The Difference Between Chemical And Physical Exfoliants

exfoliants

Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliators include acids such as Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid to help loosen dead skin cells. But don’t let the word ‘acid’ scare you off. These are hydroxy acids added at low percentages into cleansers, toners, serums and sometimes moisturisers. They are gentle acids which in fact, could be less irritating for certain skin types than physical exfoliants! If you have normal or sensitive skin and have skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture and pigmentation then you need Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as Lactic or Glycolic Acid. If you suffer from oily/acne skin and want to reduce blackheads and large pores then you need to look for Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). So look for Salicylic acid in your chemical exfoliant.

If you have normal or sensitive skin and have concerns such as hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture then you need Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as Lactic or Glycolic Acid. If you suffer from oily/acne skin and want to reduce blackheads and large pores then you need to look for Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). So look for Salicylic acid in your chemical exfoliant.

Exfoliators which include enzymes and retinol are also chemical exfoliants. Enzymatic exfoliation smooths the skin by eating at the cells on the surface. (It’s not as gory as it sounds, promise!) Whilst retinol promotes cell turnover and helps the removal of dead skin cells, by preventing them from clumping up together.

Physical Exfoliants

Physical exfoliants are the manual type of exfoliator. These exfoliators use granules to slough away dead skin cells. They do not penetrate the skin beyond the dermis (the outer layer of skin). Those who are acne-prone or have sensitive skin are often advised to avoid physical exfoliants as they can be irritable for the skin if overdone.

Many exfoliants include microbeads, which negatively impact the environment. However, as of July 2016, all glo therapeutics exfoliants and cleansers are microbead-free and use safe alternatives.

You Might Also Like