Reviewing every single type exfoliator on the planet!

I’ve used a heck of a lot of stuff on my skin this year, some over the counter, some made by me.

And while a heck of a lot the results were great, some of the results were just ogre’s butt ugly.

I hadn’t planned on making a post like this initially this year, in fact, when I was trying different types of exfoliators some which were mostly homemade, I did it with the aim of coming out with my very own custom made, budget-friendly, harsh chemical-free, somewhat organicđź’©, skincare products. Maybe I could even make some cash out of it also.

Anywho, to wrap things up as the year comes to a close, here all the types exfoliators known to man

before I get into details, I’d like to take a moment to discuss what an exfoliator is since I do not know either the age of my readers nor their level of enlightenment. I’ll also be discussing the type of exfoliators out there in the market, what each of them does, how exfoliation affects the skin and why you should consider using one.

So what is exfoliation

Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance, or exfoliation tool.

Your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells to make room for new cells every 30 days or so.

Sometimes, dead cells don’t shed completely. This can result in dry, flaky patches and clogged pores. Exfoliating can help prevent this.

How does exfoliation benefit your skin?

Exfoliating can improve the appearance of your skin in several ways.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exfoliation can leave your skin looking brighter and improve the effectiveness of topical skincare products by enhancing absorption.

Regular exfoliation can also help prevent clogged pores, resulting in fewer breakouts.

Long-term exfoliating can increase collagen production. Collagen which is a type of protein is key to glowing, vibrant skin. The protein also promotes skin elasticity, 

Now that you know what exfoliation is and how it affects the skin, let’s get into the type of exfoliation and exfoliators available in the market and what to expect from each of them.

Types of exfoliation

There are basically three types of exfoliation, and these are

  • Mechanical exfoliation
  • Chemical exfoliation
  • Enzymatic exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation is usually done through dry brushing which has proven to have tremendous benefits way beyond just getting rid of dead skin on the outer layer of the skin.

Dry brushing has been known to help stimulate fat burning, blood circulation and also detoxing. dry brushing the skin is also effective for controlling and reducing cellulite. ideally, to eliminate cellulite, you would want to dry brush your skin twice a day

When we talk about Chemical exfoliation we start to mention things like AHAs and BHAs which are alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids respectively. a chemical peel is mostly done professionally.

While AHAs work to exfoliate the surface of the skin, BHAs work on a much deeper level as it penetrates deep into the pore dissolving dead skin cells, blackheads, sebum, etc. However, both AHA’s and BHAs works differently for each skin type.

At the moment, the top-selling BHA in the market is from the South Korean skincare brand Cosrx and it is my personal bias.This exfoliator comes in two variant howeverClick on photo to buy Cosrx from Amazon

enzymatic exfoliation uses natural ingredients from fruits which is often the ingredients used in most homemade exfoliation products while these still contains a considerate amount of AHAs and BHAs in them, they are in a less concentrated form making it much milder in the skin.

what to expect from different types of exfoliation

mechanical exfoliation:

Any exfoliating product or method that requires manual scrubbing or rubbing falls is known as a physical exfoliant.

You may already be using a physical exfoliant — cleansing scrubs, body brushes, and loofahs are all common methods.

The biggest advantage of physical exfoliation is the ease of access. You can do this at home with as little as a muslin washcloth or a do-it-yourself (DIY) scrub. It also offers immediate results.

If performed incorrectly, physical exfoliation can sometimes irritate your skin and may result in transepidermal water loss. Following up with a humectant oil or serum can help minimize irritation and lock in moisture.


There are a few abrasive materials to choose from for manual exfoliation, including:

  • cleansing scrubs
  • exfoliating mitts
  • dry brushes
  • loofahs
  • pumice stones
  • micro-needling or micro derma rollers

chemical exfoliation:

This method uses different chemicals, including hydroxy acids and retinol, with enzymes to renew your skin.

While DIY and OTC scrubs can help enhance your skin’s appearance, chemical exfoliation can offer more dramatic results.

As with physical exfoliation, chemical exfoliation can irritate the skin if done incorrectly. If you’re unsure about how to incorporate a chemical product into your routine, see a dermatologist or other healthcare provider for guidance

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHAs are a group of water-soluble acids typically derived from sugary fruits. Popular AHAs include:

  • glycolic acid, which comes from sugar cane
  • lactic acid, which is found in milk and pickled vegetables
  • citric acid, found in citrus fruits
  • tartaric acid, from grapes
  • malic acid, found in apples

These acids help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place.

Depending on the type, AHAs 

also, help with:

  • mild hyperpigmentation like age spots, melasma, and scars
  • enlarged pores
  • fine lines and surface wrinkles
  • uneven skin tone

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)

BHAs, on the other hand, are oil-soluble. These acids go deep into your hair follicles to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores.

Because of this, BHA products are primarily used to treat acne and sun damage.
Salicylic acid is the most common BHA. It’s well known as an acne treatment, but it can also help calm general redness and inflammation. enzymatic exfoliation contains properties of AHAs and BHAs in its most natural form, this also means that it is less potent as the concentrated chemical exfoliators which means you would get results at a much lower space, however, it is much milder on the skin, and in my opinion much easier to work with in terms of making homemade beauty products. I would have to dedicate more blog post to cover related topics to this post, however, here is one of the homemade scrubs I have found to be effective so till next time, stay beautiful!

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