A-Z Ingredients

Antioxidants 101: The Ultimate Antioxidants For Your Skin

Many people claim that antioxidants are the best thing for your skin which is why they spend hundreds of dollars on these products. I believe this blog post will prove whether this is true or not.

Oranges, nuts, and green tea — they all contain antioxidants. And you have probably heard that these substances have a positive effect on the environment.

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But what really are antioxidants? How can they help us? And why are they good for your skin?

A lot of people don’t even know what antioxidants actually are. In this post, I’m also going to answer these questions and explain why our skin needs them.

Antioxidants are essential nutrients that are crucial to health and disease prevention. However, antioxidants are beneficial for more than only the prevention of diseases.

Antioxidants have also been shown to offer a myriad of health benefits for the skin. Let’s take a look at some of these antioxidants and how they can revitalize our skin.

What is an Antioxidant and What Does it Do?

Antioxidants are a class of compounds that help protect the human body from the effects of oxidation.

An antioxidant neutralizes free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause damage to healthy cells in the body. Oxidative stress is thought to contribute to aging, as well as a number of chronic diseases.

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That’s why by now you’re wondering what does antioxidants mean for your skin? Well, there are several foods that promote healthy glowing skin like blueberries and green tea.

These foods are full of antioxidants which make them perfect for a rejuvenating face mask. The problem is that the only way to derive personal benefit from them is by ingesting them orally.

However, some crafty scientists at SkinCeuticals realized this antioxidant gap in our skincare routine.

They put their heads together and figured out a way to apply these natural antioxidants directly onto our skin as an antioxidant serum called SkinCeuticals AOX+ Peptide Antioxidant Serum.

How Do You Get More Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are nature’s own skin care line. They’re what gives fruits and vegetables their bright colors, and they’ve been shown to help protect us from a variety of ailments, including cancer.

So how do you get more antioxidants?

Well, there’s no magic pill or potion—you just have to make smart choices about what you eat and drink every day.

You can eat foods high in vitamin C like citrus fruits or broccoli, or try taking a supplement that contains vitamin E or selenium.

You can also consider using products with antioxidants in them like moisturizers or sunscreens that protect against UVA/UVB rays by absorbing light energy before it does damage to your skin.

You may have heard of vitamins A, C, and E as antioxidants; they’re just a few examples of the many nutrients that can help reduce oxidative stress on our bodies.

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But did you know that there are other natural sources of antioxidants?

Antioxidant-rich foods include berries (like strawberries), citrus fruits (like oranges), leafy greens (like spinach), cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli), nuts (like almonds), legumes (like beans), seeds (like pumpkin seeds)… the list goes on!

Check out this list of antioxidants!

Why Antioxidants are Great for Your Skin

Antioxidants help prevent the oxidation of other molecules, which is the main cause for aging.

Oxidation can happen when free radicals attack a molecule and steal electrons from it. This process can damage cells and lead to inflammation, which is bad news for your skin.

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving up their own electrons to them instead of letting them attack other molecules.

Free radicals can be caused by things like pollution, smoking, radiation exposure, alcohol consumption and even some pharmaceuticals. Because of this, it is important to use products that contain antioxidants to protect your skin from free radical damage.

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There are several ways that antioxidants can improve your skin’s appearance:

1) reduce oxidative stress by reducing inflammation in the body, which causes redness and swelling.

2) help protect against sun damage by preventing free radical damage from ultraviolet rays. This helps prevent premature aging of the skin by reducing wrinkles and sun spots, while also helping prevent skin cancer.

3) can improve your skin texture by helping to promote cell renewal and collagen production, which leads to smoother skin with fewer wrinkles.

4) help reduce the redness, swelling, and irritation of acne.

What are the Best Types of Antioxidants to Look For in Skin Care Products?

The three main types of antioxidants are:

1. Vitamin A – This vitamin is found in vegetables, fruits, and animal products like milk and eggs. It helps to protect your skin against sun damage by blocking out UV rays.

2. Vitamin C – This vitamin is also called ascorbic acid and can be found in citrus fruits, berries, lemons and limes. It helps to protect your skin against wrinkles, blemishes and premature aging caused by sun exposure or environmental pollution such as pollution from cars or factories where people work outdoors all day long without proper ventilation systems installed inside their buildings!

3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids / EPA/DHA Supplementation – These fatty acids are found naturally in fish oils but can also be taken as supplements as well which will help you achieve healthier looking skin without having too much unhealthy fat stored on your body!

