We all want healthy, glowing skin. Nevertheless, this will be a difficult skincare task to aim, especially as we age because cell turnover begins to slow and skin cells can dull our complexion.
The good news is that you can safely and effectively remove the layer of dead skin from your face and body with a proper exfoliating routine, restoring your healthy, vibrant glow.
Moisturizers and serums penetrate through the skin more adequately when the process of exfoliation occurs and also allows your foundation to coat more smoothly rather than sit atop flaky skin.
Why Is Exfoliation Necessary?
You may well know that exfoliation of your skin gives makes it glow and soft, but more importantly it improves your skin health as it removes all dead/defective skin cells from the outer surface of your skin.
Burn (Consultant Dermatologist) explained that our skin cells renew on a daily basis, and thus the cells that form the outermost layer of our epidermis die as new cells replace them.
Once in a while, you have to remove dead cells from your skin as it is most exposed to the environment and by doing that you can appear fresher.
You can avoid pores from getting blocked leading to a breakout of acne, oily skin, or, at worst, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.”
What are the Advantages of Exfoliating?
Exfoliation helps to enliven your complexion, improve the skin’s appearance, and, most importantly, prevent pore clogging, acne spots, blackheads, and whiteheads. The younger, healthier skin we desire is essentially under the skin we already have.
We can remove the dead, dull skin that houses most of our skin damage with chemical or mechanical exfoliation to reveal our brighter, healthier, undamaged skin and expose a smoother, brighter complexion.
What Safety Precautions Should Be Taken While Exfoliating?
With any of those benefits in mind, you may be persuaded to begin exfoliating right away to use whatever old products and tools you have lying just over.
However, McMackin (Certified Advanced Aesthetic Specialist) advises caution before doing so: “If you use a product that is not suitable for your skin type, it may cause micro-tears on the surface of the skin.”
These tears allow bacteria to enter the skin, potentially characterized by inflammation, clogged pores, broken capillaries, and scarring.
On the other hand, Exfoliating makes absolutely no difference if done correctly and with the appropriate product for your skin type.
And, before you start exfoliating every chance you get (with the right product, of course), Burns warns that overdoing it can lead to adverse reactions such as redness, peeling, and flaking
“While exfoliating is beneficial to our skin, over-exfoliating—either by doing it too frequently or by using an exfoliant that is too harsh or doesn’t accept as true” with our skin—can cause adverse reactions like redness, peeling, and flaking.”
Exfoliation can be accomplished in two ways
Exfoliation by chemical means
This method employs acids, which may sound frightening, but it is not. The most common and effective are salicylic acid and glycolic acid.
Your best bet is to incorporate a toner containing these ingredients into your routine, apply it to your face after cleansing, and let it do its magic.
These acids will remove dead skin cells faster than your body can, making way for newer ones. It’s like a Zamboni for your face.
Exfoliation on the physical level
This method employs a slightly abrasive scrub to aid in the removal of dead skin cells. Consider your skin type when deciding on an approach.
Step-by-step instructions for exfoliating your face
Before you start, it’s best to exfoliate your skin in the dark to avoid sun exposure on a freshly exfoliated layer of skin. Now that we’ve cleared that up, here’s a step-by-step guide to exfoliating the skin:
Step 1: Choose an exfoliator that doesn’t contain abrasive particles. The exfoliator you use must be gentle on your skin and remove all surface debris from your face, resulting in a more even skin tone.
Step 2: Apply the scrub to a clean face with dry fingertips, avoiding the area around your eyes. Thorough cleansing of your skin before exfoliating should be done for the best results.
Step 3: Wet your fingertips and massage the scrub in a circular motion around your face for a few minutes. Rubbing the exfoliant too vigorously on your skin can cause irritation and stinging sensations.
Step 4: After that, wash your face with lukewarm water.
Step 5: After that, spritz a toner to tighten the pores and slather on a lightweight moisturizer to seal in the moisture.
A few things to consider while exfoliating your skin
- The 72-hour rule states that you should not exfoliate for at least 72 hours after bleaching or using face wax, facial treatment, or threading because your skin is extremely sensitive at that time.
- Exfoliate your skin at night for the best results. This helps to avoid sun exposure on the new layer of skin that results from exfoliation.
- If you have irritation, sensitivity, sunburn, pustular or active acne, or broken skin, never exfoliate it. It is best to wait for the skin to recover before resuming exfoliation.
- Avoid exfoliating your skin after having a skin treatment such as a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, laser, or any other resurfacing treatment until your skin has recovered and healed properly.
- Scrubbing should also be avoided if you are using medically prescribed exfoliating creams, gels, etc.
- Exfoliate your skin seven days before and after a sunny beach vacation, as there may be sun damage on your skin that will be aggravated by scrubbing. Also, use sunscreen daily to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
- We often completely ignore it, but it is actually quite beneficial to thoroughly follow the directions of use written on the products that we use in order to maximize your exfoliating experience.
The Best Exfoliation Tools
- You don’t have to look any further than your own kitchen for something natural to exfoliate with. A natural exfoliant can be made by combining coconut oil with used coffee grounds or granulated sugar.
- Mix until the desired consistency is reached, then apply to the skin in small circular motions. Then, as usual, rinse and moisturize.
- Other natural ingredients, like oatmeal and baking powder, could be used to make body and face scrubs, but a few exfoliating tools—as long as you have the right ones—can’t go wrong.