No thanks to the apricot scrubs and environment-unfriendly micro-beads of yesteryear, exfoliators have racked up a reputation for being coarse, abrasive, and the kind of products that leave your skin inflamed.
However, the latest crop of exfoliators is nothing like the harsher versions. This article will discuss all your questions regarding exfoliation and list out a few good options for sensitive skin.
Table of Contents:
- What are the benefits of face exfoliators?
- What are the different types of exfoliators?
- Tips and Tricks to Exfoliate Sensitive Skin
- What is the best face exfoliator for sensitive skin?
What are the benefits of face exfoliators?
There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about exfoliators that have increased awareness of the benefits and importance of the process.
In a nutshell, exfoliators play an essential role in clearing away dirt and dead skin cells, which in turn promotes the growth of new cells.
Exfoliating regularly can also help unclog pores and prevent breakouts, revive dull skin, prevent fine lines, even out skin tone, and make it easier for other skincare products to penetrate the surface of your skin.
Oh, and it helps your makeup sit better on your face! See what we meant about it being a magic spell?
However, the caveat is that you need to find the right product and, with some trial and error, figure out a frequency that suits your skin best.
What are the different types of exfoliators?
Exfoliators can be:
- Physical ones like cleansing brushes or facial scrubs that remove dead skin cells and dirt from your face mechanically; and
Chemical ones like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid that work by dissolving bonds between skin cells.
- Some products may have combined properties of both physical and chemical exfoliators.
Tips and Tricks to Exfoliate Sensitive Skin
A damaged skin barrier is the direct and number one cause of skin sensitivity, though numerous other factors like genetics, constant sun exposure, use of harsh products, and the environment can also play a significant role.
People with sensitive skin tend to draw the short straw on persistent issues like redness, rashes, dryness, flaking, and itching.
They may also experience a burning or stinging sensation after using certain beauty products. Therefore, those with sensitive skin need to be cautious about the kinds of exfoliators they use and how often.
Experts recommend that you begin your exfoliating routine conservatively if you have sensitive skin. This is especially important if you suffer from a condition like eczema or rosacea.
To help your skin build a tolerance to the product, it is best to take it slow and work your way up in strength and frequency.
Consider exfoliating once or twice a week at first before dialing it up over the next couple of weeks.
Minimize Physical Exfoliators
Dermatologists prefer chemical exfoliators as they tend to be softer on the skin and less likely to cause irritation.
That doesn't mean physical exfoliators are totally off-limits — you can look for gentle ones that use superfine particles if you have sensitive skin.
Also, don't forget to moisturize and wear SPF immediately after exfoliating to combat dryness.
Always, always patch-test products before using them to screen for artificial fragrances, dyes, alcohol, preservatives, retinoids, and other AHAs that might irritate you while exfoliating.
Since people with sensitive or dry skin are more likely to develop redness, burning, and irritation from such treatments, it's wise to use them less frequently and at lower strengths than someone with oily skin or combination skin.
What is the best face exfoliator for sensitive skin?
- WOW's Apple Cider Vinegar Face Wash with Brush comes with a bestselling detox formula to boost any acne-fighting routine. Enriched with pure ACV to absorb impurities, Aloe Vera extracts to soothe and refine pores, and vitamins B5 plus E to help strengthen skin, the face wash is a necessary addition to your haul when you want to control excess oil and deep clean your skin. It also includes a built-in hypoallergenic silicone brush that gently exfoliates your pores to tackle impurities, blackheads, and acne breakouts.
- The Activated Charcoal Foaming Face Wash with Brush is another premium face wash with a silicone brush to help you exfoliate your skin and feel reinvigorated after every wash. It is formulated with natural ingredients to give your face an even deeper cleaning and reduce blackheads and acne more efficiently without irritation.
- The WOW Vitamin C Foaming Face Wash with Brush has powerful antioxidants to remove dead skin cells and clear away dirt, pollution, and makeup residue for hydrated, glowing skin and bright complexion.
- The Ubtan Face and Body Scrub softens the skin and protects it from environmental damage. It boasts an Ayurvedic mix of natural botanicals containing vitamin and antioxidant-rich almond, walnut powder, and chickpea flour. The ingredients actively work together to exfoliate, tone, soothe, and brighten your face, while the sweet almond, sandalwood, and Moroccan Argan oil hydrate and nourish your skin. It's ideal for most skin types and can be used up to twice weekly.
It can be tricky and even scary to dabble in new skincare products when you have sensitive skin. However, the best face exfoliators are capable enough to do the job without causing flare-ups and irritation for people with reactive skin, as long as you follow the best practices set by dermatologists.
Always choose exfoliators based on your doctor's advice after looking at their ingredients, company reputation, affordability, and customer reviews. The best part about exfoliators for people with sensitive skin is that they can last for a long time if used sparingly, making the investment well worth the price.
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