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The Importance of Using a Skincare Product with Active Antioxidants to Protect Your Skin

Antioxidants are basically the superheroes of the beauty world. They help us fight off the damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules that cause inflammation and can lead to wrinkles. They also help our skin stay healthy and youthful-looking by keeping it hydrated, which helps us look younger longer.

I mean, who doesn’t want to look younger? (And by younger, I mean like 10 years younger than you actually are.)

So I guess it is safe to say that the people’s claims about antioxidants being the best thing for their skin are true!

Let me know in the comments which antioxidant is your favorite!

Skincare Ingredients To Mix And Not To Mix

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

I understand that it is confusing to keep track of what skincare ingredients work well together, what skincare ingredients to mix and not to mix. In this article I will show you what skincare ingredients are safe to mix together to solve the issue that you may have at hand.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and it is important to take care of it. Skincare ingredients are used to maintain the health and appearance of the skin. There are different types of skincare ingredients that can be mixed to give you a desired effect.

Some skincare ingredients are better for oily skin while others are better for dry skin. Mixing your skincare products can give you a variety of benefits depending on your needs and preferences.

Skincare ingredients are the key to a good skincare routine. But not all ingredients work well with each other. It is important to know which ones to mix together and which ones to avoid. Mixing certain ingredients can cause irritation, dryness, and other skin problems.

Skincare ingredients from The Ordinary
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Best Skincare Ingredients Combos

  1. AHA/BHA + hyaluronic acid = exfoliating and moisturizing
  2. Vitamin C + arbutin = brightening and anti oxidizing
  3. Vitamin C + vitamin E = anti oxidizing and maxes skin absorption
  4. Vitamin C + SPF = increased UV ray protection
  5. Niacinamide + peptides = helps with wrinkles and brightens skin
  6. Retinol + ceramides = effective for wrinkles and acne
  7. Hyaluronic acid + ceramides = skin repairing effects
  8. Salicylic acid + niacinamide = acne-fighting effects
Skincare ingredients-serum
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What are the Worst Combinations of Skincare Ingredients?

It is important to be aware of the possible adverse reactions that can happen when using certain beauty products and if not applied in the proper order, you can check out this article about nighttime skincare routine, and this article about skin type test with more skincare routines.

The worst combinations of ingredients in skin care can cause adverse reactions such as rashes, breakouts, and irritation. It is best to avoid these combinations if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions.

Skincare ingredients that should NOT be mixed together

  1. Retinol + AHA/BHA = irritation, redness, or dryness
  2. Retinols + vitamin C = irritation, redness, or peeling
  3. Vitamin C + AHA/BHA = will throw off pH levels, possible irritation
  4. BHA + benzoyl peroxide = irritation, redness, or dryness
  5. Benzoyl peroxide + retinoids = dryness and irritation

Retinol and AHA/BHA

Since both of these ingredients have exfoliating effects, using them both in one routine can be too drying and irritating to the skin. For that reason, it is best to use them in alternating nights.

Skincare ingredients AHA/BHA exfoliator
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Retinols and vitamin C

It is best to use vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. Using both of these ingredients together can lessen their effect. Vitamin C works at a low pH, while retinol works at a high pH, combining these two ingredients could render them ineffective.

Vitamin C and AHA/BHA

AHA/BHA are acids, and so is vitamin C. Combining these ingredients together in one routine is a recipe for irritation. Using them in alternate days is recommended.

BHA and benzoyl peroxide

Both of these ingredients are effective against acne, but they should be used separately. Combining them will lead to irritation and excessive dryness. Try using them on alternate nights for an amazing acne fighting duo!

Benzoyl peroxide and retinol

Applying these two ingredients together may cause them to react chemically and cancel each other out. That is because benzoyl peroxide is an oxidizing agent and retinol is an antioxidant. Use benzoyl peroxide in the morning and retinol at night.

Different skincare ingredients
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To sum up

It is important to know what ingredients you should use in your skincare routine. There are many skincare ingredients, but it is not easy to know which ones are best for your skin type and what combinations work best together.

It is best to always do a patch test on a small area of your skin when introducing your skin to a new product or ingredient. Preferably behind your ear.

Comment down below what other combinations you think are good and what others that did not work for you.

Lactic Acid Benefits For Skin and Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is a skin condition that many people struggle with. It can happen to anyone and it is not something that you can just get rid of overnight. It is caused by excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells clogging the pores on the skin.

