Chemical vs physical exfoliation. I’m guessing you are familiar with the two – if not, get familiar with our guide to shedding sad skin.

Both being a process of skin cell renewal – one by way of a chemical (not as scary as it sounds) solution and one by way of a manual process, be it a rough washcloth, a scrub or microdermabrasion. As such, exfoliation is a process of trial and error. Some days, we feel as though we need to slough the top layer of skin off with something granular and abrasive and some days, we desire something a little more gentle. We know you guys feel the same because when we handed it over to you, the verdict was mixed.

Some of you opt for chemical exfoliation, some prefer a physical scrub and some of you alternate between the two. But enough from us.

Here they are. The best exfoliants, According To You.


“My sensitive, oily skin prefers chemical (Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 PIGM 400), but cleansing balms are my favourite physical alternative when I need a boost. The grainy texture of Sunday Riley’s is effective but gentle – the perfect balance. Not enough people talk about it.”


“Sisley’s Gentle Facial Buffing Cream is super gentle on my skin – but still exfoliates very effectively. It’s so good as part of my daily routine…I feel like my skincare products seep into my skin so easily following. Which is ideal, as then they can really get to work.”


“Chemical ALWAYS. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid is THE BEST. The only product I’ve used where I get noticeable results overnight and other people notice!”


“Glossier Solution! It speaks for itself, really.”


“I love The Beauty Chef’s Probiotic Skin Refiner. It has lactic acid in it which works as a chemical exfoliant to encourage skin cell renewal. I have been using it twice daily for the past four years and my skin has (consistently) never been better.”