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When shopping for new skincare products, how often have you come across the term “exfoliate”? Exfoliation is a benefit we look for to renew skin cells and reveal a brighter complexion, but how much do you actually know about this beauty technique?
Whatever questions you have about exfoliating, we’ve got you covered.
What does exfoliation actually mean?
Let’s start off with the very basic definition of exfoliation. It’s the process of getting rid of the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. This can be done by the use of chemicals, granular substances like facial scrubs, and exfoliation tools, such as a vibrating brush or even a warm face towel.
While your skin does naturally shed the outermost layer of your skin every 30 days or so, not all cells will shed completely, leaving behind flaky patches and resulting in clogged pores. Using exfoliating products will help prevent this and make room for the growth of new cells.
What are the benefits of exfoliation?
Here are the benefits of regular exfoliation:
- It unclogs pores to release sebum and oil buildup
- It reduces the size of your pores and minimizes the appearance of superficial scars
- It fades age spots, removing cells with the pigment
- It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- It allows for better absorption for other products in your skincare routine, such as moisturizers, serums, acne medications and skin treatments.
What are the different kinds of exfoliation?
There are two kinds of exfoliation, and that is mechanical and chemical.
Mechanical exfoliation is considered a manual process, where you use a beauty tool or even a warm face towel, to remove the dead skin cells. Scrubs with particles are also considered mechanical exfoliants because the microbeads, seeds, crushed shells and other granules are physical removing the dead cells.
On the other hand, chemical exfoliation makes use of ingredients that dissolve the cells, taking out the “manual labor” of the beauty method. Chemical exfoliants tend to have Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHAs), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), or natural enzymes, which are better suited for those with sensitive skin.
What is the right way to exfoliate?
You probably have a particular way of applying skincare products, so it’s hard to say what is the proper way to exfoliate. Preferences depend on a number of factors, with skin type being at the top of the list, followed by budget, how extensive your beauty routine is, whether you want to use vegan and cruelty-free products, among others. At the very least, you should determine your skin type and experiment from there, taking note of sensitivities and allergies. For those with sensitive skin, it’s best to stick with enzyme based chemical exfoliants or scrubs with tiny granules, like microbeads made from natural ingredients.
How often should I exfoliate my face?
One thing that you must remember is that exfoliants are not the same as your daily face wash, so please don’t use it as part of your daily skincare routine. Here’s how many times a week you should actually be exfoliating, based on skin type:
Sensitive: 1-2 times a week using a gentle scrub or mild chemical exfoliant.
Oily: Up to 5 times a week using heavy duty exfoliants, such as serums and peels.
Normal and combination: Up to 3 times a week using chemical or mechanical exfoliants.
When should I avoid exfoliating?
Exfoliation tends to be too abrasive on the skin for it to be done on a daily basis. But even if you have at least a day in between exfoliating, there are certain signs that you should delay it for at least a few days, or perhaps visit a dermatologist if the issue is more concerning.
Instances of delaying exfoliating include sunburnt skin, an infection, a cold sore, or any cuts or open wounds on your face, like a popped pimple. Exfoliating when your skin is more vulnerable puts you at risk for infections.
If you suffer from chronic or cystic acne, exfoliating on already inflamed skin would only increase the chances of hyperpigmentation after the inflammation has gone down. It also appear much darker on those with morena skin tones.
What exfoliating products should I buy?
As you can see, Pretty Me has a ton of facial washes and soaps that you can choose from, all gentle on your skin while still helping to shed old cells to reveal newer, brighter skin. Shop on our website today, or feel free to check out the products on our Lazada store.
Sheena is the lead fashion writer here at Pretty Me Philippines and has contributed articles for numerous lifestyle blogs and online publications. Other than keeping up with the latest trends, she loves baking and home DIY projects.