Physical exfoliation is buffing away dead skin cells manually with a brush or small grains within your exfoliator. This includes products that you rinse off, like a scrub or gel, face clothes, sponges or brushes.
Facial scrubs contain a range of physical exfoliators, from salt grains to walnut shell granules. The most common ingredients of physical exfoliation includes:
Plastic Microbeads (banned in the US in 2015)
The benefits of physical exfoliators is that you achieve results instantly. The massaging action stimulates circulation so your cheeks look naturally rosy. But it is very important that you do not scrub too hard. If you’re too rough with the scrub, it can make your skin irritated or expose your skin to bacteria and infection.
Physical exfoliation works best when you move gently and slowly in circular motions. Facial scrubs with physical exfoliants are often too harsh if you have acne and/or sensitive skin.
Ingredients to Avoid:
Avoid large exfoliants like fruit pits and nut shells since these have a tendency to cause tears in the skin.
Avoid microbeads, which are pieces of plastic (usually spherical in shape) that range in width from a fraction of a millimeter to about a millimeter and a quarter. Although not legal in the US, microbeads can be found in scrubs in other countries. Research shows that these beads kill marine life by introducing harmful chemicals into the food chain.