Exfoliating the skin is an essential part of any skincare routine. Removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin can help improve the texture, appearance, and overall health of the skin.
Why is exfoliation important?
Exfoliation is important for several reasons. First, it helps to remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. By removing these cells, exfoliation can help keep the skin clear and prevent blackheads, milia, and breakouts.
Secondly, exfoliation also helps to improve the texture of the skin. Dead skin cells can make the skin appear dull and rough, while exfoliation can help smooth and brighten the skin, giving it a more youthful and radiant appearance.
Finally, exfoliation can help improve the efficacy of other skincare products. By removing dead skin cells, these products can penetrate more deeply into the skin and provide more effective results to the freshly revealed skin. This improves the application and appearance of makeup, and who doesn’t want that?
When should you exfoliate?
It's important to choose the right time to exfoliate. Exfoliating too often or at the wrong time can damage the skin and cause irritation. Here are some tips for when to exfoliate:
- Exfoliate in the evening: Exfoliating in the evening is generally recommended, as it allows the skin to recover overnight while you’re away from damaging UVB/UVA rays from the sun and other environmental aggressors like air pollution. Avoid exfoliating in the morning, as this can leave the skin more vulnerable to UV damage.
- Avoid exfoliating on days when you use retinoids or other active ingredients like Vitamin A: If you use retinoids or other active ingredients in your skincare routine, it's best to avoid exfoliating on the same day. These ingredients can make the skin more sensitive and prone to irritation or redness.
- Avoid exfoliating if your skin is already irritated or sunburned: If your skin is already irritated or sunburned, it's best to avoid exfoliating until it has healed!
How often should you exfoliate?
The frequency of exfoliation depends on your skin type and the type of exfoliating product you use. Here are some general guidelines:
- For oily or acne-prone skin: Exfoliating 2-3 times per week may be beneficial, as it can help to keep the skin clear and prevent breakouts.
- For normal or combination skin: Exfoliating once or twice per week may be sufficient.
- For sensitive skin: Exfoliating once a week or less may be more appropriate, as sensitive skin can be more easily irritated.
Keep in mind as we age and the seasons change, so will the needs of your skin. Don’t hesitate to bump up or down moisturizing levels as this occurs.
What is the difference between mechanical and chemical exfoliants?
Mechanical exfoliation involves physically removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin using a tool or product with abrasive particles, such as a scrub or a brush. This method physically buffs away dead skin cells, dirt, and oil from the skin's surface.
Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves using alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), or enzymes to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells and the skin's surface. This method penetrates deeper into the skin to help unclog pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and even out skin tone.
Both mechanical and chemical exfoliation can be effective for improving the texture, appearance, and overall health of the skin. However, mechanical exfoliation can be more abrasive and can cause irritation or even damage to the skin if done too frequently or aggressively. Chemical exfoliation can be gentler on the skin but may cause some temporary redness or sensitivity.
What are some recommendations for exfoliating products?
There are several types of exfoliating products available, including scrubs, chemical exfoliants, and exfoliating tools. Here are some recommendations for each type:
Scrubs: Scrubs are physical exfoliants that use small particles to manually remove dead skin cells. Look for a gentle scrub with small, round particles to avoid damaging the skin. These are the Natural Beauty Group Estheticians Favorites:
All skin types: Eminence Organics Coconut Sugar Scrub
Dry and Mature Skin Types: VOYA Love a Scrub: Facial Scrub
Chemical exfoliants: Chemical exfoliants use acids or enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells. Look for products containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). These are the Natural Beauty Group Estheticians Favorites:
Eminence Organics Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel ( 5% ) An active masque treatment that features and yam and pumpkin enzymes to exfoliate and brighten the skin. Helps to reduce hyperpigmentation and even skin tone.
haia "I am Resilient" Multi Fruit Acid Enzymatic Exfoliant A multi fruit acid exfoliating treatment featuring Blueberry, Orange, Lemon and Maple Sugar – are microblended with Pumpkin Enzymes, Willow Bark, Lactic Acid and Fossil Peeling Powder to mechanically, enzymatically and resurface, brighten and smooth the skin.
VOYA Luminosity: Refining Radiance Exfoliator Using Pineapple and seaweed enzymes this exfoliating mask helps remove dead skin cells, brighten skin, minimize pores, and balance oil production leaving the skin feeling refreshed and renewed.
Exfoliating tools: Exfoliating tools, such as cotton pads and facial of body brushes, can be used to gently exfoliate the skin. Look for a tool with soft bristles or fibers to avoid causing irritation. These are the Natural Beauty Group Estheticians Favorites:
VOYA Exfoliating Body Brush Helps to eliminate dead skin cells, stimulate blood flow and help lymphatic drainage using all natural cactus bristle brush.
Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel This active and exfoliating peel solution with dual-textured cotton rounds helps evens skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation. A Natural Hydroquinone Alternative Complex and licorice root brightens skin's overall appearance.
Keep in mind, it's important to choose the right type of exfoliation for your skin type and to follow the recommended frequency and guidelines to avoid over-exfoliating and damaging the skin.