Many people ask me these two questions about exfoliation: (i) “How Often Should I Exfoliate My Face?” (ii) “What do I do after exfoliation?”
In this article you will find how many times should you exfoliate your face in a week and what should you do after exfoliation.
How Many Times Should You Exfoliate Your Face?
Over-exfoliation is a skin-care mistake that we should avoid. If you relentlessly exfoliate too often, it’s sure to backfire. Your skin will get irritated, it will go rash-y and inflamed, and your complexion can turn splotchy and red.
Why People Tend To Over Exfoliate?
We quite often hear the aesthetician saying that exfoliation leaves your skin smoother, provides radiance to the skin, and maximizes beauty products absorption such as serums, oils, and creams. Many people follow this advice fervently, and end up experimenting with exfoliating their skin 5-6 times a week; even some people start doing it daily. And, they commit a serious mistake!
So, how often should you exfoliate your face becomes a pertinent question. This led me to some of the best skin care experts. Here’s their breakdown:
Exfoliating Everyday Is bad For Your Skin
Exfoliating daily can strip off the natural oils from the skin, which can lead to breakouts. It can also result into irritation since it removes the top layer of your skin before it heals.
Over time, over exfoliation can really makes your skin thin, causing it to wrinkle more easily. Moreover, the skin is a smart organ and sheds dead skin cells as a natural process on its own; if you over exfoliate, it can in fact slow down cell turnover.
Exfoliating too often can actually lead to chronic skin inflammation & irritation, which can speed up the skin’s aging process.
Another expert says too much exfoliation is likely to create teeny cracks in your skin barrier that can cause increased loss of hydration.
Bottom line is: “Whereas you think that you are fixing the problem, but in fact you are making it worse.”
How Often To Exfoliate?
For most skin types (including oily, dry, normal or combination), exfoliating face for 2 to 3 times per week is recommended. The outright maximum is 3 times per week. More than 3 times a week is too much exfoliation.
Exception: The only one exception here is sensitive skin. The individuals with sensitive skin should exfoliate their face once a week or at the most twice a week.
For your ready reference, combination skin is oily on the T-zone with dry cheeks (T-Zone is made up of the forehead, nose, chin and area circling the mouth). Normal skin has almost the same amount of oil all over the face, and sensitive skin is prone to redness and irritation easily.
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What Should You Do After Exfoliation?
Exfoliation alone won’t help you keep your skin looking healthy and radiant. After every exfoliation you should apply a good quality hydrating moisturizer and an effective sunscreen to make sure your skin is well hydrated and shielded from environmental damage. Read on to find a few ways that you can use to get maximum benefits of exfoliation.
(i) Apply A Moisturizer: You should follow up with a moisturizer to replenish the moisture lost during exfoliation. Though, exfoliation won’t completely strip the moisture from your skin, but frequent exfoliation without following up with an ultra-hydrating moisturizer can leave your skin super dehydrated and utterly sensitive. We suggest for applying products containing super-hydrating oils and humectants.
Glycerin is a good choice, because it maintains moisture locked deep in the lower layers of skin (British Journal of Dermatology).
Jojoba oil is another great option because it provides deeply penetrating moisture that closely mimics skin’s natural oils. This mimicry property means that jojoba oil is good for both oily and dry skin.
A third option is the potent antibacterial agent, coconut oil because it has considerable moisturizing properties (Natural Medicine Journal).
(ii) Apply an Ultra-Protective Sunscreen
It is recommended that you apply a broad-spectrum, high SPF sunscreen after exfoliating, because after exfoliation your skin can become vulnerable and raw. No doubt sun-protective moisturizers provide some protection, but it is recommended that you apply a real sunscreen in accompaniment with your moisturizer to protect your skin against UV-induced damage.