Iâ€™ll admit it â€“ I rarely ever exfoliate my skin. Maybe itâ€™s because I already have so many skin care products and steps in my routine that I dread adding something new, or perhaps itâ€™s because it just seems counter intuitive to me. Why would I want to remove skin cells â€“ doesnâ€™t that just defeat the purpose of all my other facial products? But after getting so many samples in various subscription services, I decided it was time to find out the truth about exfoliation.
What is an exfoliator? An exfoliator is typically in the form of a liquid cleanser, though you can have exfoliating rags or other tools. Dispersed among the cleanser are tiny particles, usually out of sand, seeds, or even beads. When applied to the skin, these particles slough off the top layer of skin.
Another popular option is to use exfoliating systems like Clarisonic and Olay Pro-X. These are electronic devices that have circular brushes that gently buff your skin. They have different brush heads available for different skin types and are often used with special cleansers. See what MakeupTalk members are saying about their Clarisonic experience.
Contrary to my first opinion, exfoliators are actually a very important step in the skin care routine and should be done one to three times a week. There are quite a number of benefits â€“ first, removing the dead skin cells makes it possible for other products, such as moisturizers or serums, to penetrate the skin to reach healthy layers that need the treatment more. (Hence, when you do exfoliate, make sure you do it first!)
Additionally, these dead skin cells can lead to clogged pores which can eventually create acne. If you find that your skin is dry and you have a lot of black/whiteheads, you should definitely add exfoliation to your routine. Plus, exfoliating stimulates your skin and can lead to brighter, more vibrant skin. Who doesnâ€™t love a good natural glow?
Of course, there are some downsides to exfoliation that you should be aware of before using. If you have sensitive skin, the particles might irritate your face and body. The best way to avoid irritation is to use exfoliators that have beads instead of sands and seeds; beads have rounded edged, but sand and seeds are sharper and can tear the skin more. Some gentle exfoliators are Aloe Gentle Exfoliator or ExfoliKate Gentle. Plus, if you plan to go outside soon after exfoliating, make sure to apply sunscreen. The new skin isnâ€™t read to handle lots of UVA rays.
There are lots of great exfoliators on the market, so experiment until you find one that works best for your skin type. A common go-to exfoliator that you can find at most drugstores and super markets is St. Ives Exfoliating Apricot Scrub. If youâ€™re looking for something to use on your body that isnâ€™t too harsh, look out for Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub. Want to avoid scrubs all together? Try Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Peel. You can also make your own exfoliators at home using products like olive oil and sugar.
Do you exfoliate, or do you have your own reasons for skipping this step? Let us know your thoughts in the products, and share what your favorite exfoliators are!
- St. Ives Exfoliating Apricot Scrub
- Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Scrub
- Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Peel
- Skin Care Talk
- Exfoliation 101
- How Often Do You Exfoliate?
- Good Exfoliators? Discussion Thread
- Natural Home Exfoliators
Written by Courtney Brown