How to Choose the Best Exfoliation Method: Get Healthy Skin by Using Manual or Chemical Exfoliation


Exfoliation is often overlooked when it comes to skincare, but any good dermatologist or esthetician will say that it is essential getting to healthy skin. It refreshes the skin by removing dead skin cells that lie on the outermost layer of the skin and making way for new, younger cells.. It relieves dry skin and can have anti-aging effects. There are two main types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. Which type a person should use depends much on their skin type and conditions.

Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation is the use of an abrasive product or device on the skin to remove dead skin cells.

These include:

  • Salt, sugar or any other kind of scrub that has little abrasive particles that cause dead skin to come off when rubbed on the skin
  • Products containing exfoliating beads or particles
  • Brushes
  • Microdermabrasion

Mechanical exfoliation, when used properly, brings benefits to most skin types.

These include:


  • Normal skin
  • Combination skin
  • Dry skin
  • Oily skin
  • Aging skin

Those with normal or combination skin should use an exfoliating cleanser, scrub or even a soft brush on their face no more then twice a week while those with dry skin benefit from exfoliating every two days. Those with oily skin should avoid over exfoliation and limit their use of exfoliation to once a week. Over manipulation of the face can stimulate oil glands and worsen their problems. Those with excessively dry skin or aging skin might benefit from a stronger form of mechanical exfoliation, microdermabrasion, where a machine, with an abrasive tip, is used by an esthetician or dermatologist to remove dead skin cells.

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation is the use of acidic chemicals to remove dead skin cells. The acids eat away the useless dead cells and leave the skin fresher and younger looking. Most chemical exfoliation comes in the form of chemical peels that can either be gentle or aggressive. Some gentle peels can be bought over the counter and performed at home while strong skin peels can only be performed by an esthetician or sometimes, only by a dermatologist.

Peels are only recommended for people with extremely dry or aging skin. Those who don’t have these symptoms do well to stay away from chemical exfoliation as it can have bad side effects of the skin.

Warnings about Exfoliation

Although exfoliation can be very beneficial to the skin, there are a few things one should keep in mind.

  • Do not over-exfoliate. This can damage skin and leave it more susceptible to harmful UV rays.
  • Do not use exfoliation products made for the body on the face. They are too harsh and will damage sensitive skin.
  • People with sever acne should not exfoliate unless properly trained by an esthetician to dermatologist. This can cause flare-ups and acne scars.
  • Do not wax the skin after performing or having a peel. The wax will rip off skin along with the hairs.
  • Consult and esthetician or doctor when considering a chemical peel and they will advise you on the best route to take.

When used properly chemical and mechanical exfoliation can have great benefits on the skin.

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