Exfoliation can be a great tool to help your skin get rid of dull, dead skin cells and make way for new, healthier skin. But, can too much of a good thing turn into a bad thing?
Let’s break down the DOs and DON’Ts of exfoliating. Keep reading to find out how often you should exfoliate, and learn the best tips and tricks for incorporating exfoliation into your skincare routine.
Table of contents:
- What Is Exfoliation?
- What Types of Exfoliants Are Available?
- Chemical Exfoliants
- Exfoliating Brush
- Scrub Exfoliants
- How Does Exfoliating Help Your Skin?
- Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Exfoliation?
- How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Skin?
- What Are Some Best Practices for Skin Exfoliation?
- Listen To Your Skin
- Start Slowly
- Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
- Keep Your Skin Hydrated
What Is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells, excess oil, dirt, and bacteria build-up from your skin to keep it clean and healthy. Slough away dead cells and unclog pores to help improve the appearance of your skin tone.
Exfoliation is often done with a coarse ingredient. That may be sugar or coffee grinds, chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs, or a gentle bristle brush. It can help get your facial cleanser into every nook and cranny in which the dirt and oils are hiding.
Exfoliation is just one step in your skincare routine. It should always be followed up with the right moisturizers and serums to get the most benefits from exfoliation.
What Types of Exfoliants Are Available?
There are several different ways to exfoliate your skin. While some may be preferable depending on your skin type and the issues and concerns you have with your skin, it boils down to personal preference and what feels suitable for you.
Chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) are common ingredients found in facial exfoliants.
AHAs, such as glycolic acid, are primarily preferable for drier and sensitive skin types as they are used for surface-level exfoliation to remove dead skin cells.
BHAs, such as salicylic acid, on the other hand, are better for oily and acne-prone skin types as they are fat-soluble and can get deeper into your pores. This is better if you are prone to clogged pores and excessive oil production.
An exfoliating brush is another common tool for facial exfoliation. Bristle brushes are frequently used to exfoliate your body but are quickly becoming more popular for the face.
Be mindful that bristle exfoliating brushes can be harsh if you have sensitive skin, so you may want to avoid them if your skin is prone to irritation, but they can also be a great tool for less sensitive skin.
Scrub exfoliants incorporate coarse ingredients, like sugar, coffee grinds, and walnut shell powders to add a gritty texture that helps get into your pores and remove dirt and oil.
Our Ubtan Face & Body Scrub is gentle enough for all skin types, but tough enough to clean out your pores and make room for fresh, healthy skin to shine through.
Some face scrubs are harsher than others, so you may consider trying several of them before deciding which one works best for your skin.
How Does Exfoliating Help Your Skin?
Sometimes your regular face cleanser cannot do a thorough cleanse from deep in your skin, which can lead to excessive oil on your skin that often causes acne breakouts and blackheads.
Regular exfoliation can help minimize the severity of clogged pores and help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Exfoliating your skin keeps your skin clean and healthy, but when you remove dead skin cells clogging your pores, you make room for younger, healthier skin cells to promote a vibrant glow to your skin.
Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Exfoliation?
Exfoliating can help reveal a glowing complexion. However, you can potentially over-exfoliate your skin.
Depending on your skin type and the exfoliating ingredients themselves, the frequency of exfoliating may vary.
Oily and less sensitive skin types may benefit from exfoliation on a regular basis. This is because oily and acne-prone skin types frequently experience excessive oil production, which traps dirt in your skin.
Exfoliation is typically less needed and less recommended for drier and more sensitive skin types.
Although those with dry skin may experience dirt and oil build-up, it is not usually as severe as someone with oily skin. Too much exfoliating can make even normal skin start flaking and experience dryness.
How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Skin?
Because of this, consistent exfoliation can help reduce the oil build-up, preserve cleanliness, and help minimize the appearance of your pores. However, even if you have oily skin, you should not exfoliate your skin more than three to four times per week to avoid irritating your skin.
Exfoliating once or twice a week is ideal for people with sensitive skin. Because sensitive skin is more prone to irritation, gentle exfoliants and limiting the frequency of exfoliation can help to maintain your skin’s strength and integrity.
Even if one method is preferred for each skin type, everybody’s skin is different, so it is essential to be gentle with your skin when you first begin exfoliating to avoid irritation from doing too much too soon.
What Are Some Best Practices for Skin Exfoliation?
There are some standard practices for exfoliating your skin’s surface, no matter which method you decide to use.
Of course, wearing a high SPF sunscreen is an excellent addition to any skincare routine.
Ready to exfoliate your skin? Learn more about it here.
Listen To Your Skin
Your skin knows what is and isn’t good for it. When trying out a new exfoliant, give your skin some time to adjust. Some initial irritation is okay, but pay attention to whether or not it starts to get better or worse over time.
Some exfoliants are stronger than others, so it is okay to start slowly to see how your skin responds to exfoliating treatments. You should introduce an exfoliant into your skincare routine at most twice per week to avoid too much irritation at the beginning so you don’t leave your skin feeling dry. Combination skin may want to stick to two to three times per week.
Once your skin has become used to the exfoliation routine, you can begin increasing the frequency that you exfoliate, depending on your skin type and concerns, and take the next step to achieve your best possible skin.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Skincare is far from a one-size-fits-all experience. Not everybody’s skin has the same concerns or problems, and not all skin types can tolerate the same skincare products.
It’s okay to try different products before deciding which one is right for your specific skin type. Your skin also changes over time, so you may need to adjust after several months of using one product with success.
Keep Your Skin Hydrated
No matter what exfoliant you choose for your skin, hydration can be your skin’s best friend. Exfoliants are great for getting a thorough cleanse of your skin and removing every bit of dirt and grime from the top layer of your skin.
However, with all the bad stuff you can’t wait to get rid of, the good stuff goes away. Exfoliants can strip your skin of its healthy, natural oils and leave you at a higher risk for dry skin and irritation.
Keeping your skin moisturized when you are regularly exfoliating (and the rest of the time, too) can help protect your skin’s natural barrier and maintain the health of your skin cells.
Even if you are prone to oily skin, having proper hydration is essential. When your skin isn’t properly hydrated, it may begin to overproduce oil to compensate for the loss, leading to breakouts and acne.
Keeping your skin hydrated can help maintain your skin’s overall appearance and natural glow.
WOW Skin Science is all about making you say “WOW” when it comes to your skincare and personal care.
Exfoliation can be your new secret weapon for clean and glowing skin. When used as recommended, incorporating exfoliation into your skincare routine can help you achieve the healthy, glowing skin you’ve always dreamt of.
However, we always recommend consulting your dermatologist or GPA when it comes to issues related to skin care.
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