It is important to remember that there is no one way to treat acne because everyone’s body reacts differently to different products and routines. What works for one person might not work for another person with a different type of acne or skin type.

Girl with bandaid
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There are many products that you can use to help combat acne such as cleansers, moisturizers and treatments.

There are also many different types of treatments available to help reduce the appearance of acne including laser therapy, chemical peels and more.

What is lactic acid?

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Lactic acid is a natural chemical found in the human body and in sour milk.

Lactic acid is one of the most popular ingredients in skin care products. It’s an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions like acne and wrinkles.

Lactic acid works by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, which helps to prevent clogged pores and reduce dryness on the surface of the skin. It can also be used to help treat hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Lactic Acid helps with many different problems that we face with our skin like acne, hyperpigmentation or even wrinkles.

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Benefits of lactic acid for acne-prone skin

Lactic acid has been shown to have great effects on the skin because it helps remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth.

  1. Helps control excess sebum production. By exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin and keeping the pores clean and clear.
  2. Fights acne. Dead skin cells often clog pores and cause breakouts. Lactic acid exfoliates the skin and has the ability to break apart dead skin cells, opening any clogged pores.
  3. Fades acne scars. Due to its exfoliating nature, lactic acid helps lighten dark spots and fade acne scars by removing the dead skin cells off the surface.
  4. Hydrates the skin. Lactic acid is one of the most hydrating AHA. It helps keep the skin moisturized and hydrated. This, in turn, speeds up the cell turnover process to produce new healthy skin.
  5. Works as a mild exfoliator. Lactic acid is safe for sensitive acne-prone skin due to its mild exfoliating nature. Let’s talk science here for a little bit, since it has a large molecular weight, it makes it difficult for it to penetrate into the deep layers of the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.

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When and how should I apply lactic acid in my skincare routine?

Products containing lactic acid come in different concentrations. 

A higher concentration does not always mean better for your skin.

When using a product containing acids for the first time, you must test a small amount on a small part of your skin, to check if it irritates your skin.

After seeing if the product is suitable for your skin and does not irritate it, you can start introducing it slowly (once or twice a week) into your skincare routine with low concentrations, increasing it to higher concentrations and building up to daily use if needed.

Skincare product lineup
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The layering of skincare products in a routine is the most important thing. Applying a product in the wrong order will not do your skin any good.

As a golden rule, apply products from thinnest to thickest, and water-based products before oil-based products.

Lactic acid is an exfoliating acid that can cause sun sensitivity, so it is recommended to apply it at night, and since it is technically a serum, it must be added to your skincare routine after toning your skin.

What to mix (and not to mix) with lactic acid

Since this acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, it is best not to mix it with other acids or retinol, because you will end up with irritated skin instead of mild exfoliation. 

With glycolic acid (yes, but costly and not significantly beneficial)

Both of these acids will have the same benefit on the skin using different concentrations and intensities. They can be used if they were in the same product, however, applying them both using two separate products will not benefit your skin significantly and will only cost you more money.

With vitamin C (nope)

These two ingredients should never be mixed together, since vitamin C is also acid, using them in one skincare routine will cause an imbalance in the skin’s pH levels.

With hyaluronic acid (YESSS PLEASE)

Definitely! Hyaluronic acid is a miracle hydrating ingredient that is perfect for every skin type. Using these two ingredients together will prep the way for your skin to the perfect glow.

Lactic acid will clear out dead skin cells, making way for hyaluronic acid to hydrate the lower layers of the skin.

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Retinol Guide: How & When Can I Incorporate Retinol Into My Skincare Routine?

If you want to start using retinol but don’t know when it’s best to add it to your skincare routine, here are some guidelines.

Keep in mind that there are no guarantees for any particular age range — and, a lot of people will tell you to start much sooner than what is on here.

If you feel like your skin has been healthy and happy without retinol so far, there is no need to rush right out and try it (at least not yet). Try another great anti-aging ingredient first.

Retinol, more commonly known as vitamin A, has been used in skincare and acne treatments for decades.

But, do you know when to start using retinol? How about how to use it?

This guide on when to start using retinol will answer these questions and more, so you can make the most of this powerful anti-aging ingredient.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

How do I incorporate retinol into my skincare routine?

Skincare Products - Retinol
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Before you can use retinol, your skin needs to get used to it. This process is known as retinization and should happen gradually over a few weeks.

How gradual?

It depends on how sensitive your skin is and what type of retinoid you’re using.

