Everyone is after healthy glowing skin, and you don’t have to look far to find dozens of products that promise to make your skin flawless. When you’re looking for the perfect way to brighten up your skin, exfoliants are the way to go. The challenge comes in choosing which exfoliant is right for you. There are several different options to choose from, and you have different types of skin on your body that will react differently to each exfoliant. Let’s explore the types of exfoliants and discover which is best for your skin!
What are the types of exfoliants?
Exfoliants can be broken into two main categories: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants usually include small particles like seeds, shells or sugar to exfoliate, while chemical exfoliants use chemicals to help the skin peel. No matter which type of exfoliant you use, the general effect you use is the same: your dead skin will be shed, bringing fresh, healthy skin to the front.
Physical exfoliants can be applied with your hands or a brush. When using physical exfoliants, you’re able to better feel the exfoliation as it happens. You will need to wash the grits of a physical exfoliant off of your face when done. There is usually no limit to the amount of time that a physical exfoliant can rest on your face. Be aware that strong physical exfoliation can cause your body to fight back and cause skin issues like callouses.
There are two main types of chemical exfoliants: AHA and BHA. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) come from fruit and helps dead skin remove itself. Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) reach deeper into the skin and are usually used on the face since they can help with acne. Depending on the chemical’s strength, you may feel a tightening feeling or no feeling at all while using them. Chemical exfoliants are usually only supposed to be on your skin for a certain period of time, after which they should be washed off.
Which exfoliant is better for my skin?
When considering which product to buy, there’s a lot to keep in mind.
- Where do you want to exfoliate? Areas that are more sensitive should avoid using physical exfoliants since they can easily irritate your skin. This can include areas like your face or hands. If you are trying to unclog pores, you may want to switch between an AHA and BHA to get the best results. Tougher skin like elbows and feet can take some stronger exfoliants, but they can still be hurt due to over exfoliation.
- What result do you want? Are you trying to improve your skin texture or get rid of dead skin? Both types of exfoliants accomplish both jobs, but generally physical exfoliants will be better at evening texture, while chemical exfoliants are better at getting rid of dead skin.
How do I get the best results with my exfoliant?
No matter what kind of exfoliant you use, there are some steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your exfoliant experience.
Don’t do it too often
You should never exfoliate more than once a week or every other week depending on the strength of your exfoliant. While exfoliating is good for your skin, it can be harmful if you do it too much, causing irritation and sensitivity. You should be especially careful with physical exfoliants, as they can open up microtears in your skin. Microtears are no one’s friend — not only will they cause uneven texture, they can worsen acne on the face and back.
Prepare your skin
Make sure your skin is washed and dry before applying a peel. You may opt to soak your skin for 30 minutes prior to a peel to ensure your skin is soft and prepared. If you have any cuts on your skin, we suggest waiting until your skin is healed so you don’t further irritate your skin. Be wary of any further damage on your skin like a sunburn or painful dryness — adding an exfoliant on top of irritated skin can be painful.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
If your first bout with exfoliants doesn’t go the way you want, try out another type. Each exfoliant you buy is different, and each will have a different physical or chemical composition. Skincare is all trial and error — you’ll need to see how your skin reacts to different products before you start to find your favorite exfoliant.
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Want to try it for yourself? Check out our products!