Whether you're a fan of a physical or chemical exfoliator, I'm sure you all have one in your stash. It's something that everyone should do, no matter what skin type you have as it will help your skin in some way. For me, in the winter I use a physical exfoliator as I need to scrub away the dead skin and in the summer, I will use a chemical exfoliator so it's a little gentler.
A physical exfoliator will manually remove the dead skin cells with the abrasive scrub used in the paste, such as shell or salts. No, it's not bad for your skin as long as you're not too harsh, it's just down too preference. The particles are usually suspended in a gel or cream substance, or are a dry grain to mix with your choice of cleanser. One thing I found that if I use an exfoliator with pumice in, my skin is very sensitive towards it so I would suggest staying away from that. There are many abrasive scrubs on the market from the drugstore to high end, it's all about finding the right one for you.
A chemical exfoliator will contain AHA's and fruit acid, which loosens the connectors between the skin cells which makes it easier for them to break down in the long run. I haven't tried too many chemical exfoliators as I have just stuck to the Pixi Glow Tonic, but one of the most popular ones is Alpha H Liquid Gold which is a winner all around.
When exfoliating, you have to be careful you don't over exfoliate. Once a week if you have an abrasive scrub but if you use AHA's, then you can use it every day. You also have to ensure that you use an SPF every day after exfoliating, whether it's from your moisturiser or foundation, always use one. Your skin can become very sensitive if you scrub too often, it's not like your legs which can take a whack. If you have dry skin and use a cleanser which has a scrub in, it will be making your skin even drier as it's stripping away everything your skin needs.
The benefits of exfoliating are that your skin will be glowing. It will leave your skin feeling soft and plump too. Plus if you have a lot of acne scars or scarring in general, a chemical exfoliant can help a lot if used frequently as it's helping the re-generation of the skin cells.
Now I'm not professional trained in skincare, I may have worked at different brands but that doesn't mean I know everything. So remember not to take my words as everything, it's just my own thoughts and opinions, mixed with a few facts.
What exfoliator do you use?