Skin Care| The 6 Week Exfoliation Challenge with AHAs and BHAs

by West Parsons on September 18, 2012 · 23 comments

in skin care


  • Each product in your regimen MUST have either BHA or AHA as an active ingredient (cleanser, toner, moisturizer, treatment). Concentration depends on your skin’s sensitivity. Start low and as your skin acclimates, you may need to use products with a higher percentage concentration of active ingredients.
  • A weekly treatment must be completed where product specifies being left on skin for at least 2 minutes before rinsing
  • Take a BEFORE picture (may focus only on problem area) — this is for your personal documentation
  • Comment below to complete initial check-in with required information
  • Check-in weekly (by commenting below) and share your challenges, triumphs, or general questions you may have. Don’t forget to share tricks you are learning along the way. Do offer advice, encouragement, and help to others (eligibility for cash prize giveaway)
  • Optional – share your photo results and experience at the end.

READ MORE: Exfoliators For Smooth Even-Toned Skin + My Skin BEFORE Exfoliation

CHECK-IN INFO (please share this information in the comments section below)
Specific Skin Concerns/Problem Area?
BHAs or AHAs?

Magnificent Face [+]
Makeup Artist’s Choice [+]
*No affiliation with either company.
You are welcome to use products found in your local stores, but note the concentration of the active ingredient will no way be nearly as effective as medical-grade products. When using medical-grade products, start with the lowest concentration.


westNDNbeauty September 18, 2012 at 2:25 am

Specific Skin Concerns/Problem Area? Acne Scars and Hyperpigmentation on cheeks
BHAs or AHAs? Both
Products? Neutrogena Salycilic Acne Wash, Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner, Glycolic Fomulations Moisturizer, Magnificent Face Tea Tree Acne Pads & MUAC Lactic Acid

*All products purchased by me

Sheila September 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

Can I join? I’m using Retin-A for my skin and AhA for my body.

Toya October 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hope it isn’t too late to join.
Specific Skin Concerns/Problem Area? Acne Scars and Hyperpigmation on cheeks( especially the right side)
BHAs or AHAs? AHA ( I guess)
St. Ives Blemish and Blackhead Control Scrub, Cetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar, and Meladerm Pigment Reducing Complex

Bee Jones October 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Most of my acne is in the cheek area and jawline. I suffer tremendously from hyperpigmentation. I wash with Castor Oil and EVOO. I exfoliate every 4 days with Makeup Artist Choice Mandelic Acid, every 7 days Skin Laboratory BHA Peel and Makeup Artist Choice Fade Peel. I usually leave coconut oil or EVOO on my breakouts overnight and this has been an incredible help to reducing inflammation. I’ve been using AHA and BHA products for almost 2 years and yes it’s better to use the medical grade products than the lower concentrated ones.

westNDNbeauty October 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Hi Bee! Will you be joining the challenge? Remember, all steps in your regimen (cleanser, toner, moisturizer, treatment) should contain a BHA or AHA.

Bee Jones October 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Sorry I read notice my mistake afterward. I don’t have a cleanser or toner with AHA or BHA. I guess I won’t be entering the challenge. Thanks anyway.

Bee Jones October 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Correction: **Sorry I read my mistake afterward.

Carla October 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I am using L’Oreal Youth Code Cleanser, L’Oreal Youth Code Serum, L’Oreal Hydrafresh Toner & L’Oreal Skin Expertise Collagen Moisture Filler Day Lotion SPF 15 for morning. At night I will be using Garnier Fructis Resurfacing 3-Way Cleanser, Garnier Fructis Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel, Garnier Fructis Moisture Rescue Dry Skin, T.N. Dickinson’s Hazelets Witch Hazel Pads & Glycoderma Rejuvenating eye cream 10% Glycolic Acid. I have Seborrheic Dermatitis around my noses, ears, forehead and hairline.

westNDNbeauty October 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Week 1 Check-in!
I’m starting to notice a slight difference in my skin’s texture after using the 40% lactic acid. This is my very first time using lactic acid. I think I will be increasing my treatments to twice a week; lactic one day, glycolic pads a few days later.

Sabrina Boissiere October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I am using Glyolic 30% peel once a week; sencond peel was Monday… Can I use this and the Lactic Acid peel together? I’m reading your comments and I see you do…

westNDNbeauty October 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm

You can . I wouldn’t suggest they be used together. Bu do try using them on different days of the week. Maybe one on Monday and another on Thursday.

Carla October 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I bought some AHA cream 8% from Walgreen’s to incorporate in my skin care regime. I heard great things about it, but now I can’t find it again at Walgreen’s. I bought my current jar maybe a year ago. I can see a difference in my skin since I started the Challenge. I did find another cream AHA cream on the Walgreens website that is 12% Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle I think once my skin changes I will buy the higher percentage.

westNDNbeauty October 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Great! What other exfoliating products with your be using in your regimen?

Carla October 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I am also using the Garnier Fructis Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel at night. And I mus say that I am loving the results.

westNDNbeauty October 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Week 2 Check-in!
I’m now on a routine of twice a week exfoliation. Tuesdays are 40% lactic acid days and Friday’s are Glycolic Teatree pad days. I’ve been very consistent using my glycolic toner twice a day, always washing with salicylic acid and moisturizing with glycolic acid or salicylic creams. I am actually noticing fading of spots in my problem areas. Can’t wait to actually compare my before and after photos. Hopefully it will be something to [blog] about :0)

Sabrina Boissiere October 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Hello! I’m joining a week late but here I am.
Specific skin concerns – dark/black spots from acne on chin and jaw line
Products – Daily washing with Shea Moisture African Black Soap, weekly Bentonite Clay mask mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Oil AND starting this week IQ Naturals:Complete Glycolic Acid 30% Chemical Facial Peel Kit (professional set) purchased from

Carla October 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Since I started this challenge I can tell the difference in my skin texture and the dark spots around my nose.

westNDNbeauty October 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm

That’s awesome! How long have you been in?

Carla November 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I started researching skin care in September and found your blog on 10/02 and added BHA’s and AHA’s to my routine. So far I am loving the results.

westNDNbeauty November 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Welcome! Do share your experiences!

Sabrina Boissiere November 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

The glycolic peel I feel is burning my face, especially around the mouth area… I don’t know if it is my face resting on the pillow that my hair (with oils) rests on but my cheeks are breaking out worse. I just purchased a lactic acid peel which I read is better for African-American skin… I will try that and see…

westNDNbeauty November 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Definitely try the LA. It seems to be as effective as GA, maybe even more effective. It definitely stings from start to finish when applied, but I’ve never gotten burnt even when it stings really badly.

Carla November 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

What is the percentage of Glycolic acid? You may want to reduce the percentage. I think lactic acid is my favorite AHA. I noticed that during this challenge some of my old favorites have lactic acid as an active ingredient.