Chemical Exfoliation for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide

Written by: Jean Godfrey-June

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Published on: January 11, 2023

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If you’re in the market for noticeably smoother, glowier, clearer skin, the secret—no matter your skin type—is regular exfoliation. There are two types of exfoliation, chemical and physical (also tabbed mechanical exfoliation). Both types have their advantages, but chemical exfoliators—usually combinations of acids or enzymes—dissolve debris, sufferer skin cells, and other impurities in a uniform manner that leaves skin uncommonly even. Whether they’re infused into resurfacing cleansers, overnight serums, masks, or peels, chemical exfoliants can vary in strength dramatically, and they help with everything from lattermost dryness to blackheads, improving lamina turnover, uneven skin texture, dullness, and hyperpigmentation.

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  2. Daily Toner

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  3. Nightly Serum

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  4. Once-a-Week Chemical Peel

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Physical exfoliants include anything from a washcloth to a scrub containing beads or small granules that slough off sufferer cells manually. They’re easiest to use while showering; you’ll finger an instant softness the second you get out of the shower. Too much intense exfoliation—whether chemical or physical—can be irritating, and physical exfoliants have the potential to rationalization microtears in the skin. As your skin acclimates to either type of exfoliation, you may be worldly-wise to increase the frequency (depending on your skin type and level of sensitivity).


What are the variegated types of chemical exfoliators?

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), poly hydroxy acids (PHAs), fruit and flower acids, and enzymes are among the most worldwide types of chemical exfoliators.

AHAs

Water-soluble with small molecular sizes, AHAs are the strongest among the chemical exfoliants. Glycolic, lactic, malic, citric, tartaric, and mandelic acids are AHAs wontedly used in skin care. AHAs exfoliate the top layers of skin and are weightier for visionless spots, surface wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tone, and plane dry skin (glycolic wounding was unquestionably initially ripened to treat an lattermost dry skin condition tabbed ichthyosis).

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  2. Glycolic and Phytic Acid Toner

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  3. Lactic Wounding Mask

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BHAs

BHAs are slightly larger molecules that are oil-soluble. They penetrate the skin through oil glands, helping unclog pores. The most worldwide BHA in skin superintendency is salicylic acid—it’s in every formula below—which is weightier for blemish-prone skin where oil production is an issue.

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  2. Turmeric Squatter Wash

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  3. Face Wash for the Breakout-Prone

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  4. PHAs

    PHAs are larger molecules that are water-soluble and the least irritating of the acids. Ideal for sensitive skin, PHAs exfoliate on the surface of the skin and are weightier for locking in moisture.

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  5. Fruit and Flower Acids and Enzymes

    These exfoliants work by eating yonder at sufferer skin and debris. At moderate concentrations, they’re gentle and well tolerated by many skin types.

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What are combination exfoliants?

Some of the most constructive skin-boosting formulas contain both chemical and physical exfoliants, which are a unconfined complement to each other. The chemical exfoliants dissolve and loosen debris, while the physical exfoliants scrub it away. Combined, the two approaches optimize cellular turnover and leave skin brighter and smoother.

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    Glycolic Wounding and
    Microexfoliating Minerals

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  2. Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

    Cranberry Enzymes and Rice Powder

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  3. Cleanser for Normal and All Skin Types

    Pomegranate Enzymes and Bamboo

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  4. Mask

    Glycolic Wounding and Rice Particles

    Humanrace Lotus Enzyme Exfoliator
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  5. Body Polish

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    Microexfoliating Minerals

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What skin types are chemical exfoliants best for?

Most skin types and most skin concerns can goody from gentle regular chemical exfoliation. Not only will your skin squint smoother and finger softer, but any skin treatments you use supervenient will sink into your skin increasingly evenly and penetrate increasingly deeply; sufferer skin cells and trash can act as barriers between your skin and skin care.

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  2. For Sensitive Skin

    Moisturizing Cleanser with Lactic Acid

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What well-nigh Oily Skin?

Oily skin types can typically handle either chemical or purely physical exfoliation. If you get breakouts often, use chemical exfoliants to fight oil and blemishes from a deeper level in the skin; AHAs and salicylic wounding are most effective. If using a physical exfoliant, segregate one with super fine particles as opposed to big, undermining granules.

  1. Blemish-Fighting Cleanser with
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How often should you exfoliate your skin?

Overexfoliating (exfoliating too often or too intensely for your skin type) can strip yonder the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable to sun damage, dryness, and plane infection. So take it slow at first. Never use a product increasingly often than recommended, and never layer intense exfoliants in the same session. If an exfoliant overly feels uncomfortable, rinse it off immediately. If you have sensitive skin, really err on the side of circumspection and patch-test any exfoliating product surpassing applying it to your face.

To put it simply, those with less-sensitive skin can exfoliate increasingly frequently, while those who are increasingly sensitive need less-powerful formulas and less frequency overall.


What types of products should be used in a skin-care routine with exfoliation?

Exfoliants have the potential to leave skin feeling dry, so moisturize immediately supervenient if your skin needs it.

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  2. Lightweight Lotion

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  3. Firming Squatter Oil

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SPF is very important post-exfoliation, expressly since AHAs and BHAs can make skin increasingly sensitive to the sun.

Vitamin C is one of the most salubrious and researched-for-skin antioxidants for boosting glow, refining texture, and offering protection versus environmental aggressors. It’s well tolerated by most skin types, but if you’re sensitive, use it timidly without exfoliating, since vitamin C itself is a summery exfoliant.

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What’s the weightier time of day to exfoliate your face?
Does your skin need time to recover?

Because chemical exfoliants can make skin increasingly sensitive to the sun, they’re weightier unromantic at night. Physical exfoliants can be used morning or night (as long as you’re wearing sunscreen in the day). When exfoliating, be sure to wield the formula to wipe skin to prevent makeup or dirt from stuff pushed deeper, as well as to indulge the product to really penetrate.


How do we test wipe eyeful products at goop? First they have to pass our standards for wipe (goop has some of the toughest standards in the industry). Only then do they make it to our editors’ showers, washroom counters, and makeup bags, where they are rigorously hand-tested (and road-tested, if we happen to be going on a trip). The goop eyeful department is made up of women of varied ages, races, and tastes—if we really love something, we’re pretty confident you’re going to love it, too.