We've all seen the controversy over scrubs with harsh exfoliants such as walnut seeds. If you haven't heard about it, here's the gist of it: certain scrubs, like those that contain nuts or seeds, can do more harm to the skin than good.
According to Dr. Engelman, a New York based, board-certified dermatologist, she doesn't recommend physical exfoliants to her clients because they can leave small micro-abrasions on the skin, which can cause inflammation and irritation.
However, if you choose to use a physical exfoliant, she recommends for them to be used only once a week and to rub them gently on the skin to avoid micro tears. The best type of physical exfoliators contain fine exfoliating beads or particles, instead of the larger ones like walnut seeds. An example, is our Tea Tree and Lemon & Turmeric Foaming Face Scrubs, which use fine caster sugar to provide a gentle foaming exfoliation on the skin!
Another option for exfoliation, is to use chemical exfoliators, which use acids such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells. This method is preferred by dermatologists, since it tends to be less irritating on the skin, and the acids penetrate deeper to the source than physical exfoliators.
Chemical exfoliants are best used when you want to treat acne or remove dead skin cells to have brighter and more glowing skin! There are several different types of acids in chemical exfoliants, but most fall under the categories of AHAs and BHAs. AHAs are water-soluble acids that come from sugary fruits, which can help peel away the dead surface from the skin. Examples include glycolic and lactic acid, as well as fruit acid, which you can find in our Vanilla Rose Soothing Gel Mask. BHAs are oil-soluble and they work underneath the skin to help prevent acne, and a common BHA is salicylic acid, which can be found in our Exfoliating Charcoal Gel Mask.
We love to give you options so that you can choose the best way to develop your skin care routine to what your skin can handle. If you choose to use a physical exfoliant, trust that our face scrub's fine caster sugar grains will do the least harm to your skin. But if you're looking for something to work a little deeper on the skin, our gel masks are the way to go! As with everything that contains active ingredients, use in moderation to make sure that your skin can handle it.
A rule of thumb is to use a physical exfoliant once per week and a chemical exfoliant 2x-3x, depending on how much your skin can handle. Always follow up with a serum if you want to, and finish out with a moisturizer!