Physical & Chemical Exfoliation

Exfoliating the skin is essential for a clear complexion this summer, and all year round. Exfoliating is the act of removing dead skin cells that lay on the surface of the skin. There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical. They are both different, product and results wise.

Physical Exfoliation

When I say physical, I mean a product that is tangible. A product with an ingredient that you can touch and rub directly onto the face or skin. Physical exfoliation can be done with a facial tool such as a facial brush too.

How often?

Depending on your skin type and how sensitive your skin is to exfoliation, you can ball park how many times per week works well with your skin. I have combination skin that clogs up easily, so I like to go for about 3 times a week. On those days, I typically like to do it in the shower because the steam softens up my face and opens up the pores. You can do a test on your skin to see how your skin reacts when you build up on the days you use a physical exfoliator. This is what I did, and three times a week was the best option for me. It didn’t make me break out or overly irritate my skin.

What to use?

Biodegradable ingredients-based products. If you have active acne, stick to a gentle scrub. I love using products with jojoba beads. Micro-beads have the tendency to spread bacteria as you are using them on the face or body. Jojoba beads are biodegradable, meaning they are able to decompose. Not only is this good for the environment, but that in turn is obviously better for quality of life. Using biodegradable beads is much less irritating on the skin, and irritation leads to breakouts. I mean, why would you want to rub plastic all over your face anyway? Another one to watch out for is shells from foods. Those are too sharp for the face and they create micro-tears in the skin. Ouch…

Honey and black sugar is my favorite at-home exfoliator. It’s easy to make, and is a great DIY mask before scrubbing off. Just try not to eat it. Microdermabrasion is a great physically exfoliating treatment that can be done by an esthetician or a dermatologist.

Chemical Exfoliation

The use of chemical ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs for a deeper exfoliation.

AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) contain glycolic and lactic acids. These acids work to increase cell turnover and activate collagen production, resulting in an insane glow. They reduce the appearance of sun spots, acne scars, smooth out any uneven skin tones, and eat up dry skin.

BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids) contains salicylic acid which is anti-bacterial. This is great for acne prone and clogged skin. It prevents new breakouts from coming in, and fades any active acne. BYE.

What to use?

There are some great at-home peel options on the market. Just make sure they are clean, and do not have strong irritating ingredients. Mixing acids and irritating ingredients will cause more harm than good. Don’t just pick up a product that claims to deliver results. Always do your research. Yogurt is a great DIY mask as it has a bit of lactic acid in it.

The most effective peel is through an esthetician. I get it professionally done when I feel that my skin is clogged up. My esthetician does a mix of salicylic and lactic acid so my skin gets the best of both treatments. It usually takes up to a week to see the baby skin results, but it is so worth it. I feel so much cleaner, my skin is much less clogged and smooth af.

Now you know the difference between the two. They both deliver anti-aging results, smooth texture, cell turnover, even tone, & peace of mind.


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