Which Exfoliator is best for your skin?

You might be fairly new to the types of exfoliators that are on the market today so you may or may not know that an exfoliant is a key component to achieving the skin you want and also smooth-looking makeup. 


So, lets jump in.  

Why do we exfoliate?


To ensure that we have smooth, clean skin, it is necessary to remove the dead skin cells that naturally build up on the surface of our skin which can also help your skincare products like serums or moisturisers to be more effective as they are actually getting to work on fresh active skin and not the layer of dead skin on top. Exfoliating also helps with removing clogged pores that have an excess of oil in them or what we also know as sebum.


Depending on your skin type, you may or may not have an excess of oil build up but we’ll all have some level of dead skin build up that needs to be removed.


Now, this is where enzyme and chemical exfoliants really show their playing power because one is better for getting the deep-rooted build-up that lies within our pores while the other is better for the superficial removal of build-up.


Enzyme Peels

Enzyme peels are kind of fun to use, Enzymes are naturally occurring amino acids and proteins usually from fruits like Pineapples and Papayas.

Enzyme Peels break down the the keratin bonds that hold dead skin together so when you start to rub the enzyme peel in you start to see and feel dead skin rolling into little balls on the skin that you can then wash down the sink. 

They are very satisfying because you see and feel it getting to work. these work on a one-time basis for instance when you use it and rinse off the dead skin it's washed off and it's job is done. 

Your skin will feel immediately softer with an enzyme peel. These are also highly recommended for anyone that is fairly new to exfoliating or has sensitivity issues with their skin as opposed to acid exfoliators which I will explain below. 

Enzyme exfoliators gives you immediate results in terms of dead skin and can also clean out pores without removing healthy skin cells. 

Enzyme exfoliators are also more environmentally friendly as they are made from natural ingredients that will naturally biodegrade rather than cause harm to aquatic and plant life. 

It's recommended to use them around twice per week. 

A milder physical exfoliator would be our Makeup Remover Pads which can be used daily to remove makeup as it isn’t too abrasive and gives a much milder physical exfoliation. I like to use these daily and then an enzyme scrub once or twice per week to keep my skin feeling soft and fresh. 


Acid exfoliants


These, like the name implies are products including certain acids. These are known as AHAs, BHAs and PHAs, these exfoliants use chemicals to remove unwanted dead skin cells on our skin’s surface. These often thought of as being more effective than an enzme scrub but they take a longer period to see results.

Unlike an enzyme scrub these are not washed off the skin immediately, they are applied after cleansing (like a toner)  Something to note with these is that as they are a chemical exfoliant they can often be too much for people with more sensitive skin and you will need to increase your tolerance slowly so for instance start with once every 2 weeks with, increase to once per week and then up to twice per week to allow your skin time to get used to these. 

Some experts feel these acids, although very effective can actually damage healthy skin cells however there isn't enough research into this yet. 

It is also believed some of these acids can be bad for marine life as they get washed off your skin the following morning when you cleanse and end up in the water system. 

I will list below the different types of acids and who they are recommended for. 


AHA – Alpha Hydroxy Acid: these contain fruit derivatives like pumpkin, kiwi or papaya and the acids that are related to these would be citric or glycolic acid which aim to even out the texture of our skin.


BHA – Beta Hydroxy Acid: an example of a popular one is Salicylic acid – this is an ingredient that dermatologists love because it's a great one for unclogging pores and slowing oil production from the skin. However Salicylic acid is not safe to use whilst pregnant or breast feeding so keep that in mind. 


PHA – Poly Hydroxy Acid: a milder exfoliant that contains hydrating properties. This would be beneficial to those who have dry skin but still want to incorporate exfoliation as part of their regime.


The beauty of these exfoliants is that they come in an extensive range of brands, all at various price points that are accessible to everyone. The Ordinary has a particularly popular and well-loved glycolic acid solution that is super affordable.


So, which one should we use?


I believe that this is all based on personal preference. If you’re new to skincare, maybe see how you like enzyme peels first as although they aren't going to give you the dual purpose that some of these chemical exfoliants offer, like hydration etc. if you are using a good serum after then it could be argued you don't need these chemical exfoliants anyway. 

As for chemical exfoliants, you must be careful with these because they can damage your skin's protective barrier if used too often and in too higher concentration. I suggest starting off on the lowest % you can, to begin with.

Well that's my round-up of exfoliators 

I hope this has made it a little clearer what these different exfoliants do and which one would be more suitable for you. 


Much Love 




  • Aug 18, 2023
  • Category: MY DIARY
  • Comments: 0
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