Physical V/S Chemical Exfoliation
July 05, 2021

Physical V/S Chemical Exfoliation

By Ketan Shah

What is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is a process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance, brushes, or exfoliating tools. Exfoliation is meant to improve the texture of your skin.

As your natural skin cell renewal cycle is approximately about 28 days, it might vary as you age and not all of the dead skin wears off naturally which results in dryness and clogging of pores and acne due to accumulation of dead skin, therefore exfoliating your skin is an important and essential step in your skincare.

Exfoliation is mainly two types, physical and chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliation requires the usage of tool or products containing small particles or granules which scrubs your skin surface whereas Chemical exfoliation involves usage of acids like AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) / BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy Acids) in controlled strength which helps in loosening of dead skin cells.

A similarity between the two processes is the removal of dead skin cells, helping speed up cell turnover process to give a smoother skin texture but this requires careful attention when it comes to physically exfoliate your skin as your facial skin is very delicate, scrubbing might not be the best choice as you can be harming your skin. This is where chemical exfoliation is always prioritized over other methods.

Let us understand a little in-depth.

When we think of the word ‘chemical’ we usually associate it with something harsh but when it comes to facial skin exfoliation, chemical peeling is the most time tested, effective, and scientifically documented method. It’s actually a boon for your skincare regime.

It’s not a ‘chemical’ per se but the application of popular AHA  like glycolic acid in standardized strength which uniformly and gently dissolves the keratin protein bonds that hold the dead skin together. Once this bond is broken the dead skin dislodges from the surface of the skin.

Studies show that Chemical peeling is best for most sensitive skin types as physically when you scrub your skin it can cause micro-tears that can further damage your skin.