We’re told to exfoliate the skin on our faces, as well as the skin on our bodies, on a regular basis. But just how frequently should you really be exfoliating your skin? Turns out, you should be gently exfoliating your skin on a daily basis.
Some of your skin cells die every day and are replaced. A mild daily exfoliant helps the skin to shed those dead skin cells leaving the surface of the skin clear of debris, smoother and ready to receive additional skincare products. Exfoliation also works wonder to increase blood circulation in the skin, allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the skin cells, and improves skin tone. Some cleansers contain a mild exfoliate along with the cleansing agents. These combine two-in-one products make daily exfoliating less of a chore.
Cleansing the skin with a daily exfoliant makes perfect sense, provided it is a gentle, nonabrasive formula, since all the product really needs to do is remove the accumulated debris from the previous 24 hours. For daily exfoliation, avoid over exfoliating the skin and exfoliating multiple times with different products in a single session, which can lead to irritated, red and sensitive skin. Also, never use an aggressive exfoliant on a daily basis (unless your dermatologist instructs you to do so) because these types of products are meant to be used on a limited basis, like every week or month.
There is a wide range of abrasive and acid-based exfoliators suitable for daily use, so choosing the right one for your skin type can be a bit confusing and complicated. The exfoliating component itself has to be carefully chosen based off your skin type and its needs. If the exfoliating agent is too severe it can easily damage new living skin cells as it removes the old ones. You wouldn’t use sandpaper on your skin, would you? The same rule of thumb goes for choosing a skin appropriate exfoliator.
Some exfoliants use fine particles of natural products as the abrasion material: tiny beads made from apricot kernels, walnut and almond shells, salt and more. Other products make use of a carefully calculated mix of acids, like alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic, lactic, citric or salicylic acids. In the correct quantity and concentration, these acids are skin-friendly and loosen clumps of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. All exfoliating products, whether acid-based or abrasive, usually contain moisturizers, pH-balancing components and nutrients.
For a more intensive exfoliation on occasion, use a peel recommended by your aesthetician or book a professional treatment every month or so.