Exfoliating is a must. If you want smooth and glowing skin, it is important to exfoliate regularly. Adding this one step in your skin care routine can improve the way your skin looks in several ways and the results are almost instant. However, there are different kinds of exfoliating and it can be quite daunting to those who are new to this method of skin care.
what is exfoliating?
It is the process of removing the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin by using different methods such as chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation.
Your skin goes through the natural process of shedding dead skin cells to be replaced by new cells every 30 days. So, if our skin does all that naturally, why do we still need to exfoliate? The answer is that these dead cells don’t always shed completely. This results in dry, patchy, clogged and dull-looking skin. i.e. skin that nobody wants!
how does exfoliating improve my skin?
First and foremost, if your skin isn’t clogged, there is little to no possibility that you will have a breakout unless it’s because of other factors such as hormonal problems and new product reactions. Clogged skin also reduces the effectivity of topical skincare products that you are applying, so by exfoliating you are helping your skin absorb these products better. Other than that, because you are regularly helping your skin get rid of dead skill cells you are left with glowing skin that looks brighter and smoother.
If you are exfoliating regularly, this can also help in the increase of collagen production and an increase in blood circulation which are also the keys to unlocking vibrant looking skin.
what are the two methods of exfoliation?
- Physical exfoliation– the method which requires manual scrubbing using different tools such as cleansing scrubs, loofahs, body brushes, pumice stones, exfoliating mittens, etc.
- Chemical exfoliation – this method requires chemicals like hydroxy acids and retinol that help renew the skin. Products that have ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are very effective in skin exfoliation.
which method is suitable for my skin type?
- Dry Skin – even if you have dry skin, exfoliation is still a must especially when you have flaky skin. It is recommended that you avoid physical exfoliation as it may worsen dryness and even lead to micro-tears in your skin. Opt for chemical exfoliation and use AHAs or glycolic acid since it is more effective for this skin type. Always remember to moisturise afterward to seal in the added hydration your skin will need to recover from the act of exfoliation. Click here to view products for dry skin.
- Sensitive Skin– it’s best to avoid physical exfoliation as it may irritate your skin and lead to redness. If you’re going to use a chemical exfoliator, use a mild one and apply it gently using a washcloth and never a very abrasive one. Always remember to pat your skin dry gently too rather than using a rough, wiping motion.Click here to view products for sensitive skin.
- Oily Skin– for this skin type, physical exfoliation is recommended since there may be an extra layer of dead cell buildup on the skin that only manual exfoliation can remove. However, don’t forget to be gentle and scrub only in circular motions. Click here to view products for oily skin.
- Normal Skin– for normal skin, you have a little more freedom to choose a method of face and body exfoliation that works for you. All you have to do is an experiment on which products give you the best results.
- Combination Skin– this may require a mix of physical and chemical exfoliation but never use both on the same day as it may lead to redness and irritation. Click here to view products for combination skin.
how do i exfoliate each part of my body properly?
Some parts of the body are more sensitive than others. What may work best for your body may not work well on your face and other sensitive areas. Certain products may also be too strong for your face but work just fine on the rest of your body so it’s highly recommended that you use methods and products accordingly. Here’s what you should keep in mind for a more effective body exfoliation:
- Face– always exfoliate your face gently, whether you have chosen to use physical or chemical exfoliation. Rub in small, circular motions and avoid tugging the skin in the eye area.
- Arms, legs, feet and hands– it’s best to exfoliate these parts using a body brush, a loofah or any other tool that can exfoliate larger skin areas. For your feet, you may use pumice stones since the skin here is usually thicker and may require more sloughing of dead skin cells.
- Scalp– yes, even your scalp needs exfoliating and it can be beneficial to those who suffer from dandruff, dry scalp, and oily hair. There are specific shampoos that double as scrubs and are very helpful with scalp exfoliation. Physical exfoliation is also doable by massaging your scalp with your fingertips when you wash your hair.
how often should i exfoliate?The number of times that you should be exfoliating in a week would depend on your skin type and the type of method you are using. Take note that some chemical exfoliants can be too strong and should only be used once or twice a week. Over exfoliating using the physical method can also lead to over-drying, so it’s also recommended that you only do this once or twice a week unless deemed necessary.
When you exfoliate regularly, it can sometimes make your skin fragile and vulnerable to environmental factors. It’s highly recommended that you use sun protection that has broad-spectrum to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
There you have it, your go-to exfoliating rules that best fit your skin type.If you haven’t added regular exfoliation to your weekly skin care routine, you’re missing a trick! What are you waiting for? Get exfoliating!