You know how our skin needs the whole wash-scrub-moisturise routine every day? And you also know how easy it is to fall off the bandwagon, right? A couple of excruciatingly late nights at work, falling asleep on the couch after a rocking party, getting sick and stuck in bed or just plain laziness… endless ways to derail our skincare regime, leaving the complexion looking lacklustre and blemish-prone. So, how to counter the damage and get back on track? The easiest and most effective method is to reach for a chemical exfoliant, which will give your skin a refreshing kickstart and rid it of the accumulated grime, toxins and dead cells.
And don’t let the name scare you – chemical exfoliators can actually be more gentle than manual scrubs. The latter contain “granules” or “beads” – usually crushed seeds, polymer balls, micro crystals etc, which exfoliate via manual friction, i.e., literally scrubbing your face with the product. Harsh handed application, jagged granules or an ultra-abrasive formula can cause microscopic tears on the skin’s surface, causing scarring and leaving the complexion vulnerable to toxins and infections.
Chemical scrubs, on the other hand, contain topical bio-engineered ingredients that work by dissolving or loosening the glue-like substance that holds together dead skin cells. There is no physical friction – you leave on the scrub for a few minutes and then wash it off, almost like a face mask. The ingredients usually take the form of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) or fruit enzymes, which are perfectly safe and non-irritating when applied for the right amount of time. Lower strengths largely only exfoliate, while higher strengths have added anti-aging, acne control and other skin conditioning benefits. Some good picks:
- Clinique Turnaround Radiance Peel Once-A-Week System
- La Prairie Cellular 3-Minute Peel
- Clarins Gentle Peeling
- Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel