Exfoliation – Waking up Your Skin to a Youthful Glow
In the pursuit of finding the eternal fountain of youth, mankind (or should we say womankind) have tried and tested a plethora of beauty regimes. Exfoliation is considered one of the most treasured skin care steps, especially after getting celebrity endorsements worldwide – we are thinking Beyoncé sun kissed flawless skin. While the thought of scrubbing dead skin of your face makes one skip a heartbeat, the sweet truth is that if you exfoliate the right way, you can easily kick away all your skin woes.
To exfoliate or not to exfoliate
The art of exfoliation can be flawlessly explained with the Goldilocks rule that we call ‘Just right’. Dermatologists and skin care experts have stressed over and again to avoid over-exfoliating your skin and finding the perfect balance that retains your fragile skin barrier and still managing to slough off dead skin cells debris. The happy ending? You will uncover a myriad of benefits for your skin such as unclogging pores, dodging blackhead galore, preventing breakouts, enhancing your complexion and smoothening out your skin.
Jumping on the bandwagon of exfoliation
If you are still wondering how to exfoliate your face the right way, then we might have a few beauty pointers for you. The process of exfoliation helps to get rid of the top dead skin layer and uncovers younger skin cells underneath. For normal and combination skin, it is recommended by experts to exfoliate two to three times a week. However, if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin then you should avoid exfoliating more than once a week. Every skin is different and demands a personalized care regime. If at any point you feel that your skin is becoming dry, sore, red or you are experiencing flaky patches then you should stop exfoliation right away.
Learning the ABCs of types of exfoliators
Exfoliants in the market can be categorized into two groups; physical and chemical exfoliators. Both work their magic in sloughing off dead skin, but they do so in different ways.
Physical or manual exfoliators consist of grainy unrefined facial scrubs, brush or other abrasive substances that help to dislodge old skin cells and generate new cells through friction. Chemical exfoliators comprise of mild chemical substances such as AHA, BHA, glycolic or lactic acid that assist in removing dead cells and impurities on your skin. The mild acids break the glue the hold dead skin cells together and the payout is gorgeous even-looking bright skin.
Remember that AHAs are water soluble so they might not be that great in penetrating deep into the pores. However, the BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) are oil-soluble and will only reach deep into your skin but will also bring forward their anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Common skin care FAQs
Do you really need to exfoliate?
Of course, if you want to stray miles away from clogged pores, repulsive white or black heads and discoloration, then exfoliation is your holy grail.
What is the best exfoliator for your skin?
If you have sensitive skin or are new to the world of exfoliation that start by using lactic acid which is the most gentle AHA. If you have normal skin with no sensitivity complains then glycolic acids or physical exfoliators are your best choices.
The bitter reality is that dead cells keep on accumulating on our skin every day. Ideally you need to indulge in the Cleopatra-inspired skin pampering regime 2 to 3 times a week. However, if you have super sensitive skin then start off by with mild exfoliant once a week and slowly work your way up to 2 to 3 times a week.
How often should you exfoliate?