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Your essential guide to exfoliation

Your essential guide to exfoliation

Exfoliators are to skin what toilet paper is to a pandemic: essential. But it can get tricky when there are so many to choose from! Here’s a crash course on choosing the right exfoliating product for your skin.

girl rubbing sand and sky product on her face

Why do you need to exfoliate?
Imagine trying to apply your skincare routine on top of your makeup. Gross, right? Not to mention a waste of time and money. Exfoliating helps to remove excess sebum, dead skin, impurities, and dirt from the top layer of your skin so that your other skincare can get straight to work. 

Where does exfoliating fit into my skincare routine? 
Exfoliate up to 3 times week to remove the build up of dead skin on the surface of your face, more often if you’re using make-up regularly. On the days that you are exfoliating, use it after cleansing with your favourite cleanser, followed by your normal routine. Try not to use active ingredients on the same days that you exfoliate as your skin may temporarily feel a bit more sensitive than usual. 

What is a physical exfoliant?
A physical, or manual, exfoliant is the kind of ‘scrub’ based exfoliator you may have grown up using (hello, St Ives Apricot Scrub!), harnessing small abrasive particles to gently remove dead skin cells and product build up. They’ve grown up a lot since your teen years, so now you can skip the harsh Apricot Scrubs and look for products with natural particles, small enough to avoid micro-tears in the skin.

girl applying product on face and smiling

Why physical exfoliants?
If you want a deep clean, and instantly smooth skin, a physical exfoliator is your perfect match. Be sure to use them gently - no scrubbing - as the skin on your face is delicate. Physical exfoliants pack an extra punch when it comes to unclogging dirt lodged deep in your pores.

How do I use a physical exfoliator? 
Pick a product that has natural exfoliating particles, like our Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliator, and avoid microbeads that do damage to the environment. Glowing skin? Very cool. Environmental damage? Not so much. Gently massage into damp skin, and let it sit for up to 5 minutes before rinsing off. Gentle fruit acids from Finger Lime Extract will help with the physical exfoliation to supercharge your results .Rinse off with warm water, pat dry, and follow with your favourite serum and moisturiser. Easy! 

enzyme polish


What is a chemical exfoliant?
Chemical exfoliants, as the name suggests, rid your skin of dead skin cells through chemical means. If you’ve ever received a peel at a spa, or used a solution with a cotton pad over your skin that left your skin brighter, that was probably a chemical exfoliant. 

Why chemical exfoliants? 
Chemical exfoliants are a more gentle way to slough off dead skin without irritation. They often contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids, that work on the top layer of your skin to dissolve the bonds that are holding your dead skin cells together. Result? Polished and glowing skin, hold the redness!

How do I use a chemical exfoliator? 
Our Australian Emu Apple Enzyme Powder Polish Exfoliator gives you the best of both worlds. It’s a chemical AND physical exfoliant, containing Rice Powder for a fine polish and Papaya Fruit Enzymes to gently buff away dull skin to reveal bright fresh skin! 


venn diagram of enzyme powder polish and flash perfection exfoliator

Which one should I choose for my skin type? 
Which exfoliator works best for you skin largely depends on your skin type. If you have dry, sensitive skin, it's good to start with a light chemical exfoliator with AHAs to gently dissolve the glue that holds dead skin cells together and improves cellular turnover without the irritation, so that your bright, new skin underneath can come through.

Where my oily, combo skin girls at? For skin that is a little too into the oil production, a physical exfoliant can be amazing at deep-cleansing and reinvigorating your skin. An exfoliator such as our Australian Pink Clay Flash Perfection Exfoliator, as well as our Pink Clay Face Mask, is packed with detoxifying Australian Pink Clay to draw out impurities lodged in your pores while it gently exfoliates.

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