At some time or the other, we feel the texture of our skin losing its smoothness. The dullness can be seen in our skin. In such cases, exfoliation helps in getting rid of the dead skin layer.
First of all, let us learn what exfoliation is. Exfoliation is the process of removing a dead skin layer from the surface of the skin. Our skin naturally produces new skin cells every 30 days, but various factors such as sun damage, pollution, and environmental changes cause the skin to form a dead skin layer. Exfoliating regularly will help the skin breathe better. It has benefits like skin brightening, glowing, and tan removal. Wintertime demands regular exfoliation to get glowing skin.
Exfoliation is of two types Physical and Chemical.
Each skin concern demands a different exfoliation process.
Read below what your skin actually needs and make a better choice.
A physical exfoliant is a product or tool that requires rubbing or scrubbing action. These include your skincare scrubs, brushes, sponges, loofahs, and muslin washcloths. This type of exfoliation nudges the loose dead skin cells from the topmost layer of the skin using physical friction.
Using an exfoliating scrub might give you a feeling of satisfaction but in the long run, but it is going to damage your skin. Wrinkles and open pores are the main concerns when we are using harsh scrub.
Any scrub that contains large, irregularly-shaped particles damages the skin by causing micro-tears on its surface. Common culprits include ground-up shells, fruit pits, or volcanic rock. Micro-tears gradually weaken the skin’s barrier, consequently making skin more prone to dry, flaky patches, redness, and signs of sensitivity.
Chemical exfoliation is a process of exfoliating using acids (the good ones).
The exfoliants go deeper within the skin than scrubs do, so they tend to produce desired results with fewer problems.
AHA and BHA are the most commonly used chemical exfoliants.
AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acids. These include Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, and malic acid. AHAs are water-soluble acids that work on the outer layer of skin and improve the texture of the skin. Glycolic acid is mainly derived from plants. These are beneficial if you have dry or sun-damaged skin.
BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid. These are oil-soluble acids. They go deep down the pores and cleanse them thoroughly. BHA’s are slightly drying hence they are recommended for very oily skin. The most used BHA is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, so if you’re prone to breakouts and blackheads, these are a great option for you.
How often should you exfoliate?
You can use physical scrubs twice or thrice a week depending on your skin needs.
When you are starting with chemical exfoliation I would suggest going easy on your skin. Start with less concentrated products first like face wash and toner. Once your skin is comfortable with using chemical exfoliants you can go for serums and wash off peels that contain a higher % of AHA or BHA.
So, the bottom line is –
While physical exfoliants may buff away dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling smooth, the friction involved may irritate your already-inflamed skin, leading to increased redness and breakouts. And if you have sensitive skin like mine I advise you to stay away from exfoliating scrubs or brush. But you can use it to exfoliate your body.
Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, help loosen dead skin cells, so they naturally slough off. My skin has shown great improvement since the time I have started using chemical exfoliants. And I hope it will work for you too.
Above all, no matter what type of exfoliator you use, moisturize your skin well.
Let me know what technique worked for you and what are your thoughts about it.
If you find this information helpful or you have any questions related to it please comment below.