Watch: chemical or physical exfoliators – which one is for you?

You may have seen us drop her name all over the MECCA Memo, and for good reason; MECCA skin specialist Lucy Shaw is our go-to gal for literally anything skin—her product and ingredient know-how is out of this world. Today, we’re dipping into her wealth of knowledge to get the low down on what kind of exfoliator we should be using.

Whether you once relied on a skin clinic for regular exfoliating treatments or are a total newbie to exfoliators, Shaw’s simple explanation of the difference between chemical (AHAs, BHAs) and physical (chunky, granular scrubs) exfoliators will get you set on a path to achieving clear, glowy skin at home.

Why exfoliate? When skin is cleared of dulled, textured, and frankly, dead skin cells, excess (pore-blocking) sebum is eradicated, your skin serves up a natural glow, and your active serums and lotions absorb into the skin better than ever, enhancing their results. It’s an addition to your skincare routine that we can guarantee will change everything.

READ MORE: Six unpronounceable ingredients that can really improve your skin

When in the mood for a chemical exfoliant, Shaw (and the entire MECCA community) recommends Dr. Dennis Gross’ iconic peel pads, a reliable two-step treatment that sloughs away dead skin cells in an instant, with the added benefits of anti-ageing resveratrol and retinol.

If she’s going physical—and wants to feel the satisfaction of a literal scrub—Shaw opts for Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Gentle Exfoliating Treatment, which buffs away dead skin cells and decongests skin with a combination of physical granules, pineapple enzymes and lactic acid.

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