Exfoliation is a vital part of a proper skincare routine. It removes congestion and dead skin cells, unclogging the pores and allowing the products that follow to absorb into the skin better.
There are 2 types of exfoliation: chemical and physical.
The most familiar, physical exfoliation, uses an ingredient that physically scrubs old, dead cells from the surface of the skin. These can offer instant gratification--skin immediately feels softer and looks brighter, however, It is easy to get carried away with this type of exfoliation and overdo it.
Over scrubbing can irritate skin and strip it of its protective lipidic barrier. It can also create micro-tears, creating inflammation and making your skin more sensitive. Since physical exfoliation is somewhat harsh, depending on your skin’s condition, do not use a physical exfoliant more than 2-3x a week . And do not use physical exfoliation if you have acne as the granules can irritate the already inflamed skin.
Chemical exfoliators are less harsh. They use a variety of chemicals to promote skin renewal through regeneration. They may contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid, or fruit enzymes, such as papaya or pumpkin. They dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, eliminating the need to scrub.
Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion, a micro-exfoliating toner, is one of our favorite chemical exfoliators and comes in many strengths to address a variety of skin conditions. It speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process, and the reconstruction of the epidermal skin. It creates brighter, cleaner, and clearer skin. (Pair it with their Creme Masque Vernix for a hydrating boost).
If you prefer an enzyme exfoliant, Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder is an excellent cleansing booster to help rinse the dead skin cells away. Once the powder is mixed with a drop or two of water, it creates a lush foam that can be massaged into the skin to gently polish and refine the complexion.