An essential part of any skincare regime, exfoliation gently buffs away dead skin cells to reveal smooth radiant skin. Although it seems straightforward, not taking time to exfoliate correctly can be bad news for your skin. Here’s our guide to the dos and don’ts of exfoliation:
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation removes the build-up of dull skin to expose the newer cells below. There are two main types of exfoliators: chemical and mechanical. Mechanical exfoliators include body and facial scrubs, microdermabrasion, and loofahs. Chemical or facial peels are types of chemical exfoliation. They use ingredients like enzymes, alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) or betahydroxy acids (BHAS) to break the bonds between the skin cells.
How can exfoliation go wrong?
By using the wrong product, being too rough or exfoliating too often, it’s especially easy to over-exfoliate the delicate skin on the face. Scrubbing away at protective layers of skin can cause irritation and dryness. This can also cause greasiness as the skin produces more oil to replace the natural oils that were rubbed away.
How should you exfoliate your face?
Most skin types only need exfoliation twice a week, using a product specially formulated for the face. After you’ve cleansed your face, work your chosen exfoliator into damp skin using soft, circular movements, being gentle around the eyes and mouth. Next, rinse away all traces of the exfoliator using lukewarm water. Pat your skin dry with a towel and you’re ready for toner and moisturiser.
How to exfoliate your body
In the shower, massage your exfoliator or scrub onto wet skin with a loofah or gloves using circular movements. Start with the soles of your feet, working your way up. Dry areas like the elbows, knees and heels may need extra attention. Rinse your body with lukewarm water and follow with a moisturiser for silky soft skin. Do not exfoliate if you’re sunburnt or have any open cuts or wounds.