I love chemical exfoliants. Put AHA and BHA (alpha and beta hydroxy acids) in something and it immediately has my attention. I find that I prefer mild chemical exfoliators a lot more to physical exfoliating products like face scrubs because there’s a much lower risk of them being too rough on the skin. There are plenty of skincare addicts and experts who will tell you that things like crushed walnut shells and the like can cause micro tears in your skin when used too aggressively, and the truth is that most of us can’t help but feel the need to be more aggressive in our exfoliation if we think it’ll make it more effective.
This is why many experts only recommend exfoliating two to three times a week. Using a physical scrub or something harsh too often can strip your skin of its natural protective barrier, which is what helps keep your skin hydrated and protected from environmental aggressors.
Mild chemical exfoliants are another story. Our skin accumulates dead skin cells and surface grime over the course of the day that needs to be eliminated before we can properly cleanse our skin on a deeper level. Some AHA/BHA cleansers are a great option – if gentle enough, they can conceivably even be used daily.
Hada Labo’s latest set of face washes are exactly that, and not only exfoliate your skin gently, but also have ingredients specifically geared towards ridding your skin of stubborn pollutants like dirt, soot and metals. The so-called triple anti-pollution formula is also meant to strengthen your skin’s barrier by forming a protective layer to prevent more pollutants from sticking to your skin.
The key ingredients in this formula are moringa seed extract (known for its purifying abilities), phytic acid (to stick to heavy metals on your skin in order to sweep them away), and something called biosaccharide gum-4 that forms the protective barrier to keep pollutants out.
I’ve always been drawn to foam cleansers but avoided them as most of them were too harsh or drying on the skin, so I was understandably wary when I first tried the Hada Labo AHA/BHA Foam Wash ($15.90). The foam was airy and light but lathered well, and when I rinsed my face it didn’t feel like it was leaving behind a layer on my skin or like my skin was stripped of moisture and oils. My face just felt clean and soft, without any of the tightness I get when face washes are too drying. Add on to that the fact that the wash doesn’t contain alcohol, fragrance or mineral oil, and all the boxes have been ticked in my book.
The Hada Labo AHA/BHA face washes will be available from mid-August, and you can get the foaming version for $15.90 or the regular face wash for $13.50.