By Colleen Welsch
Exfoliating is key to having beautifully smooth skin with a lit-from-within glow. Exfoliation sloughs away dead skin cells, revealing the radiant, fresh skin underneath. Unfortunately, over-exfoliation can cause irritated skin with breakouts and dry patches.
But if exfoliation seems intimidating: don’t worry! Today we’re going to break down everything you need to know about the practice. Keep reading to learn how to exfoliate, when to do it, and how to avoid irritation.
What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin. This can be accomplished by two methods: physical or chemical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants use a scrub (like sugar) or tool (like a loofah or brush) to forcibly buff away dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliants use a mild acid to dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, gently sloughing them away.
What Are the Benefits of Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is beneficial for all skin types since removing those dull, dead skin cells lends the complexion an instantly healthy glow.
For acne-prone skin, exfoliating clears clogged pores and prevents breakouts. If aging is your concern, exfoliating actually stimulates skin cell turnover. Over time, this process can diminish signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Finally, exfoliation allows for increased absorption of products, so your serums and moisturizers will actually work better.
How Often Should I Exfoliate?
So if exfoliating is so great for skin, shouldn’t we go deep every day? Unfortunately, exfoliating too deep too often is bad for skin. Over-exfoliation can strip skin of its natural oils, causing dry patches and breakouts. In the long run, this inflammation can also lead to premature aging.
For most skin types, mask/treatment type exfoliation two to three times per week is ideal. This allows your skin ample time to regenerate and heal and will prevent irritation. For those who do not have sensitive skin, adding more superficial, daily exfoliation with products containing modest amounts of retinoids, acids or enzymes is acceptable and healthy. If you begin to feel sensitivity or irritation using these products, cut back use to every other day or less until you get to a routine that is comfortable for your skin.
How Do I Exfoliate?
Getting started with exfoliation is easy with our Fruition Brightening & