Physical VS Chemical Exfoliators

June 30, 2022

Physical VS Chemical Exfoliators

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. 

Monica from SHEN beauty

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.


CHEMICAL EXFOLIATORS

Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask
AHA Glycolic Acid goes to work to hydrate and exfoliate. 
Bader Toner Product Image
This essence gently removes impurities and repairs damaged skin.
Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial
A resurfacing treatment illuminates and breaks down dead skin.
YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE  Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial Texture

PHYSICAL EXFOLIATORS

Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel
The best of both, physical and chemical exfoliation, without irritation.
GOOPGLOW Cloudberry Jelly Exfoliating Cleanser
Gentle enough for every day and magically revives dullness.
Decree Deep Cleanse

Detoxicating clay and fruit acid cleanser removes makeup and impurities.
Environ Tri Bio-Botanical Revival Masque $89
Tri Bio-Botanical Revival Masque
goop GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator $42
GoopGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator
Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask $48
Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask
Nature Of Things Clarifying Facial Polish $65
Clarifying Facial Polish
Youth to the People Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial $54
Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial
Goldfaden MD Doctor's Scrub $75
Doctor's Scrub
Tammy Fender Epi-Peel $95
Epi-Peel
Lernberger Stafsing AHA/BHA Peel Gel Mask $57
AHA/BHA Peel Gel Mask
SIO Beauty Super Eye Lift - 2 pack $30
Super Eye Lift - 2 pack
VENN Concentrated Revitalizing Lifting Mask $85
VENN Skincare Concentrated Revitalizing Lifting Mask Skincare - Masks VENN
alpyn beauty Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel $56
Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel
SIO Beauty Eye + Smile Lift - 4 pack $34
Eye + Smile Lift - 4 pack
Zitsticka PRESS REFRESH™ Exfoliating Hydro-Mask $36
PRESS REFRESH™ Exfoliating Hydro-Mask
Bynacht Über Glow Gel Peeling AHA $80
Über Glow Gel Peeling AHA
SIO Beauty Eye + Smile Lift - 2 pack $28
Eye + Smile Lift - 2 pack
SIO Beauty NeckLift $34
NeckLift
SIO Beauty BrowLift $34
BrowLift
SIO Beauty FaceLift $55
FaceLift
Decree SOS Revitalising Eye Mask $16
SOS Revitalising Eye Mask
Decree Weekly Decree $154
Weekly Decree
Superegg Calm Movements Eye + Cheek Mask $50
Calm Movements Eye + Cheek Mask
Environ Hydroxy Acid Sebu-Clear Masque $56
Hydroxy Acid Sebu-Clear Masque
Dr. Barbara Sturm Facial Scrub $75
STURM Facial Scrub Skincare - Exfoliant STURM
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Mask $125
Face Mask
Mahōni Manuka Honey Daily Boost $54
Manuka Honey Daily Boost
Pai Curtain Call Radiance Mask $59
Curtain Call Radiance Mask
Goldfaden MD Goldfaden MD DOCTOR’S SCRUB (Advanced)- Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator $98
Goldfaden MD DOCTOR’S SCRUB (Advanced)- Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator
Goldfaden MD Facial Detox Mask $65
Facial Detox Mask
Skin Design London Designer Balm $150
Designer Balm
Pai Dinner Out AHA Mask $49
Dinner Out AHA Mask
Nature Of Things Rejuvenating Overnight Facial Mask $85
Rejuvenating Overnight Facial Mask
Irene Forte Pistachio Face Mask $155
Pistachio Face Mask
Haoma Earth Scrub $45
Earth Scrub
MBR Awake & Lift Eye Patches $177
Awake & Lift Eye Patches
SIO Beauty ChestLift $55
ChestLift
Pai Resurrection Girl $49
Resurrection Girl
Decree SOS Revitalising Sheet Mask $138
SOS Revitalising Sheet Mask
SIO Beauty Super Lip Lift - 2 pack $30
Super Lip Lift - 2 pack
Decree Decree SOS Revitalising Mask Edit $36
Decree SOS Revitalising Mask Edit
Haoma Earth Clay Mask $55
Earth Clay Mask
SIO Beauty Super Eyelift-4 pack $38
Super Eyelift-4 pack
Irene Forte Apricot Face Peel $91
Apricot Face Peel
Youth to the People Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant, Travel $16
Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant, Travel
Environ Hydrating Clay Masque $44
Hydrating Clay Masque
Irene Forte Lavender & Rosemary Face Mask $116
Lavender & Rosemary Face Mask
Irene Forte Pomegranate Face Mask $129
Pomegranate Face Mask
Tammy Fender Restorative Radiance Masque $195
Restorative Radiance Masque
SIO Beauty Super Lip Lift-4 pack $38
Super Lip Lift-4 pack
BEAUTYCOUNTER Reflect Effect 3-in-1 Facial Tool $25
Reflect Effect 3-in-1 Facial Tool
BEAUTYCOUNTER Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask $96
Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask
SHOP EXFOLIATORS

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