Manual vs. Chemical Exfoliants

Exfoliants fall into two different categories. There are manual exfoliants, which are characterized by a gritty texture, and usually include sugar, ground apricot shells, or microbeads. Manual exfoliants work by literally scrubbing off dead skin cells.

This might feel like you’re getting your skin squeaky clean. However, manual exfoliants are abrasive by nature and easy to overuse, which can damage your skin by creating micro tears.

Both AHA and BHA are considered chemical exfoliants. They work to exfoliate the skin and stimulate collagen, making your complexion appear brighter, smoother, and healthier. However, unlike manual exfoliants, they do so by way of a chemical reaction.

While either AHA or BHA can be part of your regular skin care routine, they have inherent qualities that make each a more desirable option for different skin types and troubles. Here’s a breakdown of what each does best:

Saiber Soland