Chemical VS Physical Exfoliators

When you hear exfoliation you mostly think of the physical act of scrubbing your skin with granules, however, this is not the only way you can exfoliate your skin.

There are two types of facial exfoliation available here at Aeternum Aesthetics – chemical or physical exfoliators.

The right one for you depends on your preference and your skin type. Our Skin Care Specialists are on hand to advise you of the most appropriate option for your skincare needs.

So what is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is an integral part of any skincare routine.   Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin which is essential to reveal a healthy and glowing complexion.  Dead skin cells can clog the pores, cause the skin to appear dull and in some cases can cause dry and flaky patches on the skin’s surface.  

As we age, cell turnover slows down meaning those dead skin cells remain on the surface for longer. Exfoliating the dead skin off will allow those fresh, juicy cells to reach the surface quicker.

Exfoliants on the market today are either physical or chemical.  They both technically do the same thing—slough off dead skin—but they do so in very different ways.  

You want to make sure you’re doing it right because a proper exfoliation allows your skincare to sink into your skin a whole lot better.  Which means you’re getting more for your hard-earned money.

So why would you skip this step? You wouldn’t!  Here’s an explanation of the different types. 


A pretty straightforward exfoliation with the use of small grains or a brush.  But not all physical exfoliants are created equally. Avoid large exfoliants like fruit pits and nut shells since these have a tendency to cause micro-tears in the skin caused by being too sharp or jagged.  They need to be handled gently and don’t scrub too hard!  

Despite what some may think, they aren’t as effective or as gentle as a chemical exfoliation. 

At Aeternum Aesthetics we use the AlumierMD Lotus Scrub. It uses Lotus seed powder and microcrystalline cellulose, unique natural biodegradable exfoliating agents that are smooth and spherical.  These agents create an even and gentle exfoliation to remove impurities and reveal healthy, more radiant skin.


Facial scrubs are not the only way to exfoliate. Enzymes are a natural alternative to exfoliating. They work by creating a chemical reaction on the skin to dissolve dry, hardened skin cells and encourage the growth of new, healthy cells to take their place.

We include exfoliating enzymes in our Enzymatic Peel and my favourite product Bright & Clear Solution. 

There are a couple types to look out for, starting with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s).

AHA’s are derived from natural substances and are ideal for exfoliating dry skin, since they remove the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. 

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s) also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties—a more in-depth exfoliation in general. This type of chemical exfoliator is recommended for those with acne-prone, oily skin.

Fruit enzymes like papain (papaya!) and bromelain (pineapple!) are perfect exfoliants for those with sensitive skin—they’re not nearly as harsh as BHA’s or AHA’s. Fruit enzymes break down the keratin in the skin and target only the outermost layer of the epidermis

The AlumierMD Enzymatic Peel is a highly effective exfoliator that combines 10% lactic acid with fruit enzymes to exfoliate dead skin cells and promote skin cell renewal, minimising the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discolouration. Aloe Vera extract calms the skin and soothes redness, while Sodium Hyaluronate and Vitamin B5 hydrate and soften the skin for a supple and radiant complexion.  You would leave this on the skin in a thin layer for around 3-5 minutes allowing it to nibble away at all of those dead skin cells.

AlumierMD’s Bright & Clear Solution is another example of a Chemical Exfoliator.

It is a refreshing, award-winning, skin conditioning solution that refines skin complexion.  Lactic acid and Caviar Lime gently exfoliate cellular debris to brighten and improve skin texture.  Kakadu plum extract offers a boost of vitamin C and arnica with soothing properties, contributes to the look of healthy skin all while this expertly crafted formula works!  You will apply a few pumps of this to a cotton pad and wipe it over the face leaving it on and following with your usual skincare. 

We stock Medical Grade Skin Care in our Clinic and have the entire range of AlumierMD Exfoliating products available for retail. We also offer complimentary consultations to assist you in finding the right skincare products for your skin type and skin condition.

When it comes to exfoliating we have the perfect options to keep your skin looking healthier than ever.  

For further information please feel free to get in touch or give us a call on 01530 417 897 to arrange a complimentary Skin Care Consultation.

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