a woman scrubbing her face

Exfoliation. Sounds like something you’d do to your kitchen sink to get rid of dirt, not your skin, right?

If you are tired of your skin feeling dry, dull, and flaky, it might be time to try exfoliation! This is a process that removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, revealing the healthy and radiant skin beneath. 

We know that, with so many different exfoliating products on the market, it can be hard to know where to start! So, if you are wondering what is a chemical exfoliation and what is the difference between that and mechanical exfoliation, or just want to know why you should be dealing with dead cells right away, this blog is for you. 

Today we'll give you a full guide on how to exfoliate your skin, including everything you need to know about the different types of exfoliants and how often you should be exfoliating to have healthy skin. So read on for all the details!

What does exfoliating do?

First, if you are still wondering what is exfoliation, here is a simple answer: Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. This can be done mechanically, with a physical exfoliant like a scrub, or chemically, with acids, like glycolic and citric acids.

Exfoliating helps all skin types to clean clogged pores, remove dead skin cells, and clear away any dirt or debris that may be trapped on the surface of the skin. By doing this, exfoliation can help to improve the overall appearance of your complexion, treat acne breakouts, and leave your skin looking and feeling smoother, softer, and more radiant.

The best-known types of exfoliators

There are a number of different ways that you can exfoliate your skin, including both physical and chemical methods. Let us break down each of them: 

Chemical exfoliants

A chemical exfoliant is an acidic solution that helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Chemical exfoliants typically come in the form of serums, toners, or chemical peels, and can be found at most beauty stores.

Unlike a physical scrub, a mild chemical exfoliator is much gentler on the skin and can be used by almost any skin type. They can help to brighten dull skin, smooth out rough texture, and even out your skin tone. If you have acne-prone skin, a chemical exfoliation can also help to unclog pores and reduce the formation of breakouts.

However, if you have very sensitive skin, be sure to start slowly with a lower concentration of acid

There are two types of chemical exfoliants: Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): 

1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs are water-soluble and work to remove dead cells off your face. The most common acids are glycolic acid and lactic acid

They are typically found in gel or liquid form and can be applied directly to the skin. 

2. Beta Hydroxy Acids

BHAs are oil-soluble and penetrate deeper into the pores to clean out dirt and oil. 

This type of exfoliator is often used to treat acne and oily skin, as it can help to unclog pores. They can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Wanna guess what is the most famous BHA? Salicylic acid, of course! 

Physical exfoliants

Physical exfoliation *aka mechanical exfoliation* is a process that uses small granules or beads to slough away dead skin cells. 

Mechanical exfoliants can come in the form of a scrub, like a sugar scrub or body scrub,  brushes, or gloves. They can be used on the face and body, and are typically applied to wet skin.

The physical exfoliation methods are recommended for people with normal to oily skin types as it can help unclog pores and prevent breakouts. On the other hand, it may be counterproductive to use a harsh scrub in any other skin type since it can worsen dry skin and irritate sensitive skin. 

Our Top 5 Benefits of Exfoliating

Exfoliating skin has a host of benefits that you may not be aware of. In addition to improving your skin’s appearance, exfoliation can also help with clogged pores, prevent breakouts, and even out your darker skin tone. Here are fave five benefits of exfoliating your skin:

#1 Helps to unclog pores

Including an exfoliation in your skin care routine helps to eliminate dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts in oily or acne-prone skin. By unclogging your pores, you allow your skin to breathe and prevent future pimples.

#2 Prevents breakouts

By removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores, you give your skin a fighting chance against breakouts.

#3 Evens out darker skin tones

Exfoliation can help to even balance your skin by removing pigmented cells that can cause unevenness. Moreover, by evening out your tone, you will create a more uniform appearance that is free of dark spots.

#4 Makes skin look and feel smoother

Who doesn’t want smooth skin? One of the most noticeable benefits of exfoliating your skin is that it will look and feel smoother. 

