Skin care experts agree that exfoliation is essential for everyone who wants healthy skin and glowing complexion. But do you know everything there is to know about this skin-transforming beauty ritual? How often should you reach for a facial scrub and how to get the best of it? Let us shed some light on the subject.
What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is removing dead cells and build-ups from the skin surface. It can be done with a chemical peel (primarily acids) or a physical one (facial scrub, microdermabrasion).
How does your skin benefit from exfoliation?
#1: Smoother Skin Surface + More Radiant Complexion As mentioned above, the main reason we exfoliate our skin is to remove dead epidermal cells and impurities that build up on the skin surface. After exfoliation, our skin appears and feels smoother, softer and healthier, because we have allowed the newly generated skin cells to reach the very surface of the skin. Exfoliation makes makeup application easier and ensures the finish is always flawless. Apart from that, exfoliation allows the advanced treatments we use to penetrate deeper and to be more effective.
#2: Improved Microcirculation Regular exfoliation improves microcirculation, which results in an increased flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin (and as we all know, nourished skin is healthy and beautiful)
#3: Younger-looking Skin Last but not least, when we exfoliate, we stimulate skin's natural restorative processes, which helps us get rid of fine lines, hyperpigmentation, sun spots and scarring.
How often should I exfoliate?
The rules of thumb is: exfoliate 2-3 times a week. This rule, however, like any other rule, is not universal. How often you should exfoliate depends, above all, on your skin type.
Usually, oily skin has a thicker layer of dead cells on its surface. The reason for this is that oily skin produces more sebum with more dense texture. This thicker sebum acts like glue and sticks the cells together, slowing down their normal shedding. People with oilier skin are encouraged to exfoliate 3 times a week.
If you have dry skin, your epidermal cells shed faster, compared to the epidermal cells of someone with oily skin. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you have to "ignore" your face scrub.
People with drier skin, often have dry patches and dull complexion – two problems that can be solved with regular exfoliation. If you have dry skin, we recommend exfoliating 2 times a week.
Those of you who have sensitive skin, should not exfoliate more than once a week, otherwise, you risk increasing skin’s sensitivity. One of the most common causes of hypersensitivity is thinning of the protective skin barrier, which is why you should be very cautious and pick your facial scrubs wisely. Opt for scrubs with smaller exfoliating beads, since they are considered gentler + if the scrub is also enriched with natural oils and ceramides, consider this an added bonus.
Here, as you can guess, there are no strict rules. Start with 2 times a week, see how your skin “behaves” and increase to 3 times a week, if you feel the need to.
Since we all age in a different way, it’s hard to be definitive about how many times per week we have to reach for our favourite facial scrub. It may sound cliché, but in order to find what works best for you, you need to experiment. Start with 2 times a week, and if you feel your skin can “handle” more – go for 3 times a week. Exfoliation is crucial for mature skin because it is believed to stimulate new cell formation, as well as collagen synthesis.
Regardless of your skin type, the most important rule is: Monitor your skin. Your skin will “give you a sign” if you are doing something wrong. If you start getting red spots, dry patches or your skin feels too tight and hypersensitive, you are either overdoing exfoliation/rubbing too vigorously, or you are not using the right product for your skin.
What Happens When You Over-Exfoliating Your Skin?
Having in mind the fact that one of the main roles of the epidermal cells is to protect the skin from external aggressors, if we go overboard with exfoliation, we are definitely going to worsen the condition of our skin, instead of improving it. Frequent or aggressive exfoliation can lead to increased photosensitivity, dryness, flakiness and irritations.
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