Manual vs Chemical

Exfoliation is a big part of my skincare routine as I am somebody who is prone to blemishes I want a good exfoliator to slough away those dead skin cells and leave my complexion looking fresh. Chemical toners and manual methods of exfoliation can deliver such varied results but which one do I prefer?

Lets start of with the chemical numbers here shall we, my first venture into exfoliating toners was the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator. Now nearing the end of my second bottle of this it is safe to say that this a product that I love and is a secure part of my skincare routine. This contains glycolic acid and even though the second ingredient is alcohol I find this very gentle on the skin, it leaves my complexion looking brighter and sloughs away at scars left from blemishes and keeps any cystic spots at bay. A pricy addiction at £25 for 125ml that usually lasts me a couple of months with the use of night and day but I do like to invest in my skincare. It's current component is the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner which at £18 for 236ml is much for bang for your buck but is it as good? I find this a little more harsh on my skin than the Clarins which is much more gentle so if you have sensitive skin I would not advise this option. However it does exactly the same job at keeping my skin clear and helping reduce the appearance of blemishes and so on, although out the two I do prefer the Clarins just because it is more gentle on my skin I will probably go onto purchase the latter to keep costs at bay. I do love chemical toners and they have improved the appearance of my skin ten fold especially for helping reduce scarring which is my skincare issue. Followed up by a hydrating toner my particular favourite is the Origins Make a Difference lotion it prepares my skin for the rest of my routine. 

Truth be told I did turn my back manual exfoliators once I discovered the wonders of the chemical toner and how much better my skin was looking I just deemed it an un necessary step. I don't like to manually exfoliate more than twice a week as it is easy to break down the capillaries in your skin using something too abrasive on the skin too often. If I want to cleanse my skin as well as give it a gentle scrub I go for the Elemis Fresh Skin skin glow* which deep cleans my skin as well as gently buffing away any pesky dry patches I might have. For something a little more intense when I have either got any dry patches of skin or any spots that are a little flaky I go for the Origins Modern Friction which is a paste consistency that really works at smoothing out the skin without leaving it aggravated. Note; Do not get this anywhere near your eye you will instantly regret it and probably feel like you are going to lose your vision for a good few minutes. Finally is the Eve of St Agnes. Refining Polish* and I don't need to give this product yet another raving review as I have in the past so often. Out of the two I do prefer the latter as it feels so lovely on the skin rather than a paste like texture and nor do I feel like it is going cost me my vision if I get it near my eyes. 

I will be keeping both options in my arsenal of skin care products as I do find both steps necessary for keeping my complexion in check. Whilst I find the chemical offerings a lot more satisfying to use and reap the benefits daily I won't be turning my back on the old fashioned method either. Which do you prefer?