The secret to smooth, radiant skin is cleansing — at least, that’s what we’ve been taught. A good cleanser has the power to remove makeup, dirt, oil and other impurities from the surface of your skin to improve your complexion and keep your skin looking fresh. But what happens below the skin’s surface?
The real secret to youthful-looking skin is cell turnover.
Have you ever wondered why a baby’s skin is so soft? It’s because a baby’s skin naturally sheds and replaces skin cells every couple of days. As you get older, your rate of skin cell turnover slows down, and dead cells on the surface of your skin tend to hang around, clogging your pores and accentuating your fine lines and wrinkles.
So, how do you get rid of those dead skin cells and speed up the cell turnover process? Exfoliation. Here’s what you need to know about exfoliation and how to include it in your skincare routine.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin. As an adult, your skin naturally sheds dead cells every 30 days or so to make room for new skin cells. When those dead cells fail to shed completely, it can clog your pores and leave your skin looking dry and flaky. Exfoliation helps remove those stubborn cells, revealing a new layer of glowing, radiant skin underneath.
Exfoliation improves the appearance of your skin and provides the following benefits:
To keep your skin looking its best, exfoliation should be a regular part of your skincare routine. If you don’t currently exfoliate on a regular basis, however, it’s a technique that should be worked into your routine slowly. Suddenly starting an exfoliation regimen can irritate or damage your skin, so it is important to start with a gentle exfoliant several times a week before working up to daily use.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, and there are several different ways to do it. Generally speaking, exfoliation methods are broken into two categories: chemical and mechanical (or physical).
Mechanical or physical exfoliation involves using a hard substance to manually remove dead skin cells. You’ve probably used mechanical exfoliation products without even realizing it if you’ve used cleansers or other skincare products that contain microbeads.
Chemical exfoliation utilizes acids or enzymes to remove dead skin cells.
Each of these methods has its own benefits and is better for certain skin types. Here is a quick overview of some of the different types of chemical and mechanical exfoliants:
With the right products, exfoliation is something you can do at home. But how do you know which exfoliant to use? Keep reading to learn how to choose the best exfoliator for your skin type.
As you may already know, there are four primary skin types: normal, dry, oily and combination. Normal skin is well-balanced in terms of moisture, being neither too oily nor too dry. Dry skin produces less sebum (oil) than normal skin which can result in a tight, rough texture and dull complexion. Oily skin produces too much sebum, giving skin a glossy appearance with visible pores. As you can probably guess, combination skin consists of a mixture of skin types in different parts of the face.
You can’t change your skin type, but you can choose your skin care products wisely to keep your skin healthy and looking its best. The same is true for exfoliants. Choosing the right exfoliator is important if you want to remove dead skin cells without drying out or damaging your skin.
So, how do you know which is the best exfoliator for your skin type? It’s not cut and dry, but here are some suggestions:
Even if you choose the right exfoliator for your skin, you still need to be careful not to overdo it. If you exfoliate too frequently or apply too much pressure with mechanical exfoliants, you could cause irritation and inflammation in your skin. Irritated skin can become red and flaky, or it could lead to more frequent breakouts. To help minimize these risks, always moisturize after exfoliating.
If you want your skin to look smooth and radiant, consider adding an exfoliator to your skincare routine. Before you do, however, make sure to choose a product that is well-suited to your skin type and take the time to learn how to use it. Here are some tips for including exfoliation in your skincare routine:
Whether you’re using a chemical or mechanical exfoliator, it’s important to know when to use it and what to do after you’re finished. For sensitive skin, you should exfoliate no more than once or twice a week, while oily skin can benefit from exfoliation up to five times per week.
For normal and combination skin, exfoliate up to three times per week depending on the type of exfoliator you choose. If your skin is in the middle of an active breakout, skip the exfoliation part of your skincare routine until it heals.
Exfoliation removes the top layer of skin, so you should expect it to remove some of your skin’s natural moisture, as well. When you’ve finished exfoliating, it is important to restore your skin’s hydration by applying a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type.
You should also apply a lightweight, broad-spectrum sunscreen (if you’re exfoliating in the morning) because your skin will be extra-sensitive for a little while and in need of an added layer of protection.
If you’re struggling with dull complexion, clogged pores or fine lines and wrinkles, exfoliation could be your secret to smoother, more radiant skin. Choose an exfoliator appropriate for your skin type and follow the tips you’ve received here to incorporate it into your skincare routine.
Skincare is a tough job. If you have anymore questions about it, definitely check out the blog.