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Exfoliation: Physical or Chemical?

Exfoliation: Physical or Chemical?

Exfoliation: Physical or Chemical?

What’s the difference between the two, and what’s best for your skin.

Exfoliation is a key part to any skin care routine, as it lifts the dead skin cells to make sure the rest of your products are more effective. Among the other things Tik Tok has taught us, those intense supermarket physical scrubs we grew up with seem to cause more harm than good (not naming names, but you know which apricot one we’re talking about…). However, chemical exfoliants also sound scarier than they need to.

We’re getting science-y here at Hey Bud to explain why both of these elements are actually amazing for a gentle exfoliation when combined in the right way.

But first, let's break down the difference between the two.

Chemical Exfoliation

So how does it work? A chemical exfoliator will use a particular group of chemicals to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells. By removing the bonds on these cells that are ready to be farewelled, it allows them to be polished away gently without any harsh scrubbing.

AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are the most common chemical exfoliation elements found in the highest quality products, and this is because they are one of the gentlest types of chemical exfoliants. Even better, some of the best brands out there use naturally found AHAs. These are water-soluble and are naturally derived from fruits such as sweet orange and blueberries.

Physical Exfoliation

On the other hand, a physical exfoliator uses small grains or particles to physically scrub the skin and remove these dead skin cells. In the past, some brands have used harsh ingredients for both your skin or the environment for this physical element in their products, including rough shells from fruits and nuts, or micro-plastics.

The most environmentally friendly option that the best brands use (hint: your fav hemp skincare brand that you might be reading this blog on now!) are teeny-tiny cellulose beads. Unlike plastic microbeads, which have been banned in many countries due to their negative impact on the environment, these biodegradable beads are made from natural, renewable resources such as wood pulp or cotton. Although the fruit and nut shell in scrubs of the past are also natural, the difference is the Cellulose Beads are much smaller, providing more protection for your skin and less chance of causing micro-tearing in sensitive areas of your face.

Why the best products out there have a little of both…

Now that we have the basics down, let's talk about why finding a product including both exfoliation types is going to get you the best results.

Essentially, the duo work together - with the chemical exfoliation element breaking those old bonds, which then allows the dead skin to be gently polished away by the physical exfoliant. This way, your skin will be refreshed, dead skin cells will be gently removed and all without having to worry about the damage an old-school face scrub would inflict…

It really is a matter of 2 is better than 1 when talking about exfoliation!

So what about Gentle Jane?

It’s all in the name here. Our Gentle Jane has been carefully developed to ensure your skin gets the best of both worlds by combining natural fruit AHAs (the chemical element) with those teeny-tiny cellulose beads (the physical element).

Her combo of chemical and physical exfoliation is gentle on not only your skin, but also on the environment.

Oh, and did we mention the sweet orange from the natural AHAs makes it smells divine!

And how does she fit into my Skincare Routine?

Easy! Whether you’re a 10-step-skincare-fanatic, or maybe live the simple life with 4 steps max, this is a product that can easily be slotted into your skincare routine.

The basics? Gentle Jane can be used either AM or PM, with a suggested usage of once a week to begin with until you find what works for your skin. However, if you wanted to work it into your skincare steps planned for the day, here’s an easy 4-step routine to follow. 


Step 1: CLEANSE first!

Step 2: Here she is… EXFOLIATE.

Step 3: Choose your SERUM.

Step 4: Finish off with MOISTURE.

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