Decoding Exfoliation

Decoding Exfoliation

What is exfoliation?

In simple terms, exfoliation is a process that encourages the removal of skin cells from the surface layer of the skin. When this occurs, it encourages the skin to make new fresh cells.

Why should we exfoliate?

Exfoliation can assist in making your skin bright and clear, and it can aid with certain skin conditions and concerns, for example; ageing, pigmentation and acne. As we age, cell renewal slows down and this can lead to the skin looking dull and uneven, so exfoliation can encourage a brighter and smoother complexion.

For a skin disorder like acne or congestion conditions, exfoliation can help with keeping the skin follicles clear because one of the many attributing factors of an acne skin may be retention keratosis, whereby the skin doesn’t shed cells easily and therefore creates a backlog of skin cells (amongst other factors) that can contribute to blockages. 

What is key, is understanding your skin, its specific needs, when to exfoliate, when not to exfoliate and what type of exfoliant to use. A naturally healthy skin should move through its cell renewal cycle and desquamate itself and a good skin care regime allowing and assisting the skin to function the way it should.

Physical Exfoliants: Physically and/or manually buff and polishing away surface skin cells. Think scrubs.

How physical exfoliants work and their advantages: Physical exfoliants work through manually ‘working’ a product over the skin to smooth, polish, exfoliate and invigorate the skin.

They are quick and easy to use and can be recommended for all skins, particularly a young skin for example, that does not need hydroxy acids. 

Be super gentle and avoid scrubs with scratchy particles that can leave damage the skin, leaving it red and irritated.  When choosing a physical type exfoliant, we recommend a physical exfoliant that is gentle, with particles that are soft and smooth.

Chemical Exfoliants: Chemical exfoliants like hydroxy acids are compounds that are common in many skincare exfoliants, like AHA’s which are water soluble and work to break down the intercellular glue that holds cells in place, encouraging new cell renewal from within and BHA’s which are oil soluble, excellent for congested and breakouts, known for their ability to penetrate and assist in unclogging pores.

AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids): What are they and how do they work?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids are water soluble acids with the most common being lactic acid and Glycolic Acid.  Lactic Acid is a popular choice because it has the advantage of being gentle but also hydrating for the skin, whilst glycolic acid is a smaller molecule and therefore, may penetrate faster with potential irritation. Tartaric, Mandelic, Malic Acid are also classed as AHA’s which also help to increase cellular turnover for the skin. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids work to remove cells from the surface layer to reveal fresh new cells and to encourage new cell production from below. Excellent for ageing, pigmented, sun damage concerns, they can assist with brightening, smoothing, firming and reducing fine lines.

BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids): What are they and how do they work?

Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid known for its oil soluble ability to penetrate skin making it ideal for congestion, breakout and acne skin conditions to help clear and exfoliate the follicles. It also has the added benefit of having anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits. 

PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids): What are they and how do they work?

Polyhydroxy Acids are relatively new to the skincare game and are a type of chemical exfoliant that may be less irritating than other hydroxy acids.  Examples of PHAs are lactobionic, gluconolactone and galactose and like other hydroxy acids, can help reduce ageing, pigmentation and sun damage, but may be less irritating for the skin making them a good choice for sensitive skin.


Determining Your Skin's Exfoliation Needs: Factors to consider when choosing an exfoliant.

Always consider your skin needs and your skin goals, not something you have seen someone else use or promote.  What is right for one person, may not be right for you and your skin. Seek professional advice to get the best out of your skin care regime, in particular exfoliation.


Potential risks and how to avoid them.

  • Avoid overuse, more is not more!
  • Understand what type of ingredients are in your exfoliant.
  • Never exfoliate if your skin barrier is impaired or sensitised.
  • Never exfoliate if you are on specific medications like Roaccutane.
  • Don’t mix or combine exfoliants.
  • Put away your AHA/BHA leave on product if you use an AHA/BHA exfoliant in your weekly treatment.
  • Be aware you may be more sun sensitive after exfoliation.
  • Always follow the advice from your skin specialist.
  • Don’t exfoliate after professional treatments i.e. skin needling.


Bx Reveal Exfoliant is a plant powered exfoliant exclusive to Biologi that has the benefits of a triple action exfoliant for the skin. The key phyto-actives and nutrients found in Rice powder and Kakadu Plum make the Bx Reveal powder unique, and when mixed with the Bc Refresh Cleanser provide a triple action result on the skin.

The soft powders gently smooth and exfoliate the skin in a physical manner without irritation or micro-tears. Whilst it is not a ‘chemical’ exfoliant, the phyto-actives within the potent powders of Rice and Kakadu Plum, also provide superior skin conditioning, brightening, and increase cell regeneration. The addition of combining with the Bc Refresh Cleanser completes the benefits of the triple action result by aiding in removing impurities, increasing skin hydration and assisting with antioxidant protection for a healthier skin.

The exfoliant powder has been developed to be used with the Bc Refresh Cleanser which grants further benefits from the natural saponin and actives that the cleanser contains. It gives excellent consistency to the powder formula, delivers good pH for effective exfoliation and provides a soft, gentle and effective exfoliant result for the skin.

Use as a mask exfoliant 1-2 a week. Use one sachet and mix with the Bc Refresh Cleanser to a smooth paste consistency and apply to the face and neck. Leave for 5-8 minutes and remove by rinsing well. 

For a quick, easy method, use one sachet and dispense into hands, mix with Bc Refresh Cleanser and mix and apply to skin, Lightly massage over skin for 2 minutes and rinse well.

Apply chosen serum to a dry skin and optional face oil if required.

For a weekly DIY skin boost treatment, cleanse, exfoliate with Bx Reveal Exfoliant, and then apply a Biologi Bio Cellulose Sheet mask of choice.

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