Raise your hand if you want to improve your dull complexion, get rid of acne, and have glowing skin! I’m pretty sure all of us want that!

It’s touted over and over that little, coarse beads and salts are perfect for getting rid of dead skin, dirt, and oil leaving your face smooth and radiant. So, why shouldn’t you be exfoliating with a scrub?! I mean it sounds pretty logical that a coarse scrub will wipe away all dirt and impurities from your face. And yes, it will scrub off all that build up, it just isn’t the best option for exfoliating your face. If you have acne using a scrub will actually worsen acne, and not to mention salts and walnut shells irritate your skin!

What a Face Scrub Really Does

The truth is, face scrubs can create more havoc on your skin rather than leaving your skin glowing. Here are the top 3 disadvantages of using a face scrub:

1. If you over scrub or scrub too hard, you may irritate your skin, leaving you red and inflamed with little microscopic scrapes. 

2. You can damage your skin’s barrier. A damaged barrier has lost its ability to hold in moisture. Your complexion will be red, inflamed, dry, flaky. And not to mention, wrinkles and fine lines will be more visible. So, using a face scrub can leave your skin even more dry, causing even more flakiness. Then, this creates a cycle! You scrub harder to get rid of the dry, flaky spots on your face, which just creates even more dry skin.

3. Using a scrub can open your pores, causing you to be more susceptible to bacteria, UV rays, and pollution that will settle into your pores. This means a potential breakout or premature aging. Also, after you exfoliate, if you are using a moisturizer or sunscreen that has pore-clogging ingredients, you are even more likely to breakout allowing these pore-clogging products to soak into your pores. 

What are Acid Exfoliators?

First…don’t let the words chemical and acid scare you! Acid exfoliators are safe and come from raw ingredients like almonds, sour milk, and citrus. Here are the most popular acid/chemical exfoliators:

1. There are twomain kinds of acid exfoliators, AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid). AHAs are made up of mandelic, glycolic or lactic acid, and are typically used for people who have dry, sensitive skin. BHAs are typically salicylic acid, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties for people withacne-prone skin. Most of these acid exfoliating products contain hydrating ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Glycol or Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin from drying out. An example of an acid exfoliator is our CytoClear+, an AHA made of Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Azaleic Acid that not only fights acne, but also improves discoloration and acne scarring. 

2. Another common chemical exfoliator is Retinol, which is a powerful Vitamin A. This exfoliator does help with cell turnover and preventing breakouts, but it’s strongest properties are its ability to improve acne scarring, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles. Retinol serums, like our Daily A are powerful anti-aging products. 

3. To take chemical exfoliation a step further for those who have severe acne, a benzoyl peroxide exfoliator really gets the job done. It has powerful antibacterial properties that not only cleans deep in the pore, increasing cell turnover, but brings pus to the surface for easier extractions. Our Cell Perfector 5 is a benzoyl peroxide exfoliator, and is a critical product for clearing acne. 

Advantages of Acid Exfoliators

Before we get to the advantages, it is important to note that acid exfoliators do not typically dry out your skin, but overuse can cause skin irritation and compromise your barrier. So, it is important to not overuse acid exfoliators. Typically you should start out by using a chemical exfoliator every other night, to allow your skin time to adjust before using it every day. 

Here are the advantages of Acid Exfoliators:

1. Instead of face scrubs rubbing away the dead skin cells, dirt, and oil on the skin’s surface, an acid exfoliator DISSOLVES these impurities, leaving your skin smoother and your complexion brighter. Not only does it dissolve the layer on the surface of your skin, but it penetrates deep into the pore, dissolving built up layers of dirt, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells inside the pore. This helps prevent future breakouts!

2. Acid exfoliators have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that keep your pores clean and clear. This is especially beneficial for people with acne-prone skin!

3. Acid exfoliators penetrate deep into the pore increasing your cell turnover clearing any layers of dead skin cells in the pore, which is the cause of most acne. This leaves your skin with a fresh layer of younger skin cells on the surface, leading to softer, smoother, healthy looking skin. 

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s best to avoid face scrubs and brushes on your face. The most beneficial, acne-safe exfoliators are AHA or BHA exfoliators that will reduce breakouts, and truly leave your skin with a healthy glow. Our Cytoclear+, Daily A, and Cell Perfector 5 are safe at-home exfoliators to help clear up acne and improve your complexion. 

And don’t forget – One…always wash your face before you applying your acid or chemical exfoliator. Two…if you are using an acid or chemical exfoliator it is important to wear SPF everyday! Our UV Daily 30 is an acne-safe moisturizing sunscreen. 

Carly @ Austin Skin Plus