Our Lead Esthetician, Monica, weighs in on the differences between Physical VS Chemical Exfoliators and which one is best for you. Learn the benefits of both and our top picks in each category.
WHICH EXFOLIATOR IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Physical exfoliation refers to granules that you physically manipulate on the surface of the skin to remove surface dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation refers to exfoliation via acids, most commonly known as Beta Hydroxy Acids (Salicylic Acid) and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic, Lactic, Malic, etc.) that loosen the bonds between dead skin cells.
Physical exfoliation is effective for most skin types for instant gratification and a smoother texture, but may not be ideal for those with very sensitive or inflamed skin (severe acne or rosacea clients would not be good candidates).
Chemical exfoliation is a good choice for almost anyone who wants radiance without scrubbing, but it depends on the type of acid and the strength. For example, Salicylic Acid is best suited for oily skin because it is attracted to oil (Lipophilic) to slough away dead skin on the surface and deep inside pores, whereas Glycolic Acid can stimulate collagen production in aging skin. Acids vary in potency depending on the formulation, so if you’re sensitive, try a patch test.
Don’t want to choose? Look for a product that does it all with both chemical and physical exfoliators in one.
AHA Glycolic Acid goes to work to hydrate and exfoliate.
This essence gently removes impurities and repairs damaged skin.
A resurfacing treatment illuminates and breaks down dead skin.
The best of both, physical and chemical exfoliation, without irritation.
Gentle enough for every day and magically revives dullness.
Detoxicating clay and fruit acid cleanser removes makeup and impurities.
Tri Bio-Botanical Revival Masque
GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator
Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask
Clarifying Facial Polish
Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial
AHA/BHA Peel Gel Mask
Super Eye Lift - 2 pack
Concentrated Revitalizing Lifting Mask
Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel
Eye + Smile Lift - 4 pack
PRESS REFRESH™ Exfoliating Hydro-Mask
Über Glow Gel Peeling AHA
Eye + Smile Lift - 2 pack
Virtuous Circle Eco-Bead Exfoliator
SOS Revitalising Eye Mask
Calm Movements Eye + Cheek Mask
Hydroxy Acid Sebu-Clear Masque
Advance Clarifying Acid Clay Mask
Manuka Honey Daily Boost
Curtain Call Radiance Mask
Goldfaden MD DOCTOR’S SCRUB (Advanced)- Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator
Rejuvenating Overnight Facial Mask
Awake & Lift Eye Patches
SOS Revitalising Sheet Mask
Super Lip Lift - 2 pack
Decree SOS Revitalising Mask Edit
Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant