Hello my beautiful friends!
It’s been far too long since the last time we got to chat! Nevertheless, I’m here and ready to shed some light on a controversial topic in the skincare industry – physical or chemical?
Now, you may have already guessed what this topic entails, but if you have not already… exfoliants! For those of you that don’t know the difference between physical and chemical exfoliants, physical exfoliants are those that physically exfoliate the outermost layer of your skin, meaning that there is some sort of light abrasion against your skin. Chemical exfoliants exfoliate beneath the skin’s surface, and although you may not see results as quickly as you would with physical, you would see them in the long-term. Ultimately, both result in the removal of dead skin cells.
♥ Physical Exfoliants
As mentioned, physical exfoliants are any type of grainy scrub that can be composed of sea salt, sugar, jojoba beads, etc. Regardless of skin type, I recommend choosing one that isn’t too harsh on the skin and is fragrance free. These exfoliators should be used up to a max of 2x/week, and in very gentle, circular motions.
As for the beauty-hyped ‘Home DIY’ lemon & sugar scrub, I would steer clear from that method as lemon has a very high acidic level, and when mixed with the rough grains of sugar, this combo could very easily aggravate the skin.
I thought I should mention that physical exfoliators also include accessories to aid in the cleansing process such as muslin cloths, konjac sponges, and cleansing brushes – Foreo LUNA mini 2; Clarisonic Mia 2. Just remember that when you are using these on the daily, you will want to reduce any additional exfoliators you use (both physical and chemical). In my opinion, you definitely do not ‘need’ to have these accessories when cleansing the skin and I actually prefer not to use these because I have more sensitive skin.
♥ Chemical Exfoliants
The most common types of chemical exfoliants are comprised of BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids) or AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and come in a liquid, gel, or cream format. When you read about ‘peels’ in magazines and online, you’re reading about chemical exfoliants that have a higher percentage of these BHA’s/AHA’s (among other chemicals). You may not feel as satisfied with the results immediately after using an at-home chemical exfoliant, but that’s because your skin requires continuous use with this method of exfoliation (up to 2 times per week) to see good results, which you could start seeing as early as 1 month.
It is very important when you start using a chemical exfoliant that you start at a lower % (i.e. 2%) and start 1x/week then gradually progress to 2x/week. Why? You do NOT want to end up with a chemical burn because that can not only be painful, it can also look pretty bad. Eventually, if you’re up for a higher % and your skin can tolerate it, go for it. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
Personally, I much rather prefer using chemical exfoliants as they are a bit more gentle for me (no scrubbing), and they penetrate beneath the skin’s surface which ultimately leads to more effective results. However, I do use physical exfoliants (from my personal fav’s list) as well from time to time when I want that smooth feeling effect instantly. Remember, do not use both chemical and physical at the same time as it could be too much for the skin and irritate it.
What type of exfoliant do you guys prefer? ♥♥♥