Exfoliation is essential to a healthy skincare routine. It helps get rid of dead skin cells and reveals the newer, healthier skin underneath.
In fact, we really don’t advise you to skip this part of your skincare routine. In the following, we’ll be discussing everything on why and how you should exfoliate, including the products to purchase on your next payday.
This is so you’ll properly exfoliate your skin, whether using skin scrubs, chemical peels, etc.
Why should you exfoliate?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells and revealing newer, healthier skin cells below. It can be done manually (with your fingers or a brush) or chemically (with a chemical exfoliant, like a scrub or mask).
Exfoliating your face has a number of benefits, including helping to reduce the appearance of large pores and blackheads.
It also helps treat acne by removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin that can clog pores and cause breakouts. Exfoliating also makes your skin look brighter, more youthful, and radiant.
It’s important to note that exfoliating isn’t just for dry skin types. It can be beneficial for anyone who wants to improve their complexion.
How should you exfoliate?
We’ve discussed what exfoliating is, but how exactly do you exfoliate and what do you use? Here’s all you need to know about the hows of exfoliating.
1. Skin Scrubs
There’s a reason why people swear by scrubs: they’re effective. The rough particles in the scrubbing formula remove dead skin cells and other debris as you massage it into your face or body, leaving you with brighter, smoother skin.
The right formula will have round, larger beads that won’t tear your skin as you use them. These are better than small grains which could end up irritating your skin.
Look for scrubs that contain glycolic acid or fruit enzymes to help dissolve dead skin cells and unclog pores too.
Just make sure not to overdo it with these formulas. If used improperly, they can be harsh on the skin.
2. Scalp Scrubs
Scalp scrubs are meant to gently exfoliate your scalp the same way body scrubs are meant to exfoliate your skin.
To use a scalp scrub, massage a small amount of product into your scalp using gentle circular motions. You can use either your fingers or a silicone brush to apply the product.
After you’ve applied the scrub, gently rinse it out with lukewarm water, and wipe away any remaining residue with a cotton towel or cloth. Be careful not to scrub too vigorously.
Of course, you want to make sure you remove all of the product from your head and cleanse your scalp thoroughly, but you also don’t want to cause any damage by scrubbing too hard.
If you have an active infection or wounds on your scalp, wait until those heal before exfoliating.
3. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is a technique that has gained popularity in recent years due to its many benefits. With the use of a special brush to exfoliate the skin, dry brushing promotes circulation and helps remove dead skin cells.
This is usually done one to two times per week before showering or bathing. If you dry brush more frequently, make sure you moisturize afterward!
Start at the bottom of your feet and move upwards in long strokes towards your heart with gentle but firm pressure. Use small circular motions on joints such as wrists and elbows.
Using light brushes with stiff bristles will ensure you don’t damage or irritate your skin while still being effective at shedding dead layers of skin!
To choose the right brush for you, look for one with natural fibers like boar hair or synthetic nylon bristles with soft tips.
4. Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is one of the alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). It works by loosening the bonds between skin cells.
This allows the dead skin cells to be washed away and leaves new, underlying skin exposed.
These new skin cells are plumper and brighter, making fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of sun damage less obvious.
Glycolic acid is most commonly used for acne-prone skin because it helps remove excess oil from the pores, but it can also be used on normal or dry skin types to exfoliate and provide a more even tone.
As long as you’re not allergic or sensitive to glycolic acid, it can be used on any part of your body (though you’ll usually find it in products meant for the face).
Side effects include redness and irritation, which usually resolve within a few days as your body gets used to using glycolic acid.
If irritation persists after use or if you have particularly sensitive skin, glycolic acid may not be right for your skincare routine.
Chemical peels rely on a variety of acids to deeply exfoliate the skin. They’re best suited for serious skin issues like severe acne, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and pre-cancerous growths.
Do not use chemical peels if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Chemical peels can also cause irritation and damage if used improperly.
Since they’re so powerful, it’s recommended that you only use a chemical peel if recommended by your dermatologist or doctor. Even then, don’t use a peel more than once a week and never on your face, as it is too delicate.
If you decide to try an at-home chemical peel, look for one with the mildest acid possible (like lactic) and follow the instructions closely to avoid damage or scarring.
Having a complete skincare routine helps keep your skin healthy and may also be a way to destress after a long day. Along with other healthy habits like exercise, it can help you feel healthier and more confident.