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Physical and Chemical Exfoliators?

What's The Difference Between Physical and Chemical Exfoliators?

Physical exfoliators are products that tend to have little particles in them that scrub at the skin, they can also be tools like cleansing brushes and abrasive cloths/flannels. Chemical exfoliators work by dissolving the glue like structure that holds the dead skin in place, this means you don't need to scrub.

Why do we need to exfoliate?

Our skin naturally exfoliates itself, but as we get older, this natural skin renewal slows down. Exfoliating helps to remove excess oil and dead skin that could block the pores, leaving our skin looking dull. Excess dead skin also affects the absorption of our daily use products, there's no point in moisturising dead skin, we want our products to penetrate the healthy, living skin.

But with exfoliation, less is more. Scrubbing your skin may leave you feeling super soft and smooth, but over exfoliation can disrupt the natural balance of the skin, leaving it sore and irritated. If you've heard the term "less is more" that definitely applies to exfoliating.

Can You Use Chemical Exfoliants Every Day?

It depends on the product, a gentle toner which is designed for daily use is fine, providing your skin can tolerate it. But as with physical exfoliators, if you're using a chemical peel, less is more and every other day is more than enough. Always follow the instructions given on the packaging.

When Should I Use a Chemical Exfoliant?

Exfoliators are best used in the evening as they do leave the skin more sensitive to the skin (you still need to use an SPF daily, even when using acids in the evening) but if you're using an active like retinol in the evening, you could use your glycolic acid in the morning.

What is the Best Chemical Exfoliant?

That would depend on your skin type and your skin complaint. But as a guide

Glycolic Lactic Salicylic acid

Glycolic Acid is said to be one of the most powerful and effective alpha hydroxy acids, it has the ability to increase cell turnover which leaves the skin brighter and with a healthy glow. Glycolic Acid helps break down pore-clogging dead skin cells that stick to the surface of the skin, this dead skin can leave our skin looking dull and grey, regular use of glycolic acid can diminish the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and discolouration, revealing a brighter and more youthful-looking complexion. 
Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid, known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. This formula helps to unblock pores while exfoliating the skins surface. Regular use helps to reduce blemishes and breakouts, leading to brighter looking skin that’s more even in tone. It is suitable for oily and blemished prone skin. 
Lactic Acid is used to help rejuvenate the skin by encouraging the shedding of old surface skin cells. It can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, & decreases enlarged pores. Lactic acid is a good choice for first-time peel users or for those with sensitive skin.


Prefer a Physical Exfoliator?



The Dermaflannel is a beauty breakthrough for anyone who likes the idea of a chemical peel but would rather a more natural treatment. This easy to use, reusable way of achieving deeper exfoliation has a unique weave that sweeps away dead skin cells to reveal soft, glowing skin on the face or the body. The Dermaflannel really is a Facial in a Flannel. 


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