Exfoliation 101: physical, chemical and enzymatic


Is it necessary to exfoliate?

Exfoliation is a crucial part of any good skincare routine. Done once or twice per week, depending on skin type and conditions, it eliminates dead cells that clog pores and inhibit respiration, thus allowing it:

  • to refine the skin and improve its texture;
  • to reveal a new layer of skin;
  • to illuminate the complexion and make the skin radiant;
  • to allow the products applied subsequently to be better absorbed and, therefore, to obtain better results.

Exfoliation should always be preceded by makeup removal and cleansing of the face, as well as the application of a treating lotion. It should then be followed by the application of face cream or a mask.

The different types of exfoliation

1. Physical or mechanical:

When we talk about exfoliation, we often think of exfoliators being made up of small granules, which are gently massaged in a circular motion on damp skin. In this case, it is a matter of manually removing dead skin using these granules, such as rice or fruit stone powder, which have abrasive properties. Synthetic agents, such as polyethylene beads, are to be avoided because they are harmful to the environment.

Mechanical exfoliation may not be suitable for more sensitive and/or reactive skin.

2. Chemical:

Chemical exfoliation consists of dissolving dead cells with certain active ingredients, such as fruit acids, glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, etc. No manipulation is necessary. You only need to apply the exfoliant on the skin and let it act without rubbing,

3. Enzymatic:

In this type of exfoliation, enzymes such as subtilisin or fruit enzymes, for example, will act like little "Pac-Man" to gently eliminate dead skin cells. You apply the exfoliant and let the enzymes do their work for a few minutes, which makes this type of exfoliation ideal for sensitive skin.



Type of exfoliation: triple action (physical, chemical, and enzymatic)

Key ingredients: Papaya and pineapple enzymes, polished rice powder, salicylic acid, vitamin E and C complex, niacinamide

Ideal for: all skin types, except irritated or inflamed skin



Type of exfoliation: physical

Key ingredients: polished rice powder, plant extracts and essential oils

Ideal for: all skin types, especially for normal to oily skin



Type of exfoliation: enzymatic

Key ingredients: subtilisin, pomegranate enzyme

Ideal for: all skin types, suitable for sensitive skin



Type of exfoliation: enzymatic

Key ingredients: pomegranate ferment extract, kaolin, zinc oxide

Ideal for: all skin types, very popular for sensitive skin