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11 Aug 2021

What is the difference between scrub and exfoliator?

Both techniques will help you get rid of dead skin cells and give your face a healthy glow. But what exactly is the difference between exfoliating and scrubbing? We'll tell all about it in this article. Ready, set, glow!

Exfoliating with a grain

The most common way to remove dead skin cells from your face is with a scrub. You probably know the classic scrub as a gel or cream with abrasive particles, often based on ground rice, oats, sugar or salt. The polishing effect of these abrasive grains removes dead skin cells quickly and effectively. Exfoliating creams are guaranteed to make your skin softer, but not every skin is happy to use them. Too coarse a grain can damage your face, especially if you have thin or sensitive skin. The finer the grain, the better. And always massage a scrub in gentle, circular motions over your damp skin. This is the least likely way to cause damage. Oh, and always go for a scrub without microplastics. They really can't be used anymore.

Exfoliating with acids

An exfoliant is something completely different. This skin-polishing product in the form of a lotion or serum contains (fruit) acids and/or enzymes that loosen dead skin cells from your skin. An exfoliant gives the skin a smoother, more even surface and in the long run can make wrinkles less noticeable. This is because an exfoliant works deeper into the skin than a scrub, which works more superficially. Unlike a scrub or peeling, an exfoliant does not need to be rinsed off. Do you have sensitive skin? Then build up the exfoliation slowly. Start with every three days and work your way up to every other day or even daily. Do you notice your skin turning red or becoming itchy? Then take a step back. An exfoliant is preferably used in the evening, because the skin becomes thinner after using an exfoliant and is therefore more sensitive to sun damage (wrinkles and pigmentation spots).

Which exfoliant to choose?

If you have already made a choice to exfoliate, you can also choose the type of exfoliant. You can exfoliate with fruit acids (AHAs) or salicylic acid (BHAs). Salicylic acid works like a charm on oily, blemished skin. Do you have normal or dry skin? Then fruit acid is a better choice. What AHA and BHA have in common is that they make your skin smooth and radiant.

What do you prefer, exfoliating or scrubbing?

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