There are now so many types of exfoliating products out, it’s easy to get confused- especially with all the technical jargon being thrown about. In true Gensen style, we want to make it simple for you!

Physical exfoliants

Physical exfoliators are the ones with a grainy texture that relies on the motion of rubbing the product to exfoliate the skin Generally, the larger the exfoliating particles, the harsher the exfoliation. Therefore, be careful not to rub too hard.

We would not recommend physical exfoliators to those with sensitive or mature skin, as they would be too harsh.

Chemical exfoliants

Chemical exfoliators are just applied on the skin and require no extra work on your part (minus washing them off if needed). There are a couple of types:

>AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)

There are two main types- Glycolic and Lactic Acid. They both work on the skin in similar ways. AHAs work on the surface of the skin, improving skin texture, reducing fine lines and hyperpigmentation. They are often watery, toner-like solutions that do not need to be washed off.

They are suitable for all skin types though, they are very formula dependant (as the percentage of Glycolic and Lacitic Acid can differ).

>BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid)

Aka Salicylic Aid, which can actually penetrate the skin to clear out pores. So they tend to be stronger than AHAs and usually do need to be washed off.

BHAs are amazing for acne prone and congested skin. If you have sensitive or mature skin, we recommend doing a patch test and maybe leaving it on for a shorter period of time.


Often with fruit enzymes, they are gentle water-activated exfoliators. As such, they are best for sensitive or mature skin.


An amazing skin exfoliant and anti-aging ingredient- they have been a key feature ingredient in many products. Obviously, best for mature skin, regular use of retinol products have shown to improve signs of photoaging and regular aging over time.