Mechanical Vs Chemical Exfoliation: Which Is Best For You?
We all want healthy, glowing skin. That’s like every girl’s dream.
But achieving it can be a challenge. Not all of us are blessed with porcelain skin, so we have no choice but to work on it (sometimes, a lot) to have it.
First off, maintaining healthy skin is not just all about skincare. Your lifestyle and diet play a huge part in it.
So even if you are religious to your skincare routine, if you keep consuming unhealthy food or sleeping late, then it won’t work.
But we will not focus on that. Today, we will tackle one important skincare method that actually helps us achieve the glow — yep, it's exfoliation.
And what if we tell you that you've been exfoliating all wrong? 😬
Here's how to exfoliate the right way if you want radiant skin.
Why do we need to exfoliate?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells.
Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every month. But as you age, the process gets slower, and not all dead skin will come off completely.
And when this happens, it will result in clogged pores, dry & dull complexion, uneven skin tone, and the last thing we want — a breakout.
So whenever you exfoliate, remember these benefits your skin will enjoy:
It boosts skin radiance.
By removing dead skin cells, you are giving way to new cells to do their magic. Making your skin looks soft, brighter, and fresh. It unclogs the pores from stubborn dirt like blackheads or whiteheads, which inhibits breakouts as well.
It preps your skin.
Your skincare products cannot penetrate your skin if it is dry and dull. It’s like a barrier, preventing all the wonderful nutrients from being absorbed. A well-exfoliated skin will soak up all the good things from your favorite skincare products.
It stimulates collagen production.
If you are regularly exfoliating your skin and have been doing it for quite some time now, you are actually helping your skin produce more collagen. Collagen plays an important part in making your skin look young. It reduces the appearance of fine lines and sagging.
Types of Exfoliation: Mechanical Vs Chemical
There are two main types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical.
Growing up, we are not really properly educated on which product is best for our skin. We often love experimenting and seeing if it works or not.
The problem with this is sometimes the mistakes we make are irreversible and can result in permanent damages — that instead of improving your skin, you are harming it.
So it is important to know about exfoliation, how to do it correctly, and what works best for your skin type.
Mechanical exfoliation is a method where you remove dead skin cells manually.
Skincare products with microbeads or granules is categorized as physical exfoliators. And skincare tools like sponges, washcloths, loofas, or brushes are considered mechanical exfoliators, too.
But mechanical exfoliation is not for everybody, especially if you have hypersensitive skin. So, consider the pros and cons of mechanical exfoliation before you do it.
Pro-Tip: Know your skin type. And then look for mechanical exfoliators that are gentle yet effective. Our personal favorite is CSM Konjac Sponges with CSM Renew. Made of natural ingredients, perfect for all skin types.
Chemical exfoliation uses natural or synthetic acids that help peel away dead skin cells.
The most common chemical exfoliants are AHA, BHA, and Enzymes.
The popular AHAs used in skincare products are lactic acid and glycolic acid. These acids are derived from natural resources such as milk, fruit, and sugar.
BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acid is a synthetic chemical exfoliant popularly known as salicylic acid.
And lastly, enzymes are from natural fruits and are light and gentle.
Pro-Tip: Your skin type matters, too. If you have sensitive skin, exfoliants with BHA will work best for you. If you have normal skin, you can use either mechanical or chemical. If you have oily skin, mechanical exfoliants are the best. If you have acne-prone skin, AHA is your best pick.
How To Exfoliate Properly
Now that you know which exfoliating method is best for your skin type, it is also important to learn how to exfoliate properly.
The general rule is never exfoliate the areas with open wounds, cuts, and sunburn. Exfoliating will only aggravate these conditions. So better skip these parts.
Here are the common techniques you can do at home:
- For mechanical exfoliating tools: Long but light strokes on areas that you want to exfoliate for at least 5 minutes. We recommend dry brushing before shower, especially if you want to shave your legs to avoid ingrown hair or razor burns.
- For scrubs or chemical exfoliants: Apply the products in a small circular motions to gently buff dead skin cells. Do this for at least 30 seconds per area and then wash off with lukewarm water.
The recommended practice is to exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. But we love exfoliating our skin daily using our natural body brush — it's gentle to the skin if you know how to use it.
The bottom line is, either mechanical or chemical, you have to consider your skin type because exfoliating can be harmful if not done properly.
So know your skin type, choose the correct products, and always be gentle to your skin to achieve a radiant glow.✨
Read the benefits of dry brushing here.