Mechanical vs. Chemical Exfoliation

Exfoliation is such a buzzword in skincare now, and there are a ton of options out there. Just because there are a billion out there it doesn’t mean you have to use them all. Some are better than others with regard to skin type, concern, desire, and personal preference.

Mechanical Exfoliation:

Mechanical (or physical) exfoliation involves tiny granules, like sugar, coffee, etc. that literally scrub away at dead skin cells. While effective, these can frequently be harsh, causing micro-tears and inflaming the skin. If you do use a physical exfoliant, gently massage it into your face with your hands. Do not use any type of cleansing device (even a wash cloth) with these. You will cause too much damage to your skin if you do, and it will not be pretty.

Chemical Exfoliation:

Acids (like fruit enzymes, salicylic acid, glycolic acid etc.) that slough off dead skin cells in a less abrasive manner. These are often a more refined and advanced way to exfoliate. These acids vary in concentration and type, so these exfoliants can range from gentle to aggressive.

Exfoliation should be performed from 1x-3x a week. While daily exfoliation is good, it should be relatively mild so as not to dry out skin. Intense, weekly exfoliation sloughs off any piled up dead skin cells, boosting cell turnover, promoting collagen production, lightening sun/post-acne marks, reducing breakouts, reducing fine lines & wrinkles, and smoothing skin texture. Lookin’ good, girl!

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