Exfoliation is a technique of getting rid of dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Read on here to find the best ways to exfoliate your skin properly, which method to use for which skin type & recommended products for different skin types.
It’s important that exfoliate your skin properly; otherwise it can do more harm than good. If done correctly, it helps reinvigorate your skin, leaving your body and face skin look smoother, flawless and healthier.
No matter whatever part of your body you choose to exfoliate, it’s important to do so by following the correct way to do it – so that it does not harm your skin or results into redness, inflammation or acne breakouts.
Ways To Exfoliate Your Skin
If exfoliating your body, begin at your legs & slowly work upward to your chest, back, and arms. To exfoliate your face, begin at the nose and gently move to your forehead, then slowly work around the rest of your face. If your skin pores are blocked then open them up before you exfoliate by taking a warm shower. Make sure to exfoliate at least once a week to maintain your skin free of dead skin cells.
The exfoliation process that work best for you depends on the type of skin you have. So, you need to find out your skin type before selecting the appropriate exfoliation technique that will work best for you. To help you, here are the characteristics of different skin types:
(i) Dry skin: Flaky, itchy, dull or rough
(ii) Oily skin: Shiny & greasy
(iii) Combination skin: Oily in some areas & dry in others
(iv) Sensitive skin: May irritate, sting or burn when you use an exfoliator
(v) Normal skin: Clear & not sensitive
Types Of Exfoliation
There are two main techniques for doing exfoliation at home – mechanical and chemical – and the technique you select will depend upon your skin type. Mechanical exfoliation uses a device, such as a brush or sponge, or a scrub to physically get rid of dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, to gently dissolve dead skin cells.
Sensitive Skin – Best Way To Exfoliate Your Face
If you have sensitive skin, even then you need to exfoliate regularly – just be sure that you do so gently and just once or twice a week.
(i) Choosing Right Product: For sensitive skin you need a product that does not irritate, burn or sting your skin. Never look for a scrub, acidic cleanser or use a cleansing brush on sensitive skin – as they are harsh and not meant for sensitive skin. . Choose a product that has lactic acid in it. Lactic acid gently exfoliates, while providing much-needed hydration to your skin. Remember to first test check the product on a small area of your face.
(ii) Warm Up Your Skin: Dip a soft terry cloth washcloth in a cup of warm water. Squeeze out water from the washcloth and place it on your face for some time – one to two minutes. Warm water will widen the pores so that your skin is exfoliated properly.
(iii) Put a little bit of the exfoliant on the washcloth.
(iv) Gently scrub the washcloth on to your face in small circular motions. Begin at the nose, move to the forehead and work around the other areas of your face.
(v) Rinse your face using warm water. Pat it dry, and follow with a soothing moisturizer.
(a) Your skin may become a little red, which should disappear within a few hours.
(b) If your skin is prone to redness, consider exfoliating at night so that your skin gets enough time to calm while you sleep.
(c) If you have super dry skin, we recommend applying a thin coat of moisturizing oil 5 minutes before exfoliation.
Use a product like Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser once a week to sweep away dead skin cells without irritating your skin.
Oily Skin Face Exfoliation – Best Way
Oily skin is prone to clogged pores, blackheads, and pimples – so oily skin needs regular exfoliation. Though, oily skin usually can be exfoliated every day – but even oily skin can get irritated and become red, if you use too much of an exfoliating product.
(i) Oily skin can handle exfoliation more often than any other skin type. Some people can even use a skin care brush or facial scrub daily, at night.
(ii) Get rid of excess oil with glycolic pads. These over-the-counter pads are pre-soaked in a glycolic acid formula to help exfoliate, brighten and improve skin tone.
(iii) Follow with a moisturizer & sunscreen after exfoliating with glycolic pads. These acids tend to create sun sensitivity.
Best Way To Exfoliate Dry Skin
Exfoliating dry skin plays an important role in maintaining it hydrated & healthy. The flakes present on dry skin obstruct moisturizers from hydrating dry skin, so removing them become necessary to let moisturizers do their job properly, and also to fix the unsightly look of dull flaky skin.
As with sensitive skin, don’t use harsh scrubs or aggressive products on dry skin too.
Here are some of the best exfoliating products for dry skin.
After exfoliating dry skin, immediately apply a moisturizer – as your skin is prepped up to absorb and hold on to the hydration.
For those who want to use homemade moisturizers for dry skin, here are the recipes.
Normal / Combination Skin Exfoliation
(i) Whereas you can be slightly more aggressive in exfoliating normal skin as compared to sensitive or dry skin, but you still need to take care to not go overboard and avoid using strong facial acids or overusing exfoliation products. This type of skin can handle different types of exfoliating agents such as glycolic and salicylic acid or you can even use a mild facial scrub type device to cleanse and exfoliate your face more deeply.
Some skin experts warn against using scrubs that contain pits or seeds. Instead, they suggest jojoba beads or sugar.
(ii) Consider buying a skin care brush. You can use such a brush daily with a gentle cleansing agent. Read instructions carefully before using, and use the brush less often if its daily usage causes redness.
(iii) If you have combination type skin – your t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) may be more oily as compared to the rest of your face. If such is a case with you then you can use either a strong product in the more oily areas or even just exfoliate such areas more often.
(iv) Consider using a glycolic mask. A glycolic mask is an effective way to exfoliate skin with mild acids, like alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid. Apply according to package instructions.
(v) Don’t forget to apply a moisturizer after exfoliating your face. This will help to prevent redness, drying of skin and occurrence of dead skin cells.
Top Ways To Exfoliate Your Body
(i) Consider investing in a long-handled made of natural bristled brush. This product is right for exfoliating outside of the shower. Begin from your legs and work slowly up your body. Make sure that you use brush in circular motions in a small area before moving onto next area – this way you can move up toward your chest, and then brush your arms & back.
(ii) Consider buying a loofah or buying exfoliating glove, made with natural sponge. They help to exfoliate the skin while you are showering. Always keep in mind these are NOT to be used to exfoliate face.
(iii) Consider an exfoliation scrub made with pits, sugar, salt or another natural exfoliating agent. Read that on the product label is mentioned “body scrub” or “cleansing scrub.” (Never buy products with beads – they are damaging to environment.)
(iv) If you intend to use a loofah or an exfoliating scrub, wet your body under the shower for a few minutes. Opt for warm water, and not hot water. Too hot water will dry out your skin. Rub the scrub or loofah gently over your moist skin in small circular motions. When done, rinse well. You can follow this exfoliation process 3 to 6 times a week (not more than once in a day), depending upon your skin’s sensitivity.