In the past year I’ve pretty much switched from physical exfoliators to chemical ones, but there are times when it feels good to have a bit of a scrub - and I know lots of you like to use them - so I thought I’d mention a few I’ve enjoyed using recently.
Physical vs Chemical Exfoliants
Incase I’m getting a bit jargony for some people, I’ll give a quick overview of the difference between the two: physical exfoliators contain abrasive grains or beads that slough away dead skin cells through literally scrubbing the surface of the skin. Chemical exfoliants contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as lactic and salicylic acid, retinol and enzymes, which work at a deeper level, weakening the bonds between cells at the skin’s surface. This process is a little slower, but in the long term, very effective on a deeper level.
Ultimately both leave the skin looking and feeling brighter, smoother and more refined. I also find that exfoliating helps both my skincare and makeup perform better, probably because they’re working on a smoother canvas and not fighting their way through a tough outer layer. I’m personally cautious of both physical and chemical methods incase of over working the skin - and wouldn’t recommend use more than twice a week.
These are three of the most gentle physical exfoliants I’ve tried, which is why I’m happy to recommend them…
Love Your Skin Cleanse & Smooth Exfoliating Wash, £22.99
Half way between an exfoliator and cleanser, this gel comes in a pump bottle for easy use - great for in the shower. It contains Rosemary & Willow Bark and has teeny little beads suspended in the gel, which exfoliate so gently you can barely feel them. Luxuriously creamy when massaged into the skin, it leaves skin feeling smooth and comfortable. A great one for mature or sensitive skins.
Dr Lewinn’s Facial Polishing Gel, £18.50
My favourite of the three, this is just beautiful to use. It smells fresh, feels gentle on my skin, yet creates that lovely instant softness that makes exfoliating feel so satisfying! Enriched with Vitamin C and Orange, it contains Jojoba beads to gently polish the skin’s surface. Everything I’ve tried so far from Dr Lewinn’s has been super impressive. Varies in price from £18.50 (Feel Unique) to £26, so shop around!
Pukka Nourishing Brightener, £13
I was absolutely intrigued to try this product, which is unlike anything I’ve come across before. It is literally a jar of freshly ground organic bilberries, almond, Amla and gotu kola - and literally looks and smells like a jar of dried herbs when you open it. You just mix around one teaspoonful with a little water in your palm and massage into the face. I must admit this was amazing to use… it felt so pure, as if I was massaging the goodness into my skin while sloughing off the dead cells. This one is recommended for oily to normal skins.
Do you prefer physical or chemical exfoliants?