Chemical Exfoliants and Physical Exfoliants Compared

Back in September I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to a crowd of about 120 people at the HBAExpo on social media and the beauty industry. Imagine my surprise when the very lovely Renee Rouleau was sitting in the crowd (and came up to introduce herself afterwards!) Renee has an amazing skin care line based on 9 different skin types. Below is the comparison of chemical exfoliants and physical exfoliants, which used in combination, is an effective way to reveal more youthful, radiant skin.

Chemical Exfoliants:
These are mild acids that are applied to the skin at night to dissolve dry skin cells while you sleep. Studies show the effectiveness of exfoliation given by glycolic acid in reducing the appearance of sun damage and large pores, smoothing, softening and promoting blemish-free skin is far superior to any other acid out on the market. Renee has some great glycolic serums to choose from.

Physical Exfoliants:
These are the facial scrubs that contain synthetic beads that gently roll across the skin. For best results, you use them twice a week to physically lift off and polish away dry damaged skin cells. Natural scrubs using almonds, apricots or walnuts are an absolute no-no! They have sharp edges and will scratch the skin causing irritation and the spread of bacteria resulting in increased break outs (note to my sister-in-law Natalie–toss that St. Ives Apricot Scrub!)

I admit, I am totally eyeing up that Triple Berry Smoothing Peel.

Check out all of the products Renee has to offer at

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care 9 Comments

About the author

Shannon Smyth

Shannon began A Girl's Gotta Spa! beauty blog in 2005 to morph her love of beauty and in educating women on what truly works and what does not. She has been featured in Glamour, VOGUE Australia, Woman's World, Nail Pro, SHAPE and on WBRE's PA Live. She is a go-to source for social media consulting when it comes to beauty brands.

9 Responses to Chemical Exfoliants and Physical Exfoliants Compared

  1. PRIIA Cosmetics

    Good post Shannon on exfoliants! It’s soooo important for women too understand how important it is to exfoliate. Once you do it regularly, you’ll be amazed at how much better your skin looks and feels.

    And yes, the apricot, walnut shell and almond scrubs should NOT be applied to the face. Save it for the body and feet!

  2. Renee Rouleau

    Thank you Shannon, for sharing my information with your loyal readers!
    -Renee Rouleau

  3. Teri

    Oh my – I love Renee’s products. Her glycolic serums and Vitamin C productsare amazing – and that pumpkin peel is great too.

  4. Amanda

    Beware of the environmental costs of using scrubs made from synthetic beads. Micro plastics harm a wide variety of marine life, such as mussels and other filter feeders.

  5. Suzy

    Thanks for introducing me (us) to Renee, Shannon. I’m very much into glycolics (for all the reasons mentioned above) and will have to look into her serums and other products!

  6. Anna S.

    no apricot or nut based scrubs? oh no, i always scrub my face like i scrub my plates! especially when i get pimples, then I scrub like a maniac. I have some acne that is cystic (i guess, that is the correct term, acne that leaves bumps and scars on your face) and i just keep scrubbing it. Now i see why i keep getting more and more acne.

    i really like that she has 9 skin types. it is easier to pick out my skin type that way- by reading all the symptoms.

  7. Tina

    I love that she avoids Mineral Oil & Petrolatum (pore-clogging and suffocating to the skin)!!

  8. Tina

    I think it’s fantastic that she offers 9 different skin types!

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