Ah, exfoliation. The best part of any skin care regimen. A proper exfoliation can leave your skin feeling refreshed and glowing in a matter of minutes. After a long day there is nothing my skin craves more than my Clairisonic. Exfoliation (done right) whisks away dead, dry skin revealing the gorgeous glowing skin underneath. But before we get into all of that goodness, let’s get back to basics. Ready?
Benefits of exfoliation
- Removes dead skin from surface of the skin
- Brightens complexion
- Reveals brighter, healthier skin
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Improves skin discoloration and texture
- Speeds up skin renewal process
- Prevents breakouts
There are 2 types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical
Mechanical exfoliation is probably the one you’re most used to. This type of exfoliation requires the use of a tool, such as Clarisonic or grain (i.e., sugar, oats, salt). When doing a mechanical exfoliation, it’s best when the “abrasive” is as gentle as possible. For example, an exfoliant containing small round beads and an exfoliant containing apricot shells might seem like they are doing the same thing. After all, it’s all mechanical exfoliation, right? Wrong. Well, in a sense. Both types do employ the use of mechanical exfoliation, but only one can result in micro-tears in your precious skin. Rough exfoliants like apricot shells and salt aren’t the best solution for exfoliating your skin, especially if your face is uber sensitive.
Chemical exfoliation employs the use of chemicals for exfoliation. Pretty simple, huh? There are quite a few types of chemical exfoliation, including alphahydroxy acid (AHA) and betahydroxy acid (BHA). These chemical exfoliants loosen the dead skin cells, allowing them to loosen and fall off. Other chemical exfoliants employ the use of fruit enzymes, which can be milder than the AHAs and BHAs. Fortunately, there are different levels of chemical exfoliation to suite the needs of your skin.
What You’ll Need
Now that you know a little about exfoliation, it’s time to get prepped. Start by choosing your poison. I prefer mechanical exfoliations since I find it the easiest to manage. Take a look at your problem areas and notice any areas that you want to avoid, as well. I try to spend the least amount of time and pressure on my cheeks since that is the most sensitive area of my face. The same may apply for your nose, chin or forehead.
When it comes to exfoliation, my Clairionic is always my favorite tool. It runs for 60 seconds, just the right amount of time for a complete facial exfoliation.
Here’s what you’re going to need:
- Mechanical exfoliant (sugar scrub, Clairsonic, ground oatmeal, joboba beads)
- Chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid, lactic acid)
Before you begin, start with clean skin. When using my Clairisonic, I can cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. If using a chemical exfoliant, follow the directions the product provides.
What to remember
- If it doesn’t feel good, then stop! Chances are you’re damaging skin more than you are helping it. Exfoliation is not meant to be the best feeling in the world, but by no means should it be causing you extreme discomfort.
- Stay away from harsh exfoliants. Salt scrubs and apricot exfoliants may work lovely on your body, but the same can’t always be said for your face. These rough exfoliants can cause micro-tears in your gentle skin causing more damage than good.
- Only exfoliate a few times per week. By no means does this have to become a daily activity. If you notice your skin is looking dull and flaky, try exfoliating 1 or 2 times per week. If you can handle more, try 3 times per week. Everyone’s skin is different so it’s important to know what your limits are.
- Utilizing an awesome moisturizer and cleanser in conjunction with an exfoliant is the best way to maintain gorgeous skin. By focusing on all three, you can ensure that you are pampering your skin in the best ways possible.
- If you have acneic or damaged skin, try to be gentle. Disrupting the acne or damaged skin will only hurt your skin. Wait for your acne to heal before beginning a more intense exfoliation regimen. In the mean time, stick to gentle exfoliants like ground oatmeal.
- If you notice any irritation from exfoliation, take a break and allow your skin to rest.
So, what are you waiting for?? You should be exfoliating right now!
Peace, Love & Coconuts