Out with the old and in with the new. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells to reveal renewed skin and allows your moisturizers and skincare products to do their job. The catch? Exfoliation strategies differ when it comes to the skin on your face and the skin on your body
Your most delicate skin is found on your face, so it’s important to incorporate the safest and most effective routine. We recommend starting with your skin type to determine your exfoliant regimen.
Choose a method
Two common types of at-home exfoliants are chemical and mechanical.
Chemical exfoliants use either acid or enzyme-based products to naturally begin the shedding process of your skin. That means it reveals newer, brighter skin for your best glow. These are used like serums or masks — you apply atop clean skin. Depending on the acid or enzyme, it will be removed with warm water or left overnight.
Mechanical (also known as physical) exfoliants are scrubs containing beads or other abrasive-style substances. This type of exfoliant refers to your everyday scrub that buffs away dead skin cells as you apply and rinse. Both methods can produce great results, but some mechanical exfoliants are too harsh and can create micro-tears. Ingredients like salt, sugar, and jojoba seed are small enough to get the job done without harming your skin. On the other hand, ground nuts or apricot kernels are too large and abrasive. A good rule of thumb? If a mechanical exfoliant feels too harsh on the back of your hand, it’s likely too harsh for your face.
Don’t go overboard
Exfoliation has many benefits, but it can be taken too far. “People are over exfoliating.” says esthetician,“They think that it will remove all of their blemishes, but in reality it is hurting their skin — causing the skin to over produce oil in an effort to rescue itself.” She recommends exfoliating two to three times a week for normal, combination, or acne-prone skin. Those with sensitive skin should only exfoliate once a week.
Ideally, we recommend dry brushing daily. Regular usage can boast benefits like exfoliation, lymphatic drainage, circulation, and prevention of cellulite. For most dynamic results and longevity of your brush, we recommend only using the brush dry — before applying any products or water to your skin.
For exfoliating body scrubs, we recommend a goal of two to three times a week. Pay extra attention to your elbows, knees, and heels. Feel free to add a loofah or natural sea sponge into the mix to take your exfoliation game to the next level.