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Which Exfoliant is Best: Chemical or Physical?

Exfoliating is a huge component in any skincare routine, since it aids in removing dead skin cells that often clog pores. Choosing the right exfoliant for your skin might seem like a difficult task to accomplish due to the various options available! There are two different exfoliant options to chose from, which are physical exfoliants and chemical exfoliants. So, which is the best? Well, both have their own benefits, but the right option for you will depend on your skin type.

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Types Of Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants work to dissolve dead skin cells, dirt, and oil that binds those cells to your skin. Chemical exfoliants don’t contain any type of physical buffing ingredients, like grains or particles. The most common types of chemical exfoliants are AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acid). AHAs are often recommended for individuals who have dry, sun damaged skin while BHAs are ideal for normal/oily or acne prone skin.

Types Of Physical Exfoliants

Physical exfoliants are designed to scrub away dead skin cells using physical particles, such as coffee grounds, salt, or sugar. Even gently scrubbing with a soft washcloth or loofah is also a type of physical exfoliation and is suitable for sensitive skin! But if you're more interested on using exfoliants that contain granules or particles and you're not sure how to utilize a physical exfoliant, you can check out our "How to Use a Body Scrub" blog.

The Best Ingredients For Your Skin

Don't shy away from either exfoliant options! Both have different benefits for your skin's health. It's good to remember that the ingredients found in chemical exfoliants are typically good for your skin, and you can always start with a lower concentration and work your way up. Don't be concerned of the word "chemical;" this doesn't mean it's "bad" for you or your skin!

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When it comes to physical exfoliants, the finer the granules the better since they are a little more gentle on the skin. Try to use natural physical exfoliants, like a coffee scrub or sugar scrub, since some soaps/exfoliants you might have contain microbeads. Microbeads are tiny plastic particles that are wrecking havoc in our water, since many marine life mistake them as food. So, do your part for the environment by using an exfoliant that is close to "food-grade."

Not sure how often you should exfoliate? To maintain clear, healthy looking skin, try to exfoliate at least 2-3 times per week. Try either exfoliant out for a few weeks each to determine which one your skin responds to, as using both together can irritate the skin. Talk with an esthetician or dermatologist to get more insight on what they believe will help you achieve your #skingoals!

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1 comment

I’m personally a physical exfoliant girl 🙏♥️

Olivia Meza

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