I vividly remember that the first real skin care product I ever used was a Nivea scrub. I found it extremely satisfying to massage my face with those little granules and to feel how soft my skin was after rinsing it off. I’ve always been a big fan of exfoliation. My journey into the skin care world allowed me to learn more about different ways of doing it.
In this blogpost I want to reveal everything you probably want to know about exfoliation. May your skin be smooth as silk after this!
WHAT IS EXFOLIATION
To exfoliate your skin means to slough off dead skin cells to help reveal new, fresh skin cells and therefore bright and healthy skin. We’ve all exfoliated our skin at some point: even the mere act of washing your face with a washcloth can be seen as some form of exfoliation. The most common exfoliant is a scrub, but there are also many chemical ingredients (like acids) that can be used to exfoliate your skin without the use of grains. A little overview:
This means that you’re using small grains (the typical scrub-formula), a brush (like a Clarisonic or a Foreo) or anything likely such as a rough cloth.
This means that specific ingredients are used to chemically exfoliate the skin. Mostly, those ingredients are acids such as glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid. But I’ll talk more about acids in a future blogpost, promise 😉
Next to acids, fruit enzymes (like those from papaya and pineapple) are also great chemical exfoliants and even better if you have very sensitive skin.
WHY YOU SHOULD EXFOLIATE
As said above, you slough away dead skin cells by using an exfoliant. That way, you help your skin to generate new cells. This act keeps the epidermis (the upper layer of your skin) healthy and leaves you with a bright, smooth and refreshed complexion.
Exfoliation is extremely helpful if your skin is looking dull and you want to brighten it up, but also if it feels rough and you want to smoothe things up a bit. Next to that, I always reach for an exfoliant to help me get rid of those dark spots after a breakout.
HOW YOU SHOULD EXFOLIATE
How you exfoliate your skin depends on its sensitivity and your specific concerns. A lot of people find scrubs, brushes and several acids too harsh on their skin. It’s a bit of an exploration really.
The thing you should keep in mind is to always find a good balance. If your skin gets red, sore or irritated in any way, you’re doing too much. I tend to use a gentle scrub about two times a week and a mild chemical exfoliant of some sort about three times, depending on the condition of my skin of course.
Also, don’t just focus on the face. The rest of your body benefits from a little scrub now and then as well.
Let’s keep marine life healthy and skip any scrubs using plastic grains (although most of them are banned now!).
And also: if you’re exfoliating regularly, you’re kind of taking the safety blanket away from your epidermis, so don’t forget to always use an SPF when you’re going outside. Even when the sun isn’t really shining!