Physical vs Chemical Exfoliation – what’s the difference and is one better?

Physical vs Chemical Exfoliation – what’s the difference and is one better?

Posted by Rebecca Hopkins on

When it comes to exfoliation, think dental flossing. It’s a necessary ‘chore’ – preferably twice a week - and you’ll reap the rewards in the longer term.

Effective exfoliation is fundamental in our weekly skincare rituals if our mists, serums and moisturisers are going to work their hardest and allow their bio-active ingredients to penetrate more deeply.

And there are two types: physical and chemical. Both technically carry out the same function which is to slough off dead skin. However both mechanics are very different and we all have a preference, and that includes our skin! Below is a helpful guide and includes products we currently have in our skin and body care range.

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation is fairly straightforward with the use of small grains, sometimes a brush (think dry body brushing) or a cotton cloth, such as our muslin. Not all physical exfoliants are created equally and some might cause irritation but we feel confident you’ll be happy with the results if you use our Cleanse + Polish, we paired our bestselling Super Berry Cleansing Balm with our small but mighty Oat Exfoliating Booster to deliver the smoothest cleanse ever. Our physical offering is non abrasive, Balance Me skincare is kind to your skin. Our oat powder is small and gentle, does its job effectively to smooth and refine; then melts as you massage and is removed with the cloth, along with the dead skin cells and product without causing any micro-tears in the skin.

For your body we’re particular fans of  dry body brushing – use two of our vegan body brushes, its quicker and we visit our Instagram IGTV where Clare takes you through the motions. Follow with either our Super Firming Body Oil or Super Moisturising Body Oil (this is a lighter, nut-free oil) and massage into your skin, using firm circular motions with your hands.

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliants remove dead skin cells with the use of chemicals to aid in cell turnover. We call it the ‘glow effect’. Skin is revealed as softer, smoother and brighter (more radiant) as a result and skin tone is more even.

Chemical exfoliants can be delivered to the skin in a number of different treatments, from peels to tonics, masks to mists.

For more sensitive and rosacea-prone skin, PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids) have larger molecules than other exfoliating acids, so are much slower to penetrate the skin and won’t irritate.

Our  PHA Clarifying Mist is great for anyone suffering from maskne, blemishes or redness. The mist treatment means you can even reach your back and shoulders too should you experience breakouts in these areas. It will help to tighten pores and is formulated with zinc to mattify and allantoin to smooth and calm.

AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are derived from organic sugars with glycolic acid (sugar cane) and lactic acid (milk) the best-known. They work by dissolving the bonds between the skin cells to allow the removal of dead cells, revealing a smoothing skin surface.

Our  AHA Glow Mask is very hydrating and brightening treatment with a lovely creamy texture. Use 2 - 3 times a week to really help draw out impurities and minimise pores. Remove with either your fingers or with a washcloth.

BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids), commonly known as Salicylic Acid, is oil soluble which means BHAs are able to cut through the oil that is clogging your pores. They also have great antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so perfect for anyone with blackheads and acne-prone skin.

Our  BHA Exfoliating Concentrate is great for any one with a more oil-prone or hormonal skin. It really helps restore radiance, minimise large pores and clear congestion. It’s so easy to use, just a few pumps onto a beauty pad and apply all over a cleansed skin and let is dry before applying your next layer of skincare.

Give exfoliation a go if you haven’t already. It feels good to ‘glow’! And seek out that dental floss from the back of your bathroom cabinet while you’re at it. Your teeth will thank you too!

aha-glow-mask-10ml aha-glow-mask-50ml bha-exfoliating-concentrate-180ml bha-exfoliating-concentrate-30ml brush-and-brighten cleanse-polish Guides import muslin-cloth skincare-exfoliators skincare-face-masks

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