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  • Writer's pictureSkin Guru

How You Exfoliate Matters (Mechanical vs. Chemical)

Exfoliation is essential in any good skincare routine, as it helps to slough off dead skin cells that can clog up the pores and contribute to pesky breakouts and dull, flaky skin.

While exfoliation should always be simple, it can seem a little complicated when you’re faced with all the endless options out there.

That’s why we have broken it down for you, to help you make the best decision based on your skin type so you can say bye-bye to dull skin and hello to healthy, glowing skin!

Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical is the most common type of exfoliation and involves manually sloughing off dead skin cells with textured products such as textured cloths, sponges, or granulated particles like sugar or salt (please no). Unfortunately, mechanical exfoliants found at your local drugstore are not only filled with harmful synthetic ingredients, they also often contain harsh abrasives that can scratch the skin, creating small, microscopic tears in the skin. OUCH. Not only is this painful, but it can invite bacteria into your skin.

We highly recommend treating your skin to our CTRL: Soothing Mask at least once a week to control excess oil, provide the perfect dose of hydration, and leave your skin silky soft. Plus, the clay in our mask provides a gentle mechanical exfoliation (think: how a snowball rolls to gather up more snow) instead of scraping the skin (think: how you remove ice from your windshield - eek).

Chemical Exfoliation

Don’t let the name scare you off! Chemical exfoliants aren’t unnatural, but rather rely on natural chemical acids from fruit enzymes such as papaya or pineapple to work at a deeper level to stimulate cellular turnover, clearing out the pores and leaving skin radiant.

There are two types of chemical exfoliants, namely AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids).

AHAs are better suited for dry skin, as they help to break down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. Sounds crazy, but the end result of baby soft skin is well worth it! AHAs are also water soluble, meaning they can’t penetrate too deep into the pores.

BHAs, on the other hand, are ideal for oilier skin types, as they are oil soluble and can sink deep down into the pores to clean them out and remove old cell build-up. They also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, which is exactly what you want to hear when dealing with sore, inflamed skin prone to breakouts!

Try our Clear: Toner/Spot Fix, which includes all natural BHA from Willow Bark. This spot treatment will help to clear up breakouts fast, without irritating or over-drying your skin.

We hope this helps to clear things up for you, pun intended!

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