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Chemical Exfoliation vs Physical Exfoliation: Which Is Superior?

As the temperatures start to dip, your hydration needs starts to increase and if you haven’t yet introduced your skin to a facial serum, then what are you waiting for?!

But did you know that there is one vital step before you should even think about applying that luxe serum or rich moisturizer?

Any guesses?

Okay fine, we’ll tell you…

It’s exfoliation of course!

Exfoliation is key to helping slough off those dead skin cells that naturally accumulate and leave your skin feeling dry and looking dull. 

A build-up of dead skin cells can contribute to breakouts because they clog your pores, and they will *gasp* prevent your oils and serums from sinking into your skin!

A regular exfoliation ritual will help to remove dead skin cells and reveal your vibrant, glowing skin just waiting underneath all those layers!

Then you can use your serums and oils to your heart’s content as your pores simply drink them up!

But here’s where things get a little tricky…

What kind of exfoliation is best for you?

In this article we will touch on two of the main types of exfoliation and a few benefits of each one.

Physical Exfoliation

This is the most common exfoliation method and involves manually removing dead skin cells with granulated particles or textured products.

Sugar and salt are two popular choices when it comes to manual exfoliation or textured sponges and cloths are also good options. 

The downside to most conventional mechanical exfoliants is that they are often formulated with harsh particles that can create microscopic tears in your skin and potentially impair your skin’s lipid barrier. 

They also usually contain an array of nasty chemicals and synthetics that may dry out your skin and possibly even put your health at risk. 

Forget these harsh products and whip up your very own DIY exfoliant instead!

This gorgeous scrub is made with Vitamin E-rich avocado oil to fight free radicals and add a deep dose of healthy moisture, while raw sugar gently and effectively removes dead skin. A pinch of coffee powder helps to wake up and tighten the complexion, especially those pesky under-eye bags!


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coffee powder


Mix together and then apply to damp skin, using your fingertips to gently massage the mixture in circular motions for a minute or two before rinsing off with lukewarm water and pat dry. Voila! 

Now for that serum...

Chemical Exfoliation

This one sounds scary but chemical exfoliation is actually excellent for your skin and relies on fruit enzymes; natural chemical acids from fruit to help to dissolve dead skin cells, rather than sloughing them off. 

This is a more intense exfoliation and more like an exfoliation and mask all in one. 

When done right, enzyme peels work at a cellular level to stimulate cell turnover, boost collagen and leave your skin positively radiant. 

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are one type of chemical exfoliant that has some serious skin boosting benefits. 

AHAs help to break down the “glue” that binds dead skin cells together. AHAs are water soluble, which means they won’t penetrate too deep into the pores.

Lemons, grapefruit and papayas are all examples of natural AHAs.

Try this awesome DIY Enzyme mask at home tonight!

Be aware though, that this exfoliation can be a bit harsh for sensitive skin so always do a patch test first. 

We hope this has helped to make things a little easier to understand! Which DIY scrub are you going for?

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1 comment

  • How often would you recommend exfoliating? Would you recommend using both of these, alternating?
    Going to do the avocado scrub right now before I get on the plane! Thank you! 🥰


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