Exfoliation could be the stepping stone to radiant skin if you’re doing it right.
As skincare experts, we have a whole lot of skincare enthusiasts popping into our DM’s like:
How often should I exfoliate?
How to exfoliate face properly?
Should I use a chemical exfoliator?
Is exfoliation meant for sensitive skin?
We get it. While everyone can benefit from exfoliation, not all of us must do it the same way. In this post, we’ll touch upon the most commonly asked questions about exfoliation.
First Things First…What is Exfoliation?
Despite being a buzzy word in the skincare industry, exfoliation is often misunderstood.
In simple words, it is the process of ridding the skin of dead skin cells. When this is done, smoother cells surface up.
While your skin is equipped to do this naturally, it might require external aid if any of these are characteristic of your life;
- Hormonal imbalances
- Environmental stressors
How Can You Benefit from Exfoliation?
It’s been established that exfoliation is valuable to the skin. But how exactly?
Here are some of the many benefits:
- Unclogs pores
- Fewer breakouts
- Improves blood circulation
- Softens skin
- Minimises pores
- Helps get rid of hyperpigmentation
- Enhances youthfulness and radiance
- Improves absorption of skincare
In a nutshell, exfoliation is the secret sauce for healthy skin. If it isn’t part of your skincare regimen already, it’s time you get started!
Confused about how to exfoliate face properly? Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly-asked-questions and debunk some universally existing myths.
How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?
Just like there is a thing like drinking too much water, over-exfoliating is no different. Skimming through the myriad of benefits that exfoliation has to offer, you might want to do it often.
But unfortunately, that might end up being counter-productive for your skin. Think irritation, redness, bruising, peeling, and dryness.
It sounds like this is something you could do without, doesn’t it?
We at Yours, recommend exfoliating twice a week. While that’s no magic number, it’s often just about right.
Settling on the right exfoliation routine does require some trial-and-error. For example, overly sensitive skin might do best with exfoliating once a week.
So, pay attention to how your skin responds each time you exfoliate, and you’ll find the magic number.
Physical Exfoliators or Chemical?
Ever found yourself staring at shelves stuffed with skincare at the store? You’re not the only one.
Choosing the right exfoliator for your skin is a crucial step. They can be of 2 types:
- Physical: Simply explained, these are exfoliators containing some sort of rough material, that increase friction and buff away dead skin cells. Think scrubs and fruit pits.
- Chemical: As the name suggests, these exfoliators contain chemicals that dissolve dead skin cells and reveal glowing skin. The two main types are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s).
While choosing between the two is conflicted territory, our skincare experts vouch for chemical exfoliators.
Contrary to what many believe, chemical exfoliation is much gentler. By doing away with all the rubbing and scrubbing (as in the case of physical ones), these exfoliators eliminate risks of micro-tears.
In simple words, micro-tears harm the skin by making it more vulnerable to environmental damage, pollution, and bacteria. This will make exfoliation counter-productive for your skin.
P.S: Chemical exfoliants are known to increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. So, be sure to use SPF when you’re done. Additionally, don't over-exfoliate. Make not-more-than-twice-a-week a norm for facial exfoliation.
Lastly, if you do choose to use physical exfoliants, avoid the rough ones. The key is to treat your facial skin like a baby's!
What About…Sugar Scrubs?
Homemade sugar scrubs are a widely recommended DIY recipe for exfoliation. However, the rough texture of these sugar crystals can exacerbate existing skin conditions, or give rise to new ones. As mentioned above, scrubs that are harsh to the skin can cause micro-tears over time.
In addition to irritating the skin, sugar scrubs also enlarge pores over time.
Remember that your facial skin is much more sensitive than the rest of your body. Also, thinner.
Are There Any Other Natural Exfoliator Recipes?
We all love DIY recipes. They’re simple, natural, cheap, and effective.
Milk is a great ingredient when it comes to exfoliation. It contains lactic acid – a form of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), that’s used in chemical exfoliators.
It helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and opens up pores without irritating the skin.
Here are some tips on how to use it:
Dip a cotton ball in milk, and gently sweep it across your face and neck. Then, wash away with warm water and pat dry.
What Should My Post-Exfoliation Skincare Look Like?
Remember that your post-exfoliation skin is more vulnerable and sensitive than it usually is. Thus, it is necessary for you to care for it, and give it the time and skincare it needs to heal, repair, and relax.
Every time you’re done exfoliating, do as follows:
- Moisturise: To keep dehydration at bay, apply a moisturiser that works for your skin. Alternatively, if you know how to use a serum properly, stick to that.
- Slather on Sunscreen: While you must apply sunscreen every day, it is especially important you apply it after exfoliation. This is when the skin is highly susceptible to UV damage, and SPF can greatly help.
So now that you've got the basics down about exfoliating, are your reader for healthy radiant skin? We’ve launched our very own chemical-based Clean Slate Exfoliating Pads! They’re packed with (sustainably sourced) plant-based active ingredients including BHAs (Salicylic acid), Centella Asiatica (flower) Extract, and Chamomile extract to help you buff away dead skin cells, unclog your pores, minimise breakouts, clear blackheads, and refine your skin texture. Check it out below.