For example, if you’re using an over-the-counter product with vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), then you could start seeing results after just two days.

On the other hand, if you’re taking prescription tretinoin (Retin-A), then it might take several months before any changes are noticeable.

If you notice any irritation during that time, stop using it immediately and talk to your dermatologist about ways to soothe your skin.

If you have very sensitive skin, don’t use retinol without talking to your dermatologist first.

It makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight and puts you at risk for hyperpigmentation. It can also irritate acne. So if you have sensitive skin and/or break out easily, make sure to use a low-strength retinol product and wear sunscreen every day (it’ll even help with wrinkles!).

In general, start using retinol at night so that your body has time to adjust during a slow transition period of about 2 weeks; then slowly introduce it into your morning routine once your body is used to it.

How do I check if my skin is sensitive to retinol?

woman applying retinol on her face
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Sensitivity to retinol is a possibility and usually goes away within several weeks of consistent use.

However, sensitivity to it has a higher chance of occurring if you start using a topical product with high concentrations too quickly. To prevent irritation and burning, it’s best to test yourself for sensitivity before jumping into a full-blown regimen.

Before you buy your first retinol cream or serum, dab just a bit on your skin at night and wait until morning to see how your skin reacts.

If it looks fine and isn’t red or flaky, then go ahead with using it regularly!

If you do experience any irritation after trying a product once (or even a few times), stop using it immediately until all symptoms are gone.

The benefits of retinol

Retinol is one of dermatology’s most powerful anti-aging weapons.

old woman sitting on the window
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Found naturally in foods like carrots and cantaloupe, retinol has the following benefits:

  • help to exfoliate the skin,
  • reduce fine lines and wrinkles,
  • diminish dark spots, and
  • increase collagen production.

Retinol is a must-have for anyone over 25 who wants to protect their skin from premature aging.

It is applied right after double cleansing during your nighttime routine.

Retinol products

IOPE – Retinol Expert 0.1% – 30ml

IOPE – Retinol Expert 0.2% – 30ml

IOPE – Retinol Expert 0.3% – 20ml


Retinol is often described as a miracle worker—and it can help with everything from wrinkles to acne.

It helps your skin repair itself from damage and stop new breakouts before they start.

As we age, our hormones and oil production change, it’s important to use retinol if you want to keep your skin healthy for decades to come. The best age to gradually start introducing retinol to your skincare routine is mid 20’s.

That said, it’s easy to overdo it and end up with painful side effects—particularly if you start using it too early.

Retinoid Strength Chart
Retinoid Strength Chart

Comment below when you think is the best age to start introducing this miracle ingredient to your skincare routine.

Chemical Exfoliants – How to Get Smooth Skin

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

We all know that in order to achieve smooth and soft skin, we have to get rid of the dead skin cells that are blocking those new and healthy skin cells.

On average, a skin turnover cycle is 5-6 weeks. At the age of 21 it takes 14-21 days, and as we grow older, our skin cycle slows down.

Therefore, in order for us to speed up the process and get rid of more dead skin cells, we must exfoliate. Here, we will be looking into chemical exfoliation in details to explain what it is and how it works.

Chemical exfoliation may sound intimidating at first, however, it has become a very popular gentle treatment for achieving soft, smooth, and glowing skin.

Chemical exfoliants range from alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHA), to other chemical compounds such as mandelic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid.

These acids react with the outermost layer of the skin as soon as the product is applied.

Let’s dive into the details of chemical exfoliation.

What is chemical exfoliation?

Chemical exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells using acids that work by breaking down the “glue” that holds skin cells together. This loosens the bonds between the dead cells on the surface of your skin, making them easier to flake off.

People undergo this treatment to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin to reveal newer, healthier skin, they are one way to help reduce acne or prevent it from forming in some cases.

If you have skin conditions like eczema or rosacea, then you might want to add chemical exfoliation to your skincare routine since chemical exfoliants have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in healing these skin conditions.

The benefits of chemical exfoliants include:

  • Removing dead skin cells
  • Smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles
  • Brightening complexion
  • Reducing acne breakouts
  • Improving texture
  • Improving sun spots
  • Helping heal skin conditions

Chemical Exfoliation Vs. Physical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation uses products with skin-exfoliating chemicals to remove dead skin cells, whereas physical exfoliation uses physical products such as washcloths, face scrubs, or facial brushes to remove dead skin cells.

What are the different types of chemical exfoliation?

