Upon researching exfoliation for this article, it is a far more extensive beauty practice than I ever imagined. For years, I have been exfoliating a few times a week and reaped the rewards of removing dead skin and cleaning out my pores. I did not, however, realize the extent of the types of exfoliation methodologies and the different types of active ingredients. Who knew?! Below, I have compiled detailed information about exfoliation that might help you, too, in our quest to improve the health and appearance of our skin.
Advantage of Exfoliation
Upon the removal of the dead skin cells from the exfoliation process, you will reveal new skin cells that leave your skin aglow! The increase in blood circulation from your skin will also help your skin appear refreshed. Your skintone is likely to become more even, and it will help to eliminate dirt and oil from your pores. Also, your skin will feel softer, it will provide you with a closer shave on your legs and your face, and it will improve the look of a faux tan. One of the greatest benefits is the way makeup will look on a freshly exfoliated face over one that is not. This skincare regimen allows you to apply makeup without a patchy or flaky appearance that is much more desired by most.
Dangers of Exfoliation
One of the greatest dangers of exfoliation is over-exfoliation which can lead to skin damage and skin irritations whilst using additional skincare products. It is important to note that individuals with darker skin tones may be more susceptible to such dangers related to exfoliation than lighter skin tones. The same can be true of individuals with sensitive skin, and those individuals, regardless of skin tones, who over-exfoliate. Over-exfoliation is believed to be linked to inflammation, breakouts, and, quite possibly, the appearance of looking older rather than younger. The exfoliation process is actually quite harsh on your face and body, so you want to limit exfoliating to once or twice a week for normal skin types, more for oily skin types, and less for sensitive skin, as recommended by the American Academy for Dermatology.
Methodologies and Active Ingredients
Exfoliation methodologies are extensive. You might choose a chemical process, a mechanical process, or a simple cosmetic aid. The following are some of the types of exfoliation:
- Body Brush
- Exfoliating Gloves
- Pumice Stone
- Exfoliating Cleanser
- Professional Mechanical Exfoliation Process
- Professional Chemical Exfoliation
Active ingredients are also an essential component to the success of exfoliation skincare products.
- Hydroxy Acids
- Salicylic Acid
- Rice Extract
- Rice Bran
- Phytic Acid
- Gamma Oryzanol
Summer vs Winter Exfoliation Practices
It is important to exfoliate all year long, however you may need to do so slightly differently in the summer versus the winter. During colder and drier months, skin loses hydration quickly and skin cells die more frequently; therefore, you want to make sure you exfoliate during the winter, as well as the summer. Keep in mind that your skin may be more sensitive in the winter because of the possible harsh cold temperatures and harsh winds. You may need to use a more gentle exfoliating product or a less-frequent routine in the winter to compensate; however, it is still equally as important to do in winter as summer.
- Both men and women should exfoliate!
- Exfoliate your entire body all year long.
- Exfoliate your body dry before you shower with a loofah, body brush, or exfoliating gloves.
- Use a pumice stone on your feet.
- Once your are in the shower and properly wet, add an exfoliating cleanser to your exfoliating tool and gently scrub your body and face.
- Be extra gentle around your mouth and eyes.
- Do not forget to use a lotion as soon as you pat yourself dry with a towel.
- Do not over-exfoliate. Keep it to once or twice a week for ‘normal’ skin.
- If you have sensitive skin, select a product designed specifically for your skin type.
- Avoid exfoliation if you have any cuts, open wounds, or you are sunburned.
- A simple cleanser will not remove all oils and dirt from pores.
- Always re-hydrate your skin with moisturizer after you exfoliate your face.