There are so many skincare discussions on the internet today that it’s almost hard to keep up with what matters most. Brace yourself, as we talk about something that you may not think is essential to your skincare. Today, we’re tackling exfoliation. Turns out a little(not literal) scrub-a-dub is great for you!
We are no strangers to the debate of whether or not to skip exfoliating. Some say that exfoliants are too harsh on the skin and only damage the natural barrier. However, others believe in that exfoliation is one of the easiest ways to keep your complexion fresh and glowing. What do we say? If there’s one thing we can leave with you, it’s this: if you’re not exfoliating, you’re doing it wrong.
Keep reading to find out more.
What does exfoliating do?
Your skin has many layers, but the outermost layer consists of dead skin cells, deep-seated dirt, and impurities. This layer covers up the deeper layers, making your skin look dull and hindering the absorption of your skincare ingredients. When you exfoliate your skin, it sloughs off that outermost layer to reveal newer, younger skin from within. Exfoliation also removes the stuck dirt on your pores to reduce acne breakouts and maintain sebum production.
Exfoliation also helps slow down the process of ageing. Since it resurfaces newer skin from within, it helps smooth out wrinkles and fine lines. This is a helpful boost to the skin since it tends to slow down the cell regeneration process as you age. Basically, exfoliation tricks your skin into producing new cells to give it a younger, smoother complexion.
How often should you exfoliate your skin?
The whole tenet of exfoliating is balance. You want to avoid over-exfoliating your skin to the point that you dry it out and strip natural oils. Similarly, you must do it regularly to prevent dead skin cells and dirt from building up.
We recommend exfoliating twice or thrice a week to send that dull, dry topmost layer out of your face. If you do not know where to start, here’s a pretty basic guide:
- Use a mask or peel once a week
- Apply an acid serum two to three times a week
What are the best types of exfoliants?
Now that’s a tricky question. There are different types of exfoliants for different skin types, so there would be no universal answer. Nevertheless, here are our best picks that are worth the try:
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
AHAs are naturally occurring compounds in various fruits, sugar cane, and sour milk. They are generally safe for most skin types, but if you have sensitive skin, do tread lightly.
One of our favourite AHAs is glycolic acid. It regenerates and breaks the glue-like substance in your skin cells to supercharge cell renewal. Bye-bye, wrinkles and fine lines!
- Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs)
BHAs are oil-soluble skincare compounds that help with excess oil production and acne. They go deep into your hair follicles to remove dirt and oil to prevent breakouts. We highly recommend using salicylic acid if you have acne-prone skin, as it dries pimples fast and prevents them from coming back.
- Physical exfoliants
Physical exfoliants manually remove dead skin cells and other debris on the surface of your skin. These could be washcloths, loofahs, scrubs, or brushes.
If you have dry skin, a gentle face scrub is the way to go. They do not strip off much moisture (which you already struggle with!) but still get the job done. Just remember to stay away from those that have abrasives (like walnut) and go for moisture-boosting ingredients instead (like niacinamide).