27 Jul Are You Using the Right Exfoliator?

So fresh, so clean, there’s no better feeling than the one after treating your face to a really good scrub.

Exfoliation clears away dead skin cells, leaving you with smoother skin and a natural glow. The process works by creating mild micro-injuries to the dermis, which signals a repair response that results in fresh cell turnover. Similar to the ‘no pain, no gain’ approach you often hear at the gym, gently injuring the surface layer of your skin forces cell renewal, giving you freshly plump, dewy skin. It’s generally recommended that you exfoliate 2-3 times a week, unless your skin is sensitive, then you should start by exfoliating once a week.

There are two different ways to scrub up: either with physical or chemical exfoliation.

Keep reading to find out which method is better for your skin.

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation refers to a product that has small particles in it to physically scrub your skin clean, or a product such as the Clarisonic that manually exfoliates your skin. This is the most gratifying way to exfoliate as you can physically scrub the dead skin cells off. However, proceed with caution: applying too much pressure can backfire and cause micro-tears in the skin. The key is to be gentle and massage the product across your skin. Physical exfoliation is suitable for normal to oily skin types.

We recommend Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub or Goodness Every Week Face Scrub.

Chemical Exfoliation

This method uses gentle acids to dissolve dead skin cells, increasing the turnover of new cells. Although using acids on your face sounds harsh, this approach is recommended for sensitive skin as it’s easier to cause irritation when scrubbing. Acne prone skin is also better suited to a chemical exfoliant as it effectively breaks down surface debris and excess oil. Chemical exfoliators usually include either AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) or BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids) and are found in the form of cleansers, serums, moisturisers or masks. Be careful using a chemical exfoliant if you use topical retinols. Combining the two may result in irritation, so it’s best to start out slowly when introducing a new product into your routine.

We recommend trying Cosmedix Pure Enzymes Exfoliating Mask or Environ Intensive Alpha Hydroxy Cream.


Written by Sophie Howe.