A woman using a skincare product Credit : Pexels/Polina Kovaleva

Everyone's skin needs some exfoliation to help refresh and rejuvenate their skin cells. Exfoliation basically helps you get rid of dead skin cells, allowing the new ones to shine. But how do you know what kind of exfoliation is right for you? We're here to break it down for you.

There are two kinds of exfoliation, chemical and physical, and both are super beneficial. Here's everything you need to know about the differences between them and their respective benefits. 


Obviously, they are two completely different types of exfoliators. The main difference is the formula. A physical exfoliator is going to have a physical item in it, such as seeds, beads, or granules. To use a physical exfoliator, you're going to need to scrub your face to activate it. 

In contrast, a chemical exfoliator is going to have ingredients that do the same things but use chemicals. Some common types of chemical exfoliators include beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), such as salicylic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. 

Physical exfoliators can be a bit harsh on sensitive skin or dry skin, whereas chemicals can sometimes be a bit gentler.


Physical Exfoliators

When it comes to physical exfoliators, one benefit is that you can physically see and feel the product working when it's applied to your skin. According to Kiehl's, another benefit of physical exfoliators is that they can help stimulate collagen, which will help your skin look and feel softer, smoother, and firmer. It can also help with uneven texture, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Chemical Exfoliators 

The main benefits of chemical exfoliators are that they help reduce dullness and help improve your skin tone. Since this process isn't "physical," it might be easier for you not to overdo it. (Trust us, it's rough when you overdo it.)

AHAs can resurface your skin, making it look and feel brighter and even. Meanwhile, BHAs get deep into your skin, helping to dissolve all that ickiness. This is why BHAs are great for treating acne.

Before adding it to your routine, remember that an exfoliator is not something you are not supposed to use every day. Start with two to three times a week.