Are you team physical or chemical exfoliation? During my first dermatological visit, my dermatologist asked me to steer away from physical exfoliators such as scrubs. He went on to say how harmful physical exfoliators are to inflamed or acne-prone skin. They cause further irritation and inflammation. Chemical exfoliants are more effective and less abrasive as compared to physical exfoliators.
Many chemical exfoliators can help with uneven skin tone or texture, clogged pores, and more. On the other hand, scrubs are easy to overdo and cause irritation. Additionally, they don’t have much of an effect on the skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation and acne.
Here are a few distinct differences between physical and chemical exfoliation:-
Physical exfoliation includes scrubs, face brushes, towels, exfoliating gloves, and a konjac sponge. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, includes exfoliating acids like AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs.
Physical exfoliation only removes dead skin from the surface of the skin. However, chemical exfoliation helps in removing dead skin cells from the surface, and BHAs go deeper.
Physical exfoliation provides instant gratification due to ‘buffed’ skin after use. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, can take a while to see results and is best used consistently.
Physical exfoliation is easy to overdo and causes irritation. However, chemical exfoliation has a broader range of options to minimize irritation.
Physical exfoliation should be used not more than 1-2x a week. Chemical exfoliation, on the other, has a lower % can be used more frequently.