Which is better for your skin? Chemical vs Physical Exfoliation
A couple of years ago, I sat across from one of my friends from Kindergarten at Panera Bread. Her skin was luminous and she was so humble about it. After we went through the "oh no, yours is!" exchange, I asked her what her secret was and she said she loves to exfoliate. I asked her favorite methods and they all were physical abrasive scrubbing methods. I literally cringed and she asked didn't I like to exfoliate? Yes, of course, I love to exfoliate! There is little to no benefit gained from applying serums containing peptides, DMAE and all sorts of goodies without first exfoliating, but I prefer chemical means. Then I told her my reasons.
Chemical exfoliants do not tear the surface of the skin and cause topical trauma the way physical abrasives do. That type of trauma is not very conducive to synthesizing collagen production compared to the "all over peel" effect from chemicals. When one does a chemical peel, a very large area has the same amount of skin removed at the same depth, then the skin goes about the business of rebuilding. Compare that to physical abrasive methods where one hand is stronger than the other. The uneven surface of the skin lends itself to digging deep into corners around the nose without even trying. Spots are easily missed while other areas receive more than their fair share of treatment. You wind up with spots that are sore, red and angry.
While a lot of people prefer this method like my friend, I would encourage everyone to try chemical "peels". They are not drastic like pictures found on Google! Well, at least they shouldn't be in a DIY setting! ModelSupplies has an easy AHA - Alphahydroxy acid - AHA Toner that is applied and left on at night which would be the lowest setting for a chemical peel and a great place to start. The next step up from that would probably be our 88% Lactic Acid which can be diluted and used as a peel of varying strengths using the included chart or even added to lotion to create an LA lotion. Some people can use our Lactic Acid at the full strength 88%, but that takes a long time to work up to that point - I'm not even at that point yet. We have a new product which is a Glycolic Acid gel in a Rose Hydrosol base. It smells wonderful and provides a professional strength peel experience without irritation - it is 10% Glycolic Acid which is derived from sugar cane. Glycolic Acid seems to be a bit stronger than Lactic Acid. The formula is a gel so it doesn't drip into your eyes or onto your clothes or anything.
Most people are likely to keep their preference regarding method of exfoliation - physical or chemical, but I would encourage everyone to try both and see for yourself—and try to prefer chemical peels to abrasive scrubs and gimmicky brushes – they are better for your skin~!