granules” or “beads”. Common ingredients used as physical exfoliants are rice, coffee beans, and sugar.

Chemical exfoliants are a little bit different. They are formulated to achieve the same outcome as physical exfoliants but they take a different path to get there. Chemical exfoliants are slightly acidic and help to remove skin impurities by chemically weakening the bonds between your dead skin cells and the surface of your skin so they easily slough off when you’re cleansing your face. They tend to offer a more gentle exfoliation, making them safe to use on a daily basis.


Identifying chemical exfoliants

Two of the most common chemical exfoliants are BHA (beta hydroxy acids) and PHA (polyhydroxy acids). 

BHA, also commonly called salicylic acid, has been found to help with improving the tone and texture of sun-damaged skin. BHA is known for penetrating deeper into the skin and is oil-soluble which makes it a good choice for deep cleaning your pores. Something to keep in mind when using BHA in your skincare routine is that it can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight - so it’s doubly important to remember your suncare

PHA is known for strengthening the skin barrier, moisturizing, and reducing inflammation. They work mostly on the outer layers of the skin and are considered one of  the most gentle exfoliants out there.


How to work them into your routine

For most folks, using chemical exfoliants in your skincare routine means that your regular physical exfoliant has to do less work every week and that your skin’s texture will overall be improved. The best part is that BHA and PHA can be found incorporated into skincare products.

For those of you looking for a deeper and more thorough clean, a cleanser with BHA like the Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam can help to really clean out your pores



You can even choose to seal the deal with a toner that contains PHA like the Volcanic PHA Pore Refining Toner to further cleanse residual impurities to leave you with a smoother and more supple complexion.



Using products like these on the daily can help improve your skin texture overall which, in turn, will improve how your skin appears. The smoother your skin’s texture, the more evenly it reflects light, the more glowy your skin looks! You have to cleanse and tone anyway, might as well make do some extra work for you!

So if your skin’s looking a little dull and bumpy, you can consider working one (or both!) of these ingredients into your routine!



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