* Skin exfoliators come in either chemical or physical options
* Physical options can sometimes be abrasive leading to a spread of bacteria
* Chemical options are preferable for acne-prone and sensitive skin
When it comes to exfoliating your skin, options fall into 2 camps, physical and chemical. For many years, there has been a debate as to which exfoliator type is the most effective and delivers the best outcome for your skin.
Physical exfoliants include things like salts, clays, beads and items that are ‘physically’ abrasive to the skin, while chemical options generally involve one or more of three acids, glycolic, lactic or salicylic. The accepted downside to physical options is the need for the abrasion. This scrubbing may be effective for some people, but those with slightly more sensitive skin might find the constant abrasion to be more disruptive than beneficial. That’s because abrasive exfoliates tend to tear the skin, allowing the spread of bacteria and causing additional acne breakouts.
Chemical options sound scarier, but the reality is it’s easier to scrub too hard than it is to cause excessive damage through the use of chemicals. In addition, chemical exfoliators have added benefits in the long run, such as stimulating collagen production and producing a smoother appearance for your skin.
As as additional note, it’s important not to over exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating once or twice a week should be sufficient. And, post-exfoliation treatments are also an important step for ensuring your skin is protected and in the best possible shape.
Below, you’ll find 6 exfoliating options that are ideal for people who have more sensitive skin or are prone to acne breakouts.
1. Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
Enjoy a brighter, rejuvenated complexion with
Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Facial Cleanser – Anti-Aging Face Wash with Jojoba Beads – Cruelty Free Skin Brightening Pore Scrub for Men and Women, 6 fl oz
2. Paula’s Choice Clear Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution
Sporting 2% salicylic acid, the
3. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Dermatological Acne Treatment System
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Dermatological 3 Step Acne Treatment System, Salicylic Acid Acne Cleanser, Pore Refining Toner, and Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment for Sensitive Skin, 2-Month Supply
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4. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish
If flawless skin is something that sounds appealing, the Laura Mercier Flawless Polish may be the skincare option choice for you. Although it’s a physical scrub, it’s suitable for those with acne-prone sensitive skin. Inside the creamy scrub, you’ll find jojoba beads that work to cleanse and exfoliate your skin while removing dead skin cells. This will leave your skin feeling smooth, looking radiant and possessing an attractive glow.
5. REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
The REN AHA Tonic promises to be a powerful yet gentle solution for sensitive skin. The included lactic acid and salicylic acid work to reduce oiliness and clean out your individual pores. It also encourages an increase in the turnover of skin cells to give your skin a better appearance. As an added bonus, the other ingredients in the tonic deliver a boost of energy and a noticeable glow to worn and tired skin.
6. Murad Age Reform AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Boasting a trio of exfoliating acids, the Murad Age Reform Cleanser is an effective anti-acne answer. Use the cleanser two to three times a week to help boost your complexion and give you younger looking skin that’s clear of excess dirt and debris. The included salicylic, lactic and glycolic acids work alongside jojoba beads to leave dullness behind. In addition, this dermatologist-developed cleanser doesn’t include phthalates and has not been tested on animals.
SPY Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Exfoliating With Skincare Acids