Ways to Exfoliate for Smoother, Softer Skin
Like instant gratification? Exfoliation is, sloughing off the top layer of dead skin cells by scrubbing or via chemical means, it’s just about the quickest way to give your skin a noticeable glow. But depending on your skin type and concerns, not just any old scrub will do. Here’s how to exfoliate your unique skin type for smoother, softer skin that needs less makeup.
1. Normal to oily skin
Beneath that layer of dead skin, a baby soft complexion is just waiting to be revealed. If you don’t have acne and your skin isn’t particularly sensitive, try a mechanical method of exfoliation, such as a home microdermabrasion kit or a cleanser with scrubbing beads. This is the right away your skin feels softer and smoother.
2. Acne-prone skin
Step away from the scrub! Never exfoliate acne-prone skin with a brush or grainy cleanser, since these methods can make inflammation worse. Instead, head off clogged pores with products containing glycolic or salicylic acid. Experts recommend making exfoliation a consistent part of your routine, since the results won’t be immediate.
Want to bring in the big guns? Your dermatologist can treat acne with a stronger acid peel, and he or she can adjust the concentration to your specific needs.
3. Skin prone to dark spots
The best methods for uneven pigmentation tend to be retinoids or the chemical peel class. With these methods, You’re going to get a deeper and more thorough exfoliation. Try a treatment targeted to dark spots specifically, such as Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution which contains bearberry extract and azelaic acid to brighten skin. And don’t forget your sunscreen; exfoliation makes skin more susceptible to sun damage, which worsens hyperpigmentation.
4. Dry or sensitive skin
Think you can’t exfoliate dry skin? Think again. People with dry skin benefit from exfoliation because it forces the top layer of the skin to restructure itself in a way that you’re actually losing less water through the skin.
Dry skin types should exfoliate with a gentle peel, either at home. Try Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive, or administered by a professional. It’s absolutely essential to follow exfoliation with a rich moisturizer. If you just exfoliate dry skin [without moisturizing], you’re going to make it dryer. Try a souped up formula such as Lierac Paris Hydra-Chrono+ Intesne Rehydrating Balm.
Consider your cleanser. If you’re exfoliating regularly, You can be much more sensitive to certain cleansers. A harsh cleanser that foams and strips skin’s natural oils will dry you out. If you’re on a retinoid treatment you shouldn’t use a scrub cleanser or brush. Use a gentle cream cleanser such as Clinique Comforting Cream Cleanser to avoid irritation.
Don’t double up. Choose one method of exfoliation and stick with it. For example, if you cleanse your skin with an exfoliating brush, then apply a product with glycolic acid, you’re doing too much. Overexfoliating skin can actually worsen issues like acne, dryness and blotchy color.
Avoid harsh scrubs. Scrubs that use salts, crushed seeds (like apricot or strawberry) or nut shells are too rough to use on your face. The particles in these scrubs have jagged edges, which can create microscopic tears in your skin and damage its protective barrier.
Slather on moisturizer and sunscreen. Exfoliation removes the top layer, which leaves skin less protected from sun and water loss. Always moisturize after exfoliating, and apply SPF before stepping out. Your soft, smooth complexion will thank you!