The Exfoliation Lowdown

Exfoliation has always been considered a core element of any skincare regime that many people tend to skip over. It provides so many benefits for the skin, and when done properly, can change your skin to be the softest and smoothest it has ever been!

If you are not quite sure yet what exfoliation is all about, here is the lowdown! 

What is exfoliation

Exfoliation is the process of removing the outermost layers of dead skin cells. It is a naturally occurring process where we shed dead skin cells for new skin to resurface daily! When we are young and our skin cells are still in their prime, we generally shed pretty normally and our skin continues to look soft and smooth all year round. However, as we age, hormones, lifestyle and change of weather can all have an influence on how effectively we shed skin, this is when we need a little bit of extra help! When our skin loses its innate ability to exfoliate itself, it may show in the form of rough patches, dullness, clogged pores and flakiness. When your skin starts to show any of these signs, we would say it’s time to introduce exfoliation skincare steps into your routine. 

Types of exfoliators

In general, there are two types of exfoliators: physical vs chemical exfoliators. Both come with their own benefits, and you can choose which one is best suited for your skin type :

Physical Exfoliation: 

This would be by means of scraping away dead skin cells with mechanical force. It can range from gentle to harsh depending on the type of particles and how hard you scrub them on your skin. A few advantages of physical exfoliation include immediate results and a lowered chance of an allergic reaction as it is mostly available as a rinse-off type of product. However, some of the disadvantages of physical exfoliation is that it only targets the outermost layer of the skin, and can be misused when used harshly which results in irritated skin. 

Types of physical exfoliation: 

a) Non-skincare products

  • Face brushes, dry brushes 
  • Face cloths
  • Konjac sponges
  • Loofahs

b) Skincare products: 

  • Peeling gels/gommages: create clump of gel-like product that contain cellulose
  • Salt and sugar grain
  • Oatmeal
  • Coffee grounds
  • Jojoba beads
  • Plastic micro-beads 

Chemical Exfoliation: 

Chemical exfoliators involve the usage of ingredients in a skincare products that help to break the bond between the dead skin cell layers. This type of exfoliator usually works more evenly and gives less room for error. It can also be formulated together with other ingredients to counteract potential side effects of exfoliating and provide benefits for the skin. 

Types of chemical exfoliation:

a) Hydroxy acids: 

  • AHA: pH of AHA should be lower than 4

- Glycolic acid (from sugar cane)
- Lactic acid (from milk / pickled vegetables)
- Mandelic acids (from apples/almonds)
- Citric acids  (from citrus fruits)
- Tartaric acids (from grapes)
  • BHA (salicylic acid): pH should be lower than 3.5 – 7 / LHA (lipohydroxy acids)

  • PHA

b) Lactobionic acid

c) Gluconolactone 

d) Others:

  • Azelaic acid 

  • Fruit enzymes 

  • Pineapple (bromelain)

  • Papaya (papain)

  • Pumpkin enzyme

At OhMyGloe we truly believe in the benefits of exfoliating, and therefore we offer both physical and chemical exfoliators that are gentle on the skin!

Our physical exfoliator top picks are:

I’m From Fig Scrub Mask:



This award winning exfoliator is made up of a combination of fig powder and black sugar that effectively removes dead skin cells, with the fig powder dissolving  the dead skin cells and the black sugar puffing it away for better results. 

How to use:

1) Apply the mask evenly over the face or on the areas where you need extra exfoliation.

2) Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.

Dear Klairs Black Sugar Facial Polish



This exfoliator contains grains of black sugar as the active exfoliating agent, and the mix of ingredients such as cranberry seed oil and shea butter provides a very soft and almost buttery texture that glides across the face easily preventing any possible friction. 

 How to use:

  1. After cleansing your face with a mild cleanser, apply a pea sized amount of product onto the skin and exfoliate in upper circular motions.
  2. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

Both of these physical exfoliators are very gentle on the skin and the combination of ingredients will leave your skin feeling incredible! 

Our chemical exfoliator top pick is:

By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Prep Water



This wonder product is a must have in your skincare routine! While the Mandelic acid works to smooth out bumps, clogged pores and flaking skin, it also helps fade away dark spots. With multiple skin brightening ingredients, you’ll visibly see the difference in no time at all! 

How to use:

  1. Apply a few drops into the palms of your hands and pat it over the areas of concern after washing your face!
  2. Let the product absorb and then move on to your moisturiser!
  3. Want to step it up a notch? Instead of adding it to your hands, add the drops to a cotton pad for extra exfoliation to ensure ultra smooth skin after cleansing. 

Exfoliation has so many benefits for the skin and is definitely something we highly recommend! 

We would love to know what your choice of exfoliation is, leave a review here, or tag us on Instagram at @ohmygloe in your reviews!