A simple technique for healthy glowing skin overnight
Exfoliation is your secret weapon to softer and smoother skin. The great news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
I know what exfoliation is, but I want to hear you say it
Exfoliation is the process of removing the built-up outer layer of skin.
Thickened layers of dead skin cells can make your skin dull, dry, and rough. This built-up layer of dead cells is also one of the culprits for ingrown hair after shaving. Not pretty.
This layer of dead skin cells blocks good stuff you spent a fortune on from being absorbed properly into your skin. Things like like your favourite moisturizers, facial serums, or organic oils.
In addition to removing dead skin cells, exfoliation also helps unclog pores and improve cell turnover.
In other words, it can improve your skin overnight.
Who should exfoliate
Exfoliation is good for almost all skin types: For dry skin, gentle exfoliation can improve skin texture, help moisturizers absorb better, and reduce the appearance of skin discolouration.
For oily skin, regular exfoliation prevents clogged pores, improves cell turnover, and keeps skin clear and even-toned.
You said “almost all skin types”. Who shouldn’t exfoliate?
If you’re on acne medications, whether topical or ingested, be very careful with exfoliation. The medication can make your skin crazy tender and dry.
Another common skin med: Topical steroids. They usually come in cream or lotion form. Topical steroids can thin and weaken your skin over time. If you’re using topical steroids, be hyper aware of anything else that could thin out your skin.
Here’s another one:
If you have extremely sensitive skin, exercise caution when exfoliating. (Yet, even for very sensitive skin, you will likely benefit from occasional gentle exfoliation.)
The keyword here is gentle. Being too abrasive is bad for any skin type. It’s particularly damaging for weakened or sensitive skin. This applies to cancer patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy.
Got it. So what’s a good way to exfoliate?
There are two categories: physical or chemical.
How to exfoliate
Physical exfoliation remove dead skin cells by rubbing and sloughing. Products containing fine granules like coffee, sugar, ground almond, finely ground botanicals such as flower petals, and activated charcoal are good examples of physical exfoliants. #notplasticmicrobeads
Dry skin brushing is a great way to exfoliate. It also offers side benefits such as stimulating the lymph flow - meaning it helps the body to detoxify itself naturally. Anything to get rid of bad stuff in the body with ease is awesome in my book.
There’s no need to complicate things. Dry skin brushing is as simple as using a brush, preferably with natural fibre, and brushing the skin in gentle circular motion toward your heart.
How about for my face?
There are tons of exfoliating products for the face on the market. However, exfoliating your face can also be as simple as gently going over your face with a clean, soft washcloth. I like this bamboo facecloth, which dries quickly and stays soft wash after wash.
Amazing. You mentioned exfoliating chemically. Sounds scary.
Not at all. Here’s why:
You’ve probably heard of AHA (alpha-hydroxy acids) and BHA (beta-hydroxy acids).
AHA and BHA are two types of chemical exfoliants commonly used in beauty products. BHA, typically salicylic acid, is for normal to oily skin or blemish-prone skin because it dissolves lipids, in essence exfoliating inside the pore.
AHAs, the most common being glycolic and lactic acids, are best for normal to dry skin as surface exfoliant.
There are many natural sources of chemical exfoliant. For example, many people notice their skin softer and smoother after using goat milk soap. It turns out, in addition to other amazing qualities from raw goat milk, the lactic acid in goat milk gently exfoliate while it cleans, washing away the top layer built-up for younger-looking skin underneath.
Some other chemical exfoliants found in nature are sugar cane (glycolic acid), citrus fruits (citric acid), grapes and berries (tartaric acid), and apple (malic acid).
The enzymes in pumpkin also offer mild exfoliation.
Sweet. How often should I exfoliate?
Great question. 2 to 3 times a week is a general guideline to aim for. But it also depends on your unique skin condition, what you use and how you exfoliate.
Remember to be gentle. For physical exfoliation, don’t rub too hard, and stay away from materials that are too abrasive.
For chemical exfoliation, a higher concentration of the active ingredient is not always better. For example, that mask that you are supposed to applied once a week is probably too much to be used daily.
Part of self-care
Consider your lifestyle to see how to best incorporate exfoliation into your routine. For many people, incorporating a super mild way of exfoliation daily is the simplest way to ensure you’re doing it without over-doing it.
Whichever ways you choose, know that you’re taking good care of yourself. Do it, for you.
Now it’s your turn, do you exfoliate regularly? What’s your go-to method of taking care of your skin? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I read every comment.
Cheers to glowing skin matching your radiant smile and silky smooth legs free from ingrown hair!
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Meet Sandy Lerner. Thank her for the internet and black nail polish.