Exfoliate, But Know The Right Kind For Your Skin


Exfoliate, But Know The Right Kind For Your Skin

By Shammi Mondal 


There was a time when exfoliation was synonymous with grainy scrubs. But now, with the entry of chemical exfoliants in the skincare market, there is a lot of curiosity around the newer forms of exfoliation. Here, celebrity dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad explains the different methods of exfoliation and why you need to know what works for your skin type. 


Q. What is exfoliation? 

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin in order to improve its appearance. This is how exfoliating makes your skin look smoother, brighter and softer. 

“Exfoliation is extremely necessary in keeping up the health of our skin. But exfoliating according to your skin type and skin concern is the rule to follow,” says Dr Jaishree. Now, there are three ways to exfoliate, i,e. physical exfoliation, chemical exfoliation and enzymatic exfoliation.  


Q. Is physical exfoliation for you? 

Remember the good old apricot scrub?  That’s a physical exfoliator. Physical exfoliation involves mechanically scrubbing the surface layer of your skin using grains, jojoba beads or fruit peels. These textured particles work to remove dead skin cells.  

“Physical exfoliation is great for people with normal skin, as their skin barrier has a better threshold to absorb grainy scrubs. So, they can safely use these for up to three times a week,” explains Dr Jaishree.

Q. What’s the deal with chemical exfoliation? 

“Chemical exfoliation includes chemical components of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) like mandelic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid, and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) such as salicylic acid. On application, these active ingredients penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin and exfoliate minutely,” says Dr Jaishree.  

Chemical exfoliators are great for oily and acne-prone skin as they have ingredients like salicylic acid. These are lipophilic, which means they dissolve the oils on your skin and deep cleanse your pores, thus further reducing acne. 

Dr Jaishree recommends chemical exfoliation for up to three times a week. 

Q. Does your skin need enzymatic exfoliation? 

If your skin can’t bear the abrasiveness of a physical exfoliator or gets irritated with the use of acid exfoliators, then enzymatic exfoliation is for you. 

Enzymatic exfoliation is mild. It uses enzymes derived from fruit extracts like pineapple, papaya or grapefruit, which gently and slowly remove the oil, dirt and dead skin cells on your skin.  

“Most enzymes have anti-inflammatory properties so they can also soothe irritations. Therefore, they are great for sensitive skin and dry skin,” says Dr Jaishree.