Ingredients can have many properties this list (the first of a series!) Defines some of the most common mechanisms of exfoliation an ingredient may have as well as skin nourishing properties/mechanisms an ingredient may provide!
Keratolytic: Pertaining to keratolysis, the softening and shedding of the horny outer layer of the skin.
Examples: Lactic Acid, Glycolic acid, TCA
Enzymatic: speed up the rate of chemical reactions without being consumed in the reaction themselves. In the case of skincare, enzymes used are proteolytic enzymes and their role is to break down proteins.
Examples: Bromelain, Papain
Desmolytic: aids in breaking down and shedding of the connective tissues in our skin
Example: Salicylic Acid
Keratoplastic: promoting keratinization and thickening of keratin layers
Example: Salicylic Acid (in love concentrations), Sulfur
Cell Communicating: tell the cell to start doing the things a healthy skin cell should be doing
Examples: Retinol, Retinaldehyde, Niacinamide, Peptides
Skin Identical: compounds found naturally in your skin that help enrich the skin's surface
Examples: Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, Cholesterol
▫️As you can see, all exfoliants do not use the same mechanism of action. Salicylic acid, originally classified as a keratolytic has also been classified as a desmolytic rather than softening and shedding the skin cells its mechanism is now believed to disrupt cellular junctions, breaking down connective tissues in our skin.
▫️Skin identical ingredients can range from Natural Moisturizing Factors such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid (the most popular) to Stratum Corneum lipids such as ceramides!