Chemical Exfoliation Vs Physical Exfoliation : Find Out Which Works Best For Your Skin

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When it comes to making a choice between going using chemical-free methods or using chemicals, people are undecided most of the time. This article would help you make the right decision as we compare physical exfoliation to chemical exfoliation.

physical exfoliating vs chemical exfoliating
Photo credit: kiss-mag.com

What is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the process by which dead, keratinized skin cells are removed. This ensures that the skin is smoother and reinvigorated, making it appear smoother and allowing facial products to finally penetrate the skin’s surface.

Before we go into what kind of exfoliation is better for you, you must know that it is good for you to seek a professional’s help when exfoliating. This is because, it is easy for one to over-do exfoliation and while the rest of your body can handle it, the face can only handle minimal exfoliation.

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation is the process of removing dead cells from the skin with the use of abrasive materials. The abrasive materials range from small grains to a brush or jojoba beads. It could also involve microdermabrasion.

What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is the scrubbing of your face by a professional. It the act of rubbing small particles against the skin. This removes the dead cells faster without as much damage. It is ideal for people who have wrinkles and stretch marks.

Pros of Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliations are generally gentle.

You can have a physical exfoliation and still wear your makeup without looking raw.

Circulation in the skin is stimulated as a result of the physical movement.

Cons of Physical Exfoliation

When you scrub too hard, you can get your skin irritated

It can also cause micro tears

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation on the other hand, removes dead cells from the skin through the use  of chemicals. The chemicals work to loosen cellular bonds thereby allowing an entire layer of skin to be removed all at once. Chemical exfoliation not only helps remove dead cells but also helps in brightening the skin, giving it that after-glow effect.

Types of chemical exfoliants include the alpha hydroxyl acids and the beta hydroxyl acids.

AHAs – Alpha Hydroxy Acids

The alpha hydroxy acids, AHA are water soluble and so cannot penetrate deeply into the pores. AHAs  are made from natural substances. If you have a dry skin, then, this is for you.

BHAs – Beta Hydroxy Acids

These are oil soluble and so, they penetrate very deep into the pores. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. If you have an oily skin, this is for you.

Pros of chemical exfoliation

There is no risk of over-scrubbing

They penetrate deeper and work on deeper layers than physical exfoliants.

Cons of chemical exfoliation

The chemical exfoliation can be dangerous if it is performed by someone who lacks the skill;

Chemical exfoliants can leave you suffering pain and irritation a few days after.

What happens when you over-exfoliate?

Like every other thing, exfoliation should be done with moderation. The following happens when you over-exfoliate:

  1. Your skin becomes even more sensitive: When you over-exfoliate, you irritate your skin and then, it becomes even more sensitive. This could lead to reaction or discomfort when you step out into the sun
  2. Risk of acne: Over-exfoliating can cause your sebaceous glands to go into a frenzy. Thereby causing them to produce more oils than they regularly would.
  3. Risk of aging: Yes! Over exfoliating can cause your skin to start showing signs of aging.
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