Physical Scrubs vs. Chemical Exfoliants

Physical Scrubs vs. Chemical Exfoliants

Exfoliation, a vital step in your skincare regimen, is the process of removing dead skin cell buildup through either physical or chemical action. But why is this so vital to our regimen? Exfoliation is the key to boosting our cellular turnover for glowing, healthy skin. This process sheds old dead skin cells to let new, healthy skin cells make their way to the surface of our skin. Without proper exfoliation skin can look dull, flaky, and experience clogged pores, acne, and wrinkle formation more often.

What’s The Difference

Physical scrubs are a method of sloughing off dead skin cell buildup manually by using a bead-like product to scrub or rub them away. While on the other hand, chemical exfoliants are a method that works chemically to loosen and break apart the bonds that holds dead skin cell buildup together. Chemical exfoliator examples are products such as masques and creams that contain alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, and enzymes.

Choosing Your Method

Both methods are effective, but which one is right for you? This all comes down to your skin type, skin condition, and skin concerns! Are you looking for immediate results on a dull complexion? If yes, physical scrubs may be something to opt for. But wait, do you have rosacea or active breakouts? Rather than using a physical exfoliant, you may want to opt for chemical exfoliation instead.

The Bottom Line

Whether your exfoliation method of choice is physical scrubs or chemical exfoliants, the same rules apply to both: Wear your sunscreen every single day and reapply often. Skip exfoliation of any kind for several days if your skin is compromised, healing from a sunburn, or pre/post any professional skincare treatment. Use a hydrating facial mist or serum and a moisturizer that is rich in ceramides after exfoliating. Don’t over do it. Too much of a good thing doesn’t make it any better for you, in fact this can do the opposite of what you’re looking for.

Thank you for reading!

This article of the Skinsider Scoop was graciously written by Licensed Esthetician, Alana Bruckenstein, and edited by the Clean Skin Club team. If you're interested in more from Alana, please shoot us an email, and follow her Instagram - @aestheticianalana