Chemical Exfoliation - Natural Living Spa and Wellness Center
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Natural Living Spa Cosmetics

Chemical Exfoliation

The Ancient Egyptians and Greeks discovered countless benefits of exfoliation centuries ago

Our quest for beautiful, healthy looking and rejuvenated skin is as old as time itself. Ancient civilizations and cultures used numerous elements within their reach such as alabaster, oils and salt in their pursuit for flawless skin.

Your skin cells typically regenerate every month, however, elements such as too much sun exposure or the unavoidable ageing process can slow down the skin regeneration process. That’s why you need a proper exfoliation every once in a while, to aid in combating the physical signs of ageing.

Getting a professional beautician to apply and treat your skin with a chemical exfoliation will unquestionably leave you comfortable in your own skin, confident and reinvigorated. Exfoliation helps remove dead cell build up for smoother, more youthful-looking skin and will stimulate new cell growth.

The best part is, it’s never too late to start adding the exfoliating steps into your beauty routine! Did you know that there are mainly two types of exfoliations? Specifically, physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. The chemical form consists of a range of different chemicals and acids and has become increasingly popular in recent years.

A physical exfoliate uses an ingredient, or an apparatus, that physically scrubs old, dead cells from the surface of your skin. Normally, the ingredients used are ground down natural products such as stones, plants and plant extracts, the natural ingredients used in physical exfoliations might vary from spa to spa but will always remain natural and chemical-free.

But there’s still some confusion over what it actually is and which acids are best to use on different skin types. So we thought it wise to de-mystify the subject in this blog post. Keep reading to see what treatments and product we suggest getting from Polokwane’s leading bushveld inspired spa.


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Not your typical laboratory chemicals

For most of us, the word chemical raises serious red flags in the back of our mind. Rest assured knowing that chemicals used in any cosmetic treatment or product has been tried and tested and it’s definitely not the typical chemicals that are found in a chemistry lab.

There are two types of chemical exfoliants: AHA, or alpha-hydroxy acids, and BHA, beta-hydroxy acids. The two most popular AHAs are glycolic and lactic acids. In cosmetics, BHA refers to salicylic acid. Different enzymes and Retinol-Vitamin A, are also chemical exfoliating ingredients that you may see in your numerous skincare products. Look at each one’s description below:

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane. Glycolic acid and the other alpha hydroxy acids are natural exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells. Because of this, glycolic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids help brighten the skin’s complexion and give it a more even tone.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is one of several alpha hydroxy acids. Lactic acid and the other alpha hydroxy acids are well known as effective exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a natural beta-hydroxy acid compound with cleansing and exfoliating properties. It helps to exfoliate the skin and clean the pores, thereby reducing the appearance of skin blemishes.

How do I know which one to use

With Natural Living Spa you can trust only the best care and treatment will be provided for your face, our highly skilled beauticians recommend that if you want to improve mild areas of discolouration and ultimately walk away with an improved and refreshed skin tone, that you try Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).

Furthermore, if you are looking to unclog your skin pores or if you want to get rid of the oiliness or acne-prone skin areas that you use a Beta hydroxy acid (BHAs).

If you have highly sensitive skin, a less intrusive PHA exfoliant may be the best route to go down. A Bonus tip from our team is that we recommend you start off by applying whichever chemical you choose once a week to first see how your skin reacts, increasing the amount that’s applied over some time.

Don’t let it get under your skin

Different skin types will benefit more or less from certain chemicals. The key is to know what your skin concern is to be well on your way to finding the right hydroxy acid that works best for your skin. Below we will discuss various skin types and your options, read on further to find out more.

Dry and sensitive skin?

If you have dry skin, opt for an AHA. As they only work on the skin’s surface, they’ll help it cling onto moisture. This Exfoliation Facial Scrub 50ml comes highly rated. On the other hand, if your skin is sensitive you might want to try BHAs, they will soothe and calm your irritated skin and are ideal for people who experience redness.

If you have combination skin

When your skin is oily and dry at the same time you require the best of both worlds. Go for a serum containing salicylic acid for an anti-inflammatory exfoliating effect.

If you have mature skin

AHAs can help diminish the signs of ageing by targeting fine lines and deeper wrinkles. They can also deal with roughness, leaving your skin glowing. Indulge yourself at our spa and opt to get a cutting-edge ESSE Bio-Tech Anti Age Treatment. It’s the world’s first probiotic facial that specifically targets the skin to slow down the ageing process.

If you have Hyperpigmentation or scarring

To reduce the visibility of dark marks and scars, we recommend that you use a BHA like salicylic acid that can encourage skin cell turnover or a strong AHA formula. This MESO Therapy Pigmentation Treatment helps reduce age spots, discolouration and sun blemishes. This treatment is a very effective and pioneering new treatment for hyperpigmentation.

Can I use more than one type of chemical exfoliant at a time?

This is a question that we're all too familiar with. The simple answer is yes, but you probably don’t need to. The average person only requires one acid to get the job done, however, if you do decide to use more than one chemical exfoliator, then we suggest speaking to a professional before taking up treatment.

But if your skin could benefit from a little extra help, there are a few rules to stick to:

Combining PHAs with AHAs or BHAs is generally acceptable. It’s also possible to mix AHAs and BHAs but stick to a more gentle AHA, such as lactic acid. Test the combination on your skin before going full steam ahead. Try it once a week and use gentle cleansers and moisturizers alongside to keep skin well hydrated. If you’re mixing acids, we suggest using the thinnest texture first.

What could happen if you over- or under-exfoliate?

Luckily, it’s easy to notice when you’re exfoliating too much or not enough. The typical signs of under-exfoliation include a rough texture, dull complexion, and a feeling that your skincare products are no longer working due to a build-up of dead skin. On the other hand, over-exfoliation commonly takes the form of irritation, such as inflammation and dryness.

You may also notice breakouts and peeling. If you experience any of the above, stop exfoliating until your skin has fully healed.

Other recommended treatments and products:


RITES Exfoliating Powder – 50ml

The rites exfoliating powder takes care of that unwanted blemishes, leaving your skin looking and feeling healthy. For the best results combine the powder with a RITES Foaming Face Wash.


!QMS Deep Cleansing Intense Facial Treatment

Treat yourself to a cleansing facial at our bushveld inspired natural spa. This treatment takes care of impurities whilst re-hydrating your skin ensuring your skin looks phenomenal.

MESO Therapy Pigmentation Treatment

There’s more than what meets the eye with this all-rounded treatment. It takes care of multiple skin-related issues and leaves your skin happy and healthy.

Chocolate Facial Treatment

When it comes to feel-good facials, ladies this is it. The wonderful benefits of the rich anti-oxidants which this treatment is full off will without fail give your skin that healthy-looking glow you’ve always wanted.

As long as you listen to your skin, chemical exfoliation is an easy and effective way to get that coveted glow. Remember to start slowly with a low concentration. If your skin’s happy, increase the frequency and strength until you achieve your desired result. The benefits of booking a spa day for yourself are countless, not only do you get to relax and enjoy a world-class experience, our professional beauticians can examine your skin and recommend something that’s better suited to your skincare needs.

If you haven’t found that perfect gift for your bestie or a family member, you can give them a Natural Living Spa gift voucher and we will spoil them for you. If you want to get in touch with a qualified beautician, contact us now or book your next session today.


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