Choosing the right exfoliant for your skin type

Choosing the right exfoliant for your skin type

Exfoliation should be an essential part of every skincare routine. So why is the humble face scrub so often overlooked? Discover our best exfoliation tips and how to choose exactly the right exfoliant for your skin type.

Something we often get asked at The Clinic is “how often should I exfoliate?” You might be surprised to learn it is less often than you think! Read on to discover everything you ever needed to know about exfoliation and more.


Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin using a granular substance, chemical treatment or an exfoliation tool. Every 30 days or so, your skin naturally sheds old skin cells to make room for new cells. Unfortunately, the dead skin cells don’t always shed completely, resulting in dry patches and clogged pores. This is where exfoliation comes in, revitalising the surface of the skin leaving it soft and smooth, creating the ideal base for makeup application.


Physical Exfoliants: The perfect entry level exfoliant, a physical exfoliant consists of a granular scrub that gently buffs away build up and impurities on the skin’s surface to reveal brighter, softer, more youthful looking skin. Examples of physical exfoliants would be over the counter face and body scrubs, exfoliating cleansers and gentle in Clinic treatments.   

Chemical or Enzymatic Exfoliants: Chemical exfoliants offer a more intensive exfoliation treatment using acid or enzyme based formulas such as Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Glycolic Acid or a Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) like Salicylic Acid. Acid formulas work by reacting with the skin to remove dead skin build up and excess oils that can cause blemishes, while enzyme based treatments create an exfoliating effect as they dissolve protein (keratin) bonds between dead skin cells, absorbing the dead skin cells and improving cell rejuvenation to reveal brighter, smoother, softer skin.

Mechanical Exfoliants: For those seeking more dramatic, faster results from their exfoliation treatment, a mechanical exfoliation could be the way to go, for example, our HydraFacial treatment. Mechanical exfoliation treatments use a machine or device to exfoliate the skin more deeply, generating noticeable results and revealing fresher, younger looking skin. 


While it might seem like a bit of a chore, exfoliation should definitely form a regular part of your skincare routine. Exfoliation boasts a range of amazing skincare benefits which include removing dead skin cells and excess oil, minimising the appearance of pores, reducing dullness, softening the skin and improving overall skin texture and appearance. As an added bonus, regular exfoliation will allow your skincare products to penetrate more deeply, making them much more effective and helping your skin to glow with health.


This really depends on the type of exfoliant you choose. If you are using a gentle physical exfoliant (think at-home scrubs and exfoliating cleansers), we generally recommend exfoliating your skin once or twice a week. A more intensive chemical exfoliation treatment might only be required every 4-6 weeks, while a deeper mechanical treatment might only be necessary every 6 months. Always consult your clinician for the right exfoliation treatment plan for you.


Can you have too much of a good thing? When it comes to exfoliation - yes you can! A common skin concern we notice at The Clinic is clients who are exfoliating too much. What does this look like? Excessive dryness, red or reactive skin, or even breakouts, so always be sure to exfoliate your skin in moderation with treatments suitable for your skin type.


To help you choose the right exfoliant for your skin type, we’ve compiled a few of our all-time favourites, including physical, chemical and enzymatic exfoliants. Popular amongst our Clinic team and clientele, these products are suited to a range of skin types, from sensitive to oily, and include several products suitable for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Discover your recommended exfoliator below.

For more information or a custom skin plan, book a Video Consultation with our Registered Nurses. Video Consults are free and take just 30 minutes.


PCA Skin Daily Exfoliant $79

Physical Exfoliant

Pregnancy & breastfeeding safe.

The PCA Skin Daily Exfoliant is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that can be used daily to polish away dead skin cells and reveal radiant, younger-looking skin. Formulated with aloe vera, jojoba oil and biodegradable exfoliators, this nourishing exfoliating cleanser is gentle enough for daily use and is suitable for all skin types.

PCA Skin Daily Exfoliant - The Clinic


Skinbetter Science Detoxifying Scrub Mask $75

Physical Exfoliant

Pregnancy & breastfeeding safe.

Enjoy smoother, more even-toned skin with the SkinBetter Science Refresh Detoxifying Scrub Mask. Suitable for all skin types, this dual-functioning, clay-based scrub mask uses biodegradable spherical beads to exfoliate and naturally derived ingredients to gently resurface the skin. 

SkinBetter Science Detoxifying Scrub Mask - The Clinic


Cosmedix Purity Detox Scrub $74

Physical & Chemical Exfoliant

Not suitable during pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

Reveal smoother, brighter-looking skin with the Cosmedix Purity Detox Scrub, a cocktail of natural, physical exfoliators that work together to deeply cleanse and purify the skin. A multi-layered detoxification system ideal for oily skin, the Cosmedix Purity Detox Scrub removes excess impurities, debris and residue, while reducing the appearance of visible pores and imperfections. 

Cosmedix Purity Detox Scrub - The Clinic

Cosmedix Elite RX Clean $74

Chemical Exfoliant

Pregnancy & breastfeeding safe.

Suitable for oily or acne prone skin, the Cosmedix Elite RX Clean provides the ultimate exfoliating cleanser to wash away excess oils and impurities for a fresher complexion. The active ingredient of 10% Lactic Acid works to gently exfoliate, cleanse, soften and purify the skin. 

Cosmedix Elite RX Clean - The Clinic



Societe Superfruit Enzyme Exfoliator $82

Chemical Enzyme Exfoliant

Pregnancy & breastfeeding safe.

Perfect for sensitive skin types, includes dryness, redness or rosacea, the Societe Superfruit Enzyme Exfoliator uses a high potency blend of superfruits to shift impurities and detoxify the skin. The ultimate all-in-one product, the Societe Superfruit Enzyme Exfoliator is packed with nutrients, antioxidants and a proprietary enzyme blend that cleanses, clarifies, smooths, lightens and calms the skin for a fresh, clear complexion. 

Societe Superfruit Enzyme Exfoliator - The Clinic

If you'd like more information or a custom skin plan, book a Video Consultation with our Registered Nurses. Video Consults are free and take just 30 minutes.