Acids, peels and scrubs, oh my! You don't have to be a skincare junkie to accidentally damage your skin with exfoliators. It can be as easy as scrubbing your delicate skin one too many times. In this post we go over the types of skin exfoliators and how to use them properly.
Chemical exfoliators are acids: AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid). When used correctly, acids can be a great choice for certain skin types. The acids work to get rid of dry skin cells. Irritation due to frequency in use or a too high percentage of the active ingredient is often the number one complaint.
Mechanical exfoliators are tiny particles of material like pumice (what we use in our Face Scrub), apricot shells, etc. that are used to gently buff away dry skin. Key word: gently. Use a gentle hand and keep it quick and simple.
SIGNS OF OVER-EXFOLIATION
HOW OVER-EXFOLIATING DAMAGES SKIN
Your skin has a natural protective moisture barrier. When you exfoliate too frequently, you end up exfoliating more than just the dry cells that are sitting at the top- you end up damaging fresh, protective skin cells. Your skin then goes into panic mode and can become red and sensitive. It can also start producing more oil to try to compensate for the lack of protection. This can easily become a case where someone who is suffering from oily, over-exfoliated skin uses alcohol-based products to try and cure the oiliness/breakouts, but end up making the problem worse.
With chemical exfoliants (especially retinol), you can easily "burn" your skin. It can take a few weeks to get your skin feeling and looking normal again. It's super important to be very mindful when using these kinds of exfoliants.
HOW TO RESTORE YOUR MOISTURE BARRIER
Time for damage control!
HOW TO PROPERLY EXFOLIATE
When your skin is fully healed, you can start exfoliating again. Choose your product(s) wisely and be strict with how often you use them. Maximum twice a week is good for most skin types. If your skin is on the sensitive side, stick to once a week. If you want to mix mechanical and chemical exfoliants, do your research first. If you use our Face Scrub, follow these guidelines:
Once or Twice a Week
-oily/combo skin, mix with either: water, witch hazel, honey, toner of choice
-very dry/sensitive/mature skin, mix with either: face oil, oil-based serum, vegetable glycerine
-normal/dry skin, mix with either: water, yogurt, honey, toner of choice
EXFOLIATION IS ACTUALLY REALLY GREAT
If you've never used an exfoliator, please don't be alarmed by the above info. If done correctly, it can work wonders for skin. It keeps your skin feeling soft, looking fresh and can even help refine skin tone and texture.