If you ask any beauty editor, they’ll tell you that exfoliating is a non-negotiable step in your skincare routine. Whether it’s physical or chemical exfoliants, you’ll want to use them regularly.

It is not only an important product to get glowing skin, but it also makes your skin so smooth.

See: Here are seven ways to improve your skin while you sleep. The article continues below.

When it comes to choosing the right exfoliator, you need to consider your skin type and what type of exfoliator will work for you specifically. So to make things easy, we’re here to share everything you need to know about exfoliants and the best ones on the market.

What do dead cells do?

Simply put: exfoliating removes the accumulation of dead skin cells.

Why should you exfoliate?

While your skin regularly sheds dead skin cells, it doesn’t get it all. And leftovers can accentuate wrinkles and make skin look dull. So you want to exfoliate several times a week to remove the buildup of dead skin so your skin looks even, clean, and glowing.

Not to mention, if you put serums and moisturizers on top of those dead skin layers, they won’t seep through and do their full work. So you should really exfoliate.

What is Physical Exfoliation?

A physical exfoliator is any exfoliating product that requires you to exfoliate by hand in order to penetrate the skin. Think, your traditional facial scrub, powder and brush.

What is chemical exfoliation?

Chemical exfoliants are acid or enzyme based exfoliants. While acid may sound harsher than a physical exfoliator, it tends to be gentler because it removes dead skin cell buildup by dissolving the glue that binds them together.

The most common chemical exfoliants include alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic and lactic acids, or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid. There is also polyhydroxy acid (PHA), which is a gentler acid for people with sensitive skin.


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