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How Often Should You Exfoliate –Exfoliation, in simple terms, is the removal of dead skin cells from your skin’s surface. Humans lose around 500 million skin cells daily, meaning dead skin can build up quickly. People think weekly exfoliation is enough and a good starting point for newcomers. Most specialists advise that you exfoliate two to three times per week — as long as your skin can handle it. Physical exfoliation includes manual loofahs and brushes, while chemical exfoliation uses — you guessed it — gentle chemicals such as hydroxy acids.
Physical vs. Chemical Exfoliation
In short, physical exfoliation requires some manual labor on your part, while chemical exfoliation lets a product do all the hard work.
- Physical exfoliants contain scrubs, pumice stones, and dry brushes. These tools aid get rid of dead skin from the surface as you scrub or brush your skin.
- Chemical exfoliants include water-soluble (AHAs) alpha hydroxy acids like oil-soluble and glycolic acid (BHAs) beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid. These products remove dead skin by going below the surface to dissolve the bonds holding skin cells together. Retinols and retinoids are chemical exfoliants that increase cell turnover time and produce exfoliation.
Chemical products are inclined to exfoliate more gently than their physical counterparts and can be more effective. Still, they can also irritate if misused. Using one kind of exfoliant at a time is enough. “Otherwise, you risk denudation your skin of its natural oils or over-exfoliating.” They used a physical and chemical exfoliant simultaneously unless both exfoliants were very gentle.
Remember that skincare products like serums and masks may contain AHAs and other exfoliating elements without being labeled as exfoliants. In other words, you might already be using more than one type without realizing it.
How To Exfoliate Your Face
When you decide to exfoliate, cleansing is the first essential step. Gently wash your face and rinse carefully. And remember always to use sunscreen during day time. (You will want to apply sunscreen just before makeup.)
“Fresh skin is revealing when you exfoliate, so your skin is now more sun sensitive.”
If your face looks or feels irritated, it’s generally best to cut back on exfoliating and connect with a dermatologist.
How To Exfoliate Your Body
Body exfoliation often includes more rubbing products, like pumice stones, that you would not use on the face. But chemical exfoliation is still an option.
Try to exfoliate as much as your body possible. Dead skin can build up everywhere, but you will want to pay extra attention to areas that tend to be drier:
What Happens If You Do It Too Frequently?
While you may feel tempted to try and remove as much dead skin as possible for smooth, glowing skin, exfoliating too often can have the opposite effect.“If you over-exfoliate the skin, you might experience redness, irritation, and peeling.” “Your skin might also feel uncomfortable and tight.”
Choosing a Product
You’ll mostly want to use different exfoliants on your face and body since the skin on your face is more delicate.
Keeping your skin type in mind can aid you in choosing the right product.
- Normal skin. Most products are likely harmless to use.
- Dry skin. Purpose of using gentler chemical formulas like glycolic acid.
- Oily skin. You can generally take your choice of physical or more potent chemical exfoliants.
- Combination skin. Enjoy the finest of both worlds by selecting gentle methods for drier areas and scrubs for oilier areas.
- Sensitive skin. Use gentle products formulated for sensitive skin and look for natural enzymes like papaya and pomegranate.
Exfoliation produces smoother, glowing skin. With various physical and chemical exfoliators, people with most skin types can find beneficial ones without causing adverse effects.