We all want gorgeous and healthy skin that looks young and plump, but it can be a lot of hard work to not only get it there but to also maintain! I know when I’m tired and ready to turn in, the last thing I want to do is have to get myself up to go wash my face and take care of my skin. But, if you do the work and you force yourself up, it pays off! Aside from cleansing, regular exfoliation is the next best thing you can do to help keep your skin looking fresh and bright.
Exfoliation occurs when you are shedding the epidermis, the top layer of your skin. Your skin naturally does this, however like most things, as you age, the process slows down and isn’t as beneficial. When you exfoliate, the top layer comes off revealing a new and untouched layer of skin, which means your skin will look smoother and more radiant. Now, you may think, “Why do I need to do this then if my body already naturally does?” Well, as we age, all the things we love about our skin age along with us. Collagen is produced less, moisture is produced less. By manually exfoliating, you’re helping your body go through its process and can essentially work towards reversing the slow cell turnover rate. Exfoliation stimulates cell turnover, so it sort of kick starts your skin back into action.
With all the dead skin and dirt exfoliated away, all of the other products you use will then work even better on your new epidermis layer. You won’t need as much product because the product doesn’t have to sink through that old layer. Your skin will soak up all the product as they penetrate deeper into the skin. Now, you don’t want to overdo it because exfoliating too much is a bad thing. Starting off with once a week should be fine for exfoliation, and some may want to increase to two times a week, but that should be the cap to protect and maintain your skin.
There are two forms of exfoliation: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation is when you use a product that has an abrasive aspect, usually small beads to help slough away the dead skin cells. This can also be when a tool is used, such as microdermabrasion or dermaplaning. Chemical exfoliants use acids and chemicals that help to dissolve the old skin cells without scrubbing, which is a more gentle form of exfoliation. To choose between the two, I would recommend looking at your overall skin needs. If you’re skin is easily irritated, a chemical exfoliant may be better for you. If you have a lot of clogged pores and tougher skin, a physical exfoliant would likely be a better option. Consider the other ingredients in the exfoliants as well. Chemical exfoliants often use lactic acids, which are incredibly hydrating in addition to exfoliating.
Exfoliation The Right Way:
Thoroughly cleanse the skin.
Exfoliate following the instructions provided with the product. If you’re using a physical exfoliation, run in small circles all over the face. Don’t scrub too hard, and avoid using straight back and forth motions. If you’re using a chemical exfoliation, use downward strokes or light circles.
Avoid the under eye area, and be careful not to tug around the under eye area.
If you really want to pamper yourself, do this before a hot shower or bath and allow the steam to open the pores. Apply a face mask to help boost hydration or radiance even more!
As a little extra, here are some of my favorite exfoliants: