Peeling VS Exfoliating: What They Don’t Tell You

What Is The Difference Between Peeling And Exfoliating?

There are plenty of available products in the market that offer radiance-looking and healthy skin.

Read More At: What Are The Best Baby Nail Clippers?Opens in a new tab.

The only difficult part is choosing which product to use, and many exfoliants and peels offer to remove all of your dead skin cells.

Usually, these products can offer to cleanse deep-seated dirt, oil, and makeup residues, but how do you know which one is perfect for your skin.

What is the difference between peeling and exfoliating?  Peeling uses a chemical exfoliator that has a watery and gel-like consistency. Meanwhile, exfoliating in the form of scrub can offer a physical exfoliation with a gritty texture. Both brighten skin and help in controlling oil production.

In this article, you will find more about the peeling process as well as exfoliation.

At the end of this read, you will also figure out the difference between the two processes and what suits your skin type.

What You Need To Know About Exfoliants And Peels

There are many arguments about which one is better between exfoliants and peels.

According to experts, both can offer massive benefits when it comes to controlling oil production as well as acne.

Aside from that, both can help in making sure that your skin is looking bright and vibrant.

Face exfoliants can slough off dead skin cells to improve the appearance while peels are simply another form of exfoliation.

They both remove dead skin cells on top of your outermost skin, and they use acids to break down bonds that keep them hanging to your skin.

Peel and exfoliants use ingredients that sink into your skin and target its deepest layers.

What Are Exfoliants?

Face exfoliants are a vital part of a skincare routine for four main reasons. The first one is that it deeply cleanses the skin.

Next is that it dislodges all build-up of pores and enhances the blood flow to your face. Lastly, it refines your skin overall texture.

Exfoliation is one of those beauty regimens that can provide you with the best results within a short span.

In fact, the use of exfoliators can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt. This was when minerals and alabaster particles were used as physical exfoliators.

One common exfoliation technique is a facial scrub. This is a manual exfoliation that usually uses a liquid-type product with a gritty texture.

When it is directly used to the skin, it helps to slough away all of your dead skin cells to give you smoother skin.

A scrub is also a common product as you can find them in any drugstore or beauty aisles in the supermarket.

Just be mindful not to get those products that contain naturally derived grains as they can cause skin irritation.

This is a big no-no for people who have sensitive, rosacea, and acne skin type.

Look for some products that contain magnesium crystals that can exfoliate dead skin cells without aggravating your skin.

The Reason Why You Need To Exfoliate

When it comes to exfoliation, it is important to know how much is too much.

This is because the skin is undergoing some regenerative process where it renews itself over time.

As your new skin cells begin to form, your old dead skin cells are pushed to the outer layer of your skin.

These accumulated skin cells can gradually flake off on a normal occasion, but sometimes they hand on for too long.

For this reason, your skin will start to be dull and have a rough skin texture and appearance.

With the help of exfoliation, it can shed these old layers and help your new skin to penetrate other skincare products.

Every Skin Type Benefits From Exfoliating

Regardless of your skin type, you will still find the glory when you undergo exfoliation. Here are among the benefits you will get from exfoliating your skin:

Dry Skin

This is probably the best skin type where you can get the most benefits. This is because exfoliants are good for dry skin as it removes the layer of your dead skin cells.

As a result, all other skincare products you will use will penetrate properly to your skin.

Oily And Acne-Prone Skin

For this skin type, they will benefit from using mild exfoliants.

These exfoliants can help break up all the debris, excess oils, and dead skin buildup, leading to unwanted pimples and other breakouts.

Sensitive Skin

While some may find this weird for those with sensitive skin to use exfoliators, they can benefit from it.

They just need to find mild and short-contact exfoliators that are very gentle to the skin to get positive results.

Normal Skin

Normal skin usually refers to people who have a combination of the oily T-zone area but have very dry cheeks.

They are some type of skin that can benefit from using baking soda as an exfoliator.

There are two common methods of exfoliation that you can actually use depending on your skin needs.

The first method is physical exfoliation, and this method uses small grains, a brush, a towel, or even a scalpel to rub the skin mechanically.

This method is not exactly as effective and gentle as chemical exfoliation, and it is not advisable for sensitive skin.

The second one is called chemical exfoliation, and in this method, chemicals are present.

These chemicals and enzymes are used to rejuvenate your skin, and it has superior anti-aging benefits compared to mechanical exfoliation.

Simple Exfoliation Rules To Follow

Exfoliation needs to be done with the exact instructions, either prescribed by a dermatologist or whatever is on the packaging.

To achieve better results, you should always follow the three simple rules below:

Exfoliate In The Morning

Many skincare experts can all agree that the best time to exfoliate is during the day time, in the morning.

