"Summer skin" conjures images of healthy and glowing complexions, but the reality is that sometimes it can look and feel congested. This is likely due to the combination of skincare products, sunscreen, make-up and sweat creating a build-up of dead skin cells on the skin, preventing new skin growth and can cause breakouts or make skin look dull. The best way to tackle these issues is with a deep cleanse, and specifically using a cleanser with chemically exfoliating properties that will strip away that layer of debris.
One of the most popular chemical exfoliators is alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), which includes glycolic, lactic and citric acid. While these often feature in toners and peels, they also work well in face washes—this is a more gentle medium of regular exfoliation, as you can wash off the product. When used regularly, AHA cleansers will guarantee you a clean base to allow for better product absorption and make-up application, as well as giving the appearance of a smoother complexion.
Introduce these cleansers into your routine by using them few times a week as a clarifying treatment rather than everyday to start, as these formulas can be more drying compared to other face washes. These are our top picks for AHA cleansers to achieve that desired smooth and bright "summer skin" effect:
1. Holifrog Shasta AHA Acid Wash
Holifrog founder Emily Parr is a self professed lover of face wash, and developed cleansers based on her experience of having congested skin due to a build-up of sunscreen and sweat from running long distances regularly. The Shasta AHA Acid Wash contains a blend of glycolic, mandelic, tartaric and lactic acid to remove purities and provide a smooth base, and also contains hydrating ingredients such as rosehip oil and aloe vera to soothe the skin.