Some Facts about Exfoliants Kritika Ponia December 18, 2011 Beauty Our skin works continuously to generate new cells and replace the ones that have died. Did you know that each minute, around 40,000 cells flake away from our skin? If you have dry skin, it means that the dead cells are not falling away easily. They build up and that is why the skin becomes dry and rough. This is where an exfoliant comes into the picture. It wards off these dead cells and cleans the pores which could otherwise lead to acne. Exfoliation thus gives you rejuvenated and youthful skin. Talking about exfoliants, they are basically of two types: Mechanical and Chemical. Here is some information about each of them. 1. Mechanical Exfoliants: These include the usual scrubs and cleansers that come with tiny particles. You should massage these particles gently on your skin so that the dead cells loosen up and are washed away. You can buy these exfoliants at the nearest drugstore and use them without a problem. They work especially well for those who have acne and oily skin. Remember not to scrub harshly because that could add to the irritation. The downside about these exfoliants is that they can be very harsh. Some of the particles they contain may be too rough. You should make sure you use gentle scrubs and cleansers thus. 2. Chemical Exfoliants: These use acids in order to dissolve the bonds formed between dead cells to so that they are removed. There are two subtypes in this and they are alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Alpha hydroxy acids come from fruits like grapes and apples and even from milk. These work best for those with dry skin. Beta hydroxy acids are better for those with oily skin and when you buy products, look for ingredients like tropic acid, salicylate, etc. They are not as harsh as mechanical exfoliants and work better. Using Exfoliants: These must not be used every day. Those with dry skin must use them once a week and those with oily skin may use them thrice a week. If your skin shows irritation, stop usage immediately.