A skincare routine has multiple steps. Exfoliation is one step you should learn about if you want to start or follow a skincare regimen. Some people think this is skippable, but in reality, it’s one of the most crucial practices that can help you achieve healthy skin.
Skin exfoliation has many positive effects and can easily help us reach our goal of healthy, smooth, and radiant-looking skin. Want to learn more about this essential skincare step? Read on to discover the many benefits of skin exfoliation and how to do it properly.
What Is Skin Exfoliation?
Skin exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. The skin naturally sheds dead skin cells periodically, promoting a healthy skin cell turnover. However, the process may slow down due to several factors, such as aging, sun damage, and dryness.
If healthy skin cell turnover is impeded, it can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells on the skin's surface. Exfoliation helps remove these dead skin cells, uncovering newer, healthier-looking skin cells hiding underneath.
Most skin types can benefit from regular exfoliation. Still, it's crucial to be gentle and not overdo it because excessive or harsh exfoliation can harm the skin's natural barrier and cause irritation, inflammation, and sensitivity.
4 Tips on How to Maximize Exfoliation’s Positive Effects
1. Use the right exfoliator for your skin type
Similar to most aspects of skin care, exfoliation involves getting to know your skin type. There are four common types that most people fall under: Normal, Oily, Dry, and Combination. Other than these four, some people may also have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Exfoliation isn’t a one-size-fits-all step in skincare. There are two main ways to exfoliate: physical and chemical.
If you’re wondering how to exfoliate skin naturally, you may use a loofah, scrubbing brush, or exfoliating scrub to lift away dead skin cells physically. This is known as physical exfoliation.
On the other hand, using products formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids(AHA), beta-hydroxy acids (BHA), and enzymes like papain and bromelain to lift or melt away dead skin cells chemically is called chemical exfoliation.
Look for exfoliators that won't remove even more moisture from your skin if you have dry skin. Choose AHAs and PHAs if you want to use chemical exfoliants. They don't dehydrate your skin deeply enough to suck out moisture and further damage your moisture barrier.
Those with oily and acne-prone skin can use more potent exfoliators. Usually, BHAs are the go-to chemical exfoliants recommended for those with this skin type. Additionally, a DIY scrub you can make at home is a good natural exfoliant for acne-prone skin.
If you have sensitive skin, look for compounds that can aggravate it, and make sure to avoid them. Also, avoiding chemical exfoliants with higher acid concentrations is better because they frequently irritate the skin.
If you intend to use physical exfoliators, regardless of skin type, make sure they are mild enough and not harsh. Mild physical exfoliators help prevent skin abrasions or microtears.
2. Use exfoliators correctly
When you buy physical or chemical exfoliators, it would benefit you more to follow the instructions provided on the label. This will help prevent any adverse effects from happening.
Over-exfoliation may cause more harm than good. Instead of just stripping off the dead skin layer, it may also remove the healthy, younger skin layer under it. It may also cause damage to your skin and irritate it.
3. Apply moisturizer after
Whether physical or chemical, exfoliating can dry the skin as it may strip away natural oils and moisture. To help your skin replenish its moisture bank, use a moisturizer after rinsing your exfoliating product and patting your skin dry.
Moisturizing after exfoliation is good practice to help your skin retain its moisture barrier and achieve a radiant glow.
4. Find the right frequency
Exfoliation is a step that doesn’t have to be done every day. Your exfoliation schedule may depend on both your skin type and the product you use. The harsher the exfoliation you do, the more time you can wait in between.
The Benefits of Skin Exfoliation
Why is skin exfoliation a crucial step? Here are some benefits this skincare step can provide when done regularly.
Helps Boost Collagen Production
Exfoliation may help slow skin aging thanks to its basic role of uncovering newer, healthier skin cells. Exfoliation helps in promoting cell renewal, resulting in healthier, more radiant skin.
When you remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Now that healthy, newer cells are on top, it gives your skin a healthy and radiant appearance.
Other than just appearance, however, the anti-aging benefits of skin exfoliation run deeper as it may also help boost collagen production.
As people age, the rate of skin collagen production drops, which may result in the premature appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy skin. Exfoliation’s effect of lifting off dead cells shocks the skin, producing more collagen and keeping the skin firm and elastic.
Improves Blood Circulation Under the Skin
Improved blood circulation also makes more oxygen and nutrients easier to reach your skin. This improves skin health, leading to a more radiant and healthy appearance.
Helps with Acne Breakouts
Clogged pores usually happen due to the accumulation of excess sebum, dead skin cells, and dirt. If ignored, this can irritate the skin and cause acne breakouts.
By exfoliating your skin, you remove dead skin from the surface, help get rid of dirt, and control oil production.
It helps get rid of blackheads and whiteheads. This helps your skin heal from acne and aids in preventing more breakouts from happening.
Helps Improve the Absorption of Nourishing Skincare Ingredients
Dead skin cells, dirt, and excess sebum may stay on your skin for a while if you don’t cleanse and exfoliate. These create a physical barrier between your skin and the skincare products you use.
You clear out the residue and debris that may clog your pores when you exfoliate. As such, it would be easier for the nourishing skincare ingredients to penetrate your skin. This helps boost or maximize the effects of your skincare regimen.
Achieve Radiant, Glowing Skin Through Exfoliation
Every step in an efficient skincare regimen is integral to keeping your skin healthy. Exfoliation mainly involves promoting cell renewal and removing built-up oils and debris on your skin.
Learning how to exfoliate properly is crucial since doing it incorrectly may result in adverse effects. However, by knowing how to exfoliate properly, you can enjoy the benefits of this skincare step and, by extension, your entire regimen without much worry.
Ready for healthier, youthful-looking skin? Add exfoliation to your routine and reap its many positive effects!