  1. AHA: Alpha Hydroxy Acids, this group of acids is extracted from fruits. Below are some of their characteristics:
    • Water-soluble
    • Works on the outermost layer of the skin
    • Hydrates the skin
    • Includes: glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid, mandelic acid, and lactic acid
    • Facilitates collagen regeneration
    • Makes the skin sensitive to UV rays

  2. BHA: Beta Hydroxy Acids, this group of acids occurs naturally and is derived from plants.
    • Oil-soluble
    • Works to clean out the deeper layers of the skin
    • Includes salicylic acid
    • Helps with inflammation
    • Cleans out pores

  3. PHA: Polyhydroxy Acids are also plant acids that are similar to AHAs.
    • Because of their large structure, they do not penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and work on the outer layers
    • Gentler and less sensitizing
    • PHA may be a good alternative for people with sensitive skin
    • Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Includes gluconolactone and lactovionic acids

  4. LHA: Lipohydroxy Acid, derived from salicylic acid.
    • Oil-soluble
    • Works on deeper layers than BHAs
    • Less irritating because of its high levels of liposolubility (solubility in fat)

How to choose the best chemical exfoliant for your skin type

When it comes down to choosing the best chemical peel for your skin type, you need to consider a few factors.

The first is your skin type. You can take the skin type test and read more about skin types in my other article.

Different chemical peels work better on different types of skin. You should find out what your skin type is before deciding which peel you want to use.

The second factor is the strength of the peel that you want to use.

If you have sensitive or dry skin, then you will want to go with a weaker exfoliant that will not irritate or dry out your skin too much.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, then you might be able to tolerate a stronger exfoliant more easily.

Which chemical exfoliant to choose from for your skin type

Dry skin

  • Use AHAs because they are hydrating and they exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin

Dry and sensitive skin

  • Low percentage of AHAs (5%)
  • Use PHA because it is less irritating

Acne-prone skin

  • Use BHAs, because they are oil-soluble, this makes it easier to get rid of excess sebum and oil in pores as well as dead skin cells

Acne-prone and sensitive skin

  • Use LHA, because it is less irritating and sinks slower into the skin

What to do before and after a chemical exfoliation session

In order for you to benefit properly from exfoliation, you must complete your full skincare routine.


Here is what to do and what not to do before (48 hours prior) chemical exfoliation:

  • Avoid exfoliating your skin
  • Do not undergo this treatment close to an important event
  • Lay off the anti-aging creams
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear SPF and avoid unprotected sun exposure at least 4 weeks prior
Apply sunscreen
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Here are a few steps to care for your skin after exfoliating. Follow them to help your skin get the most benefits.

  • Hydrate your skin with glycerin to hold moisture in the skin
  • Wear sunscreen before you go out
  • Avoid exfoliating until your skin heals fully
  • Use soothing ingredients
  • Avoid saunas and steam rooms
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When does your skin need chemical exfoliants?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does my skin feel dehydrated?
  • Does my skin look dull?
  • Am I getting more breakouts?
  • Does my skin have an uneven tone?
  • Does my skin have more fine lines than usual?
  • Is my skin fully healed from the last session? (if applicable)

Frequently asked questions about chemical exfoliation

  1. How often can I use a chemical exfoliant?

It depends on your skin’s reactivity to the exfoliant, but as a general rule:

  • Oily skin: 3-4 times a week
  • Sensitive skin: once a week
  • Dry skin: 2-3 times a week
  • Mature skin: 2-3 times a week

Skincare products
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  1. How long does it take until I see results?

This varies from one person to another. Some people see results in the same day, while others weeks. Staying consistent is really important if you want to see results.

  1. Can I use chemical exfoliants every day?

This depends on the product you are using and its concentration. Some people are able to use them daily, although you should always test the products on your own skin before committing and using a product daily.

  1. What happens if I over-exfoliate?

You will end up with patchy, dehydrated skin that is flaky due to the loss of the ability to retained and absorb moisture.


Adding a chemical exfoliant to your skincare routine is a must. 

Not only do you speed up your skin’s cell turnover cycle, but you also make way for the healthier, newer skin cells that will give you that smooth, soft look you’ve always wanted!

But remember, if you are new to chemical exfoliants, you might need to slowly introduce your skin to it first by exfoliating using products that have light exfoliating ingredients, and then taking it from there.

Woman having a chemical exfoliating session
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Are you new to chemical exfoliants? Did you learn something new after reading this article?

Let me know in the comments section!

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