On a normal occasion, your skin heals and repairs itself at night, and the next day is the perfect time to scrub and get rid of those dead skin cells.

Exfoliate Two Times A Week

This is the basic rule. However, you should experiment or consult your dermatologist about this.

Also, you should not over-exfoliate because it can tear your skin.

Apply the exfoliator of your choice in a circular manner for 30 seconds and then rinse them off with some lukewarm water.

Protect Your Skin

Right after the exfoliation process, you will leave your skin bare and vulnerable.

Your skin needs to replenish with natural oils and add protection to the barrier.

Use some moisturizers and some sunscreen to protect your skin. If you happen to over-exfoliate, you should give your skin a rest for a week and use a cleanser that does not dry out your skin.

What Are Facial Peels

Peels are considered, in a way, a form of exfoliation, and it helps improve the skin appearance by inflicting blisters that will eventually peel off.

As a result, you will have a softer, radiant, and younger-looking skin underneath.

Peels can also enhance the look and the feel of your skin in general, and it improves the appearance of mild scars, dark patches, and age spots.

It can also diminish the few lines and wrinkles present on your face, and it is a common treatment for people who are suffering from acne breakouts and the overproduction of sebum.

Ingredients Found In Facial Peels

A peel is a chemical exfoliator that has a water gel-like consistency, and it is designed to remove the top layer of your skin.

This way, it can reveal a fresh, healthy layer beneath your skin. Thre are also some aggressive facial peels that can even treat some severe skin issues like melasma or severe acne.

Below are the ingredients that can be found in your usual facial peels:

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)

AHA is an acid that is a common ingredient in most facial peels. It is a very mild, naturally occurring acid that can exfoliate the skin while giving enough hydration.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)

This acid is a little stronger than AHA, and it sinks deeper into your pores to better clean and exfoliates your skin underneath.

BHA is only recommended to people who have oily skin type.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid not only exfoliates, but it also moisturizes your skin. It stimulates the production of the hydraulic acid that is found in your skin.

Salicylic Acid

This type of acid is the ideal peeling agent that is used to treat other skin issues. It is mainly used for treating acne, large pores, and even blackheads.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient that helps smoothen the skin, stimulating collagen production.

This acid is often recommended for those people who are new to peeling.

Types Of Facial Peels

There are different types of facial peels, and you need to check in with your dermatologist to know which one is suited for your skin conditions.

Your dermatologist will be able to know which one will work for you, depending on your skin type.

Deep Peels

Deep peels can cause a stinging or burning sensation. This is because it penetrates deeply into your skin.

It contains acids like carbolic acid or trichloroacetic acid, also known as TCA. As a result, you will have redness, burns in your skin, and some visible peeling or flaking all over your face.

Medium Peels

Medium Peels uses a milder solution of TCA but still gives you the redness.

It gets rid of skin cells from your epidermis and the upper part of your dermis. The downtime of this process can take up to 7 days.

Light Peels

This is the most gentle version of all peels, and it is effective yet does not give redness or require recovery.

It is important to limit all sun exposure and wear a lot of sunscreen after all your peel procedures.

Steps For An Effective Facial Peel Routine

To achieve the best facial peel as much as possible, it is important to know what you are looking for.

Find the right procedure that can suit your condition when it comes to your skin types. Here are some steps to follow to have a successful facial peel routine:


The first step is to choose the type of peel based on your facial needs. The factors you need to consider should include the problem you want to address and your skin type.

If this is your first time using facial peels, you should choose a product with the lowest concentration of chemicals as much as possible.


You need to prepare and condition your skin by stopping using any tretinoin-based products at least a week before your peel appointment as it can irritate your skin.

You can gently exfoliate your face before peeling and after washing, apply a pH solution to prepare your skin for the peel.


If you are doing the facial peel by yourself, you should cleanse your face using water and a soap-free cleanser.

Then afterward, you can finish it by applying some mild astringent like witch hazel.

Avoid applying the peel to sensitive areas like your eyes, nostrils, or corners of your lips.

Then you can apply an even coat of facial peel solution to your skin using cotton.

Leave the peel for a couple of minutes or depending on the recommended time. If your skin starts to turn pink even before it is time, you should wash it off. Apply some neutralizing lotion to stop the chemicals from working any further.


As a conclusion, peeling and exfoliating is one of the many methods of protecting and taking care of your skin.

They provide enough help to get you a vibrant looking and beautiful skin.

After each peeling or exfoliating session, it is important to apply a liberal amount of moisturizer and apply it as much as 10 to 20 times throughout the day.

Post application is important as you are trying to take care of the new skin brought up after all the peeling and exfoliation.

Recent Posts