Chemical vs. Mechanical Exfoliation

Hey there lovelies,

This is a topic I’ve been itching to write about for a while! However, since I had only ever used mechanical scrubs, I knew that I needed to get my hands on a chemical exfoliant so that I can give you guys a fair opinion and true comparison. So…. I did! I purchased a really nice one by Ren; it’s their Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. I’ve linked the product if any of you guys are interested. Now that I have been using it for about a month, I was able to properly compare to to the scrubs I have used in the past. So what’s the verdict?


Honestly guys, I am completely team chemical. I wish I had found out about these types of products sooner! My skincare game has been brought to an whole new level with this Ren mask. I did wonder if it was just this one specific product that was so amazing, so I even did DIY exfoliating masks. I mashed up a couple strawberries, and let that sit on my skin for abound 7 minutes, and the results were awesome.

Here is the reason as to why I so greatly prefer chemical exfoliants over manual scrubs:

It’s so much more gentle – manual scrubs typically contain granular substances that you need to work into your skin to physically slough off the dead skin cells. After doing my research and reading many ingredient lists, I have found that most scrubs contain things like apricot or walnut shells, jojoba beads, rice bran, or adzuki bean paste. While these ingredients are very effective at helping to exfoliate your skin and produces great results for many people, these types of scrubs could potentially be very irritating to those of us with sensitive skin (me). Every time I used a mechanical exfoliant, my skin would always look a little red, and would not be back to normal until the next morning.

Contrarily, chemical exfoliants use AHA’s and/or natural fruit acids to exfoliate. You apply it to your skin and let it sit for ten minutes or so while the mask basically eats away at the dead skin cells. It’s doing all the work for you! Think Pacman. Haha. Because you’re not physically scrubbing your face, you are less likely to have redness or irritations. Plus I like that I don’t need to touch my face and work at scrubbing every little crevice in my face. It’s perfect for girls that have a more lazy approach to skincare. You can apply your mask, do something productive (or unproductive – whatever you want) for ten minutes and then wash it off. The result? Super soft, smooth skin minus the redness and irritations. I am converted for life. It’s so nice to not feel like I’m rubbing sandpaper against my skin.

That being said, many people who are not as sensitive as me may absolutely love manual scrubs. They too can be fantastic so long as your skin can handle it. I will advise however, that you stay away from the ever so popular apricot scrub or any other scrubs that contain the shell particles of any nut or seed. Those can cause micro tears in the skin due to their sharp edges, which will end up doing more harm then good. Look for scrubs that contain something gentler, like jojoba beads. They’re perfectly spherical so theres no risk of it tearing your skin. Bean paste and rice flour is wonderful as well. Ask anyone in Japan. They all have beautiful skin.

So now that I have laid it all out there, I would love to hear what you guys think! Which do you prefer?




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