Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells and other impurities on the top layer of the skin. Exfoliating once in a while helps make your face smoother and softer. There are a vast amount of products on the market to help exfoliate our facial skins as they are part of beauty routines for many.

Benefits of Exfoliation

  • Remove dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin
  • Brighten your complexion
  • Smoother and softer skin
  • Unclog and deeper cleaning of pores. This would help prevent acne and encourage the shrinking of pore size
  • Encourage skin turnover
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Better absorption of moisturizers and serums

Types of Exfoliation

There are two types of exfoliation, physical/mechanical and chemical.

1. Physical / Mechanical Exfoliation

Physical / mechanical exfoliation is the process of using cleaning devices or grainy products to physically and manually remove dead skin cells on the top layer of skin.

  • Cleaning devices (tools) – include wash cloth, exfoliating brush, exfoliating sponge and exfoliating glove.
  • Cleansing products with beads or abrasive substances – these textured substances could be micro-beads, jojoba beads, date seed powder, rice bran and oatmeal.

2. Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation is the process of dissolving the dead skin cells with chemicals or enzymes such as:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) –such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, mandelic acid and citric acid. AHAs are water-soluble acids and works on the surface of the skin, leaving it smoother.
  • Beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) – salicylic acid. BHAs are oil-soluble acids and can penetrate deeper into layers of skin and clean the pores.
  • Enzyme-based – bromelain (extracted from pineapple), papain (extracted from papaya) and pumpkin enzyme.