What You Should Know About Physical Exfoliators

We’re clearly fans of organic physical exfoliators, like our Sea Moss Exfoliator! As part of our Product of the Month highlight, we wanted to dive more into what physical exfoliators are and what you need to be cautious of when using them! For information on why exfoliating should be a regular part of your skincare routine, read our Exfoliating 101 blog post.


The benefits of physical exfoliators

They are customizable

One of the main reasons that we love physical exfoliators is that they’re more customizable than chemical exfoliators. You can control the amount of pressure used while exfoliating, taking into account your skin type and what your skin needs in that moment. With powder-form exfoliators, like our Sea Moss Exfoliator, you can even customize what you add to the exfoliator, like an oil or toner, to add personalized benefits unique to what your skin needs! Additionally, by keeping our exfoliator in powder form, we’re able to also provide the cleanest possible formula – free from preservatives and chemicals.


They provide an instant glow and complexion boost

After using a physical exfoliator, you’ll also immediately notice a post-scrub “glow!” Similar to facial massaging or using a jade roller, rubbing in your exfoliator can help stimulate circulation under the skin, which can make your skin look more “alive” and glowy! Using a physical exfoliator, especially in the morning, can help improve your complexion and rosiness, on top of sloughing away dead cells sitting on the surface.


What should I look for in a physical exfoliator?

One of the critical elements in choosing physical exfoliators is making sure that the particle is gentle and not too rough on your skin. The reason that we choose to use the emulsifying Irish moss and grape seed flour combination in our Sea Moss Exfoliator is that they are very fine ingredients with small particles. Our exfoliator allows you to gently remove dead skin cells using ingredients full of nutrients – the best of both worlds!

When using too large of an exfoliating agent, like fruit pits or nut shells, for example, you may accidentally create micro-tears in your skin while rubbing! Micro-tears occur when you use an exfoliating agent that is too large, or that contains sharp or jagged edges. Micro-tears can open your skin up to bacteria, other stressors, and worsen inflammation. Nobody wants that!


What are the commonly used ingredients that I need to avoid in physical exfoliators?

Despite some of these ingredients’ popularity on Instagram, these are ingredients we do not recommend to use as a facial exfoliant:

  • Coffee grounds (too sharp of edges)
  • Sugar (too sharp of edges)
  • Salts (it can be very drying for the skin!)
  • Fruit pits (unless they are very finely grounded, these usually end up being too jagged)
  • Nut shells (same as fruit pits!)
  • Baking soda (too basic at a pH level of 9, which could imbalance your skin)
  • Microbeads (because, duh!)*

*Microbeads were banned in the US in the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 due to their detrimental environmental impact. Microbeads have been appearing in our waters – harming the ecosystem and animals living in it. While July 1, 2017 was the deadline to end all manufacturing of products containing microbeads, the deadline to stop introducing these products to new retailers is not until July 1, 2018.

It’s worth mentioning that some of the above ingredients may be occasionally fine to use on the body, as the skin on our body is much thicker than the skin on our face. Thicker skin is better able to handle stronger exfoliators without resulting in micro-tears or inflammation. Just make sure you don’t overdo it!


You should also be careful about….

How often you’re exfoliating. The reason that we recommend using our Sea Moss Exfoliator up to 4x per week (depending on your skin type and needs) is because the ingredients are so fine and gentle. It is super unlikely you’re going to overdo it!

With other exfoliators, however, specifically ones that use large exfoliating agents or have drying ingredients, you want to limit the amount of times per week you’re exfoliating. By exfoliating too often (or applying too much pressure) with not-as-gentle exfoliators, you can irritate the skin and start tearing away at healthy cells! Not to mention, this damage to your skin can also dull out your complexion and take away your glow.


The take-away? Put some thought into how you’re exfoliating! Watch out for those large exfoliating agents that may cause micro-tears and other damage to your skin. Exfoliating should be a regular part of your routine, but it should also be thought-out and done gently!

Be sure to check out our upcoming articles on exfoliating this month, as we’ll be highlighting our Sea Moss Exfoliator all month long! As a reminder, all online orders will receive a sample of our Organic Sea Moss Exfoliator this month!