Exfoliating your skin is important to prevent a dull, blemished complexion. And there are different ways to go about it. Here’s what you need to know to find the best method for you.
We should all be exfoliating our skin on a regular basis. And this goes for both our face and body. It has a whole host of benefits, including unclogging your pores, encouraging skin cell turnover and making your complexion smooth and radiant.
But how should you go about incorporating exfoliation into your routine? There are a couple of exfoliation methods, namely physical or manual and chemical. These both come with their pros, cons, and techniques. Here’s how to establish which type works best for you.
Physical VS chemical exfoliation: What’s the difference?
The two main methods of at-home exfoliation are physical and chemical. Both can be beneficial if done or applied correctly. But many people prefer one or the other or use one type of product on their face and a different one for their bodies.
As the name suggests, physical exfoliation refers to using a scrub or a cleansing tool that manually removes dead skin cells. The main benefit of this is that you can see and feel instant results. The problem with it is that it can be abrasive and cause microtears in the skin which can accelerate signs of aging. It can also lead to a disrupted barrier and sensitized skin. The skin on our bodies is thicker and more resilient, however, making gentle scrubs, loofahs, and brushes a good choice to exfoliate this large area.
Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, refers to products applied to the skin that break down the bonds holding dead skin cells to your face or body. They can also penetrate the skin to clear pores. These products contain active ingredients known as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) that perform this role. Glycolic acid is a common AHA, while salicylic acid is a popular BHA. While some chemical exfoliants can be harsh on sensitive skin, there are several to choose from so you can look for one that works for you. Your skin will also gradually build up resilience. After that, you can start reaping the benefits!
There are also several treatments that can be beneficial in the exfoliation process. Using these in combination with topical products can enhance the benefits. Chemical peels, microneedling, microdermabrasion, and laser can all be used to make skin appear more radiant and youthful.
Whatever your method, always ensure that your skin isn’t showing signs of redness or irritation, so exfoliate with care!