The skin needs to breathe and be clean to be able to regenerate easily, a process that happens naturally in cycles of approximately 28 days. It is the largest organ in the body, the one that protects us from the outside, and yet many people neglect its care.
Today at KŌNSE we will talk about the importance of exfoliation and, more interestingly, about the differences between physical and chemical exfoliation. Do you have to choose between the two, can they be combined, how often should you be exfoliating …? Asking yourself all these questions is normal, and more so in the world of cosmetics which does not stop growing and reinventing itself year after year.
First of all: what do we mean by “exfoliate”? It is the process by which we deeply cleanse the skin, removing dirt and, above all, dead cells.
Physical exfoliation can be done with rough-textured products (that is, containing microparticles that carry dirt and so on), or with tools such as brushes, sponges, and other facial utensils. It can be a bit aggressive, especially if not done carefully, however it has traditionally been the most popular form of exfoliation.
With chemical exfoliation, we help the natural regeneration process of the skin to speed up thanks to the application of certain ingredients. Many acids (AHAs / BHAs) fulfil this function well, and what they do is facilitate the breakdown of dead cells and dirt.
Physical or Chemocal exfoliation: why do we need both?
You may not be clear on what is best for you: how do you choose between a physical or chemical exfoliation?
The first thing you should know is that any process you carry out on your skin can cause certain alterations, so try to use products that are designed for your skin type and its needs (and, in the case of using tools, use them with care).
There are products, such as Alex Carro’s natural exfoliator, that combine both types of exfoliation. In this particular case, the exfoliation is both physical and enzymatic (the enzymatic exfoliation process is similar to the chemical one, but using enzymes instead of chemical ingredients). The result, a radiant and luminous skin.
It is true that the chemical exfoliation process can be less aggressive, since we do not “rub” the skin, but apply an active ingredient that we remove after a while. However, misuse can cause hypersensitivity and redness, just as an overly aggressive physical exfoliation would cause those same unpleasant symptoms.
We can understand the combination of both techniques (physical exfoliation + chemical exfoliation) as the true panacea: you will not only be helping your skin externally (physical exfoliation), but also internally (chemical exfoliation, helping to dissolve dirt and dead cells).
What we do have to make very clear is that it must be done sensibly: you do not want to overexfoliate the skin or subject it to too many processes at the same time. If you are using a chemical exfoliator or peel, wait at least 24 hours before doing a physical exfoliation (and vice versa).
As a general rule, physical scrubs should not be used more than once a week because they can lower the skin’s natural protective barrier and irritate it.
Dafna’s Detoxify Exfoliating Mask is perfect for those looking for that deep exfoliation and don’t have too much time for treatments: it exfoliates, minimizes pores, brightens and reduces the effects of contamination on the skin, all at the same time. Another great alternative can be Wisdom Cares’ Powdered Facial Scrub, which promotes a gentle exfoliation while soothing the skin.
However, there are brands, such as Nuori, that have developed certain scrubs that you can use on a daily basis. This is the case of its Supreme Polishing Treatment, which is fully adapted to your needs and you can adapt it to your routine (daily, every other day, once a week …).
Either way, one thing is clear: if you haven’t included exfoliation into your beauty routine yet, you should consider doing it as soon as possible. You will surely notice the change for the better, with a smoother, brighter and softer skin. In addition, a good exfoliation facilitates a better absorption of the rest of the products that you apply, a real win-win.