2 Safe Ways to Exfoliate Skin

There are two ways to exfoliate skin: physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Learn the pro's and con's of each and when you should use them!

We get it — knowing how to exfoliate skin can be tough. And sometimes, it’s not when to exfoliate, but how that can be the trickiest. When we mention exfoliation, your mind probably thinks of the traditional scrub, but did you know that’s not the only kind?

There are two ways to exfoliate skin: chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation. While both seemingly do the same thing, the result and intensity can vary drastically.

Let’s get into the different types of exfoliants and when to best use them!

Table of Contents

Physical Exfoliation

With physical exfoliants, you are manually scrubbing away dead skin cells from the outermost layer. This form of exfoliation can help with immediately feeling a difference in the texture of your skin.

Fun fact: did you know exfoliating can also reduce ingrown hair and fade scars?

Typically, we’ll use scrubs like Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant or other products that can be found in local drug stores. However, using a dry brush, loofah or body scrub also counts as a physical exfoliator. Because you are manually rubbing a product onto your skin that has some level of abrasion, would classify the act as physical exfoliation.

The frequency of using a physical exfoliant varies depending on your skin and the level of abrasiveness. We strongly encourage you to read the directions on product labels or connect with your dermatologist/esthetician for more information.

Chemical Exfoliation

As the name suggests, chemical exfoliation is when you use ingredients that penetrate your skin to help increase cell turnover. Cell turnover is a fancy way of saying, “production of new, fresh skin”.

This may come as a surprise, but you may be using chemical exfoliants in your daily skincare already!

Chemical exfoliation is great for treating particular skin concerns and expediting the results. For example, if you suffer from acne scarring or hyperpigmentation, using a form of chemical exfoliation can help you see results so much quicker than physical exfoliation.

At Femmi, we offer an Express Chemical Peel and a Deluxe Chemical Peel facial, both of which utilize specific ingredients to target your skin concerns and bring forth your best skin.

Typically, this form of exfoliation can only be used in moderation. You’d likely be treated every few weeks if additional applications are required.

The best ways to exfoliate skin

Depending on what your skincare goal is and what your underlying problems are, either a physical or chemical exfoliant would require a skin assessment. If your skin is dull, lacks luster, or has subtle acne scarring, physical exfoliation should do the trick. However, if your skin has severe scarring, deep wrinkles, or more intense concerns a chemical exfoliant may work best.

Consult your esthetician or dermatologist for a plan on treating your skin and getting it to a healthy place.