When and How to Exfoliate
You’re devoted to your skincare routine. You cleanse, tone, moisturize, and never forget your sunscreen. You also know that exfoliation is important for sloughing away those layers of dead skin and revitalizing your complexion, but the “when and how” of exfoliation has always been a bit of a mystery. Maybe you’ve heard conflicting opinions about how often to exfoliate. It can be a little frustrating – maybe even to the point that you skip this important skincare step altogether.
The bottom line is that exfoliation, when done correctly, is incredibly beneficial for your skin. It removes all that dry, dull skin from the surface to brighten your complexion, increasing circulation, and improving the overall health and appearance of your skin. It’s an important step in a well-rounded skincare routine that shouldn’t be missed. The key is knowing when and how to use exfoliation to improve the health of your skin.
How Should You Exfoliate?
If the word exfoliation brings to mind abrasive scrubs that left your skin feeling clean but also a little raw, then you’re not alone. When exfoliators first made their way into the mainstream skincare market most of what you could find included harsh abrasives like crushed apricot kernels. This is what’s known as a physical exfoliant, and while this type of exfoliation can be good for your skin, the abrasiveness of agents like crushed apricot kernels isn’t.
Harsh abrasives can scratch the skin’s surface, which makes your skin more vulnerable to inflammation, infection, and can even lead to premature aging if you continue using them for any real duration of time. However, there are physical exfoliants that include softer, rounded particles that gently polish the skin and remove dead skin cells without damaging the delicate tissue below the surface. OZNaturals Bamboo Enzyme Facial Scrub is a good example.
Along with physical exfoliators, there are also products that do the job by loosening the “glue” that holds dead skin cells to the surface. This is called either a chemical or enzymatic exfoliant based on what type of active ingredient is used. These types of exfoliants are ideal for most skin types because they’re generally non-irritating, at least if used properly.
As for the question as to which type of exfoliator is best to use, well the answer depends on a few different factors. For instance, your unique skin type, the other components of your skincare routine, and how often you use the exfoliator.
How Frequently Should You Exfoliate?
Exfoliating too frequently can cause irritation but exfoliating too infrequently can leave your complexion looking dull, and lead to problem skin and premature aging. So, exactly how frequently should you exfoliate for optimal results?
If your skin is normal and you generally use a physical exfoliator, then twice a week is probably ideal. But keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and that we’re each losing in the ballpark of 50 million skin cells every single day.
The thing is, while literally tens of millions of our skin cells are dying every day, we’re not shedding them at the same rate. Think of the massive amount of dead skin cells that can build up on the skin’s surface if you’re not doing something to slough them off regularly.
If you’re using a chemical exfoliant, like our Glycolic 30% Micro Peel, every three to four weeks is recommended, since it contains a highly effective concentration of glycolic acid. Keep in mind that if you have sensitive skin, you’re going to want to start off slower, to give your skin time to adapt to the exfoliation and to determine if the product itself causes any irritation.
When looking for a chemical exfoliant, it’s important that you look for products that contain high-quality ingredients with a proven track record of success and safety.
Trust Is Important When Choosing a Quality Exfoliator
While exfoliation is important for keeping your skin in the healthiest condition possible, you also have to be extremely diligent when it comes to choosing a high-quality exfoliator that’s also gentle. An exfoliator that includes harsh ingredients wrongly combines active ingredients, or suggest you use it too frequently can harm your skin. Look instead for exfoliators from companies with a reputation of quality, and who are committed to using only the gentlest ingredients that are truly effective. With a little research, exfoliation can help you achieve the beautifully radiant skin you desire.