This is because, when you exfoliate the outer layer of skin, it helps to remove rough, dry patches of skin that can make your complexion appear dull.

#5 Boosts circulation

An exfoliation routine can also help to boost circulation. This increased circulation will bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to your skin, giving you a healthy glow.

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What is the best exfoliating technique for your skin type?

When it comes to exfoliation, there are a variety of methods and products available on the market. Then, how do you know what is the best exfoliation method for your skin type? 

Of course, this process can be beneficial for everyone, but it's important to understand that not all exfoliants are created equal. For example, a mechanical exfoliation can be too harsh for sensitive skin, while a chemical exfoliator may not be effective enough for thicker skin.

The good news is that there are a number of different ways to exfoliate your skin, so there is bound to be a method that works well for you. So, should you be using a chemical or mechanical exfoliation? Let’s find out:  

Exfoliants for normal skin

If you have normal skin, dermatologists generally recommend starting with a physical exfoliant if you’re new to the world of exfoliation, so you should look for an exfoliant with small, smooth beads or granules. 

You can also try a physical exfoliant with ingredients like jojoba oil to help soothe the skin while you slough away dead cells.

Exfoliants for acne-prone and oily skin

There are a few different types of exfoliants that you can use on your skin, but our top choice for acne-prone and oily skin is a salicylic acid-based exfoliant. 

Salicylic acid helps to break down the oil and sebum that is clogging up your pores, which then allows your skin to heal and prevents future breakouts. 

You can find salicylic acid alone or mixed with other acne skin care products, like benzoyl peroxide, in many over-the-counter acne medications.

Exfoliants for sensitive skin

There is no definitive answer to this question since sensitive skin type can be extremely delicate. 

However, an exfoliant that contains gentle acids, like lactic or glycolic acid, is a good option. These ingredients help to loosen the bonds between dead skin cells and reveal fresh, new skin underneath. 

Look for products that are specifically designed for your skin and start with a lower concentration of acids to minimize irritation before working your way up to higher levels

On the other hand, you can also benefit from physical exfoliants, such as scrubs, but be sure to use a gentle exfoliator so as not to irritate the delicate skin barrier.

Exfoliants for dry skin

If you have dry skin, you might want to choose an exfoliant that is more gentle. A physical exfoliator with small beads can be too harsh on your skin. 

Instead, try to exfoliate skin with a chemical exfoliant or a physical one with larger beads. You can also use a brush designed specifically for dry skin.

Exfoliants for combination skin

If you have a combination skin type, it's important to use an exfoliant that won't strip away your natural oils or leave your skin feeling dry and irritated. 

Topical skin care products with AHA/BHA are a great option because they will gently eliminate dead skin cells and clean pores without causing any irritation. Plus, it can help to balance out oily and dry areas of your face. 

How do you exfoliate? Our little secrets

Safely exfoliate your skin is not a difficult task, however, there are a few things you need to know before peeling your skin: 

  1. To safely exfoliate at home, start by washing your face with a mild cleanser.
  2. Then, wet a washcloth with warm water *not hot, please* and gently massage it over the face in circular motions.
  3. Exfoliate the outer layer of your skin with your favorite exfoliation method
  4. Wash the remaining scrub or product off your skin to eliminate dead cells

Skin exfoliation: some warnings!

  1. Even though regular exfoliation can help to improve your complexion and give you a healthy-looking glow, it’s important not to overdo it, as this can damage your skin. Start with exfoliating once or twice a week and increase the frequency gradually if needed.
  2. Please stay away from any strong chemical or mechanical exfoliators since they can irritate your skin and dry it out. 
  3. Don’t use an exfoliator while you have a wound healing
  4. Body scrubs are not formulated to be used on the face, so don’t use it on it!

Where to find an exfoliator?

Ready to exfoliate? Excellent! Now that you know all the benefits of exfoliation, it’s time to find the right exfoliator for you. 

Check out Asian Beauty Essentials wide selection of exfoliators and scrubs, perfect for every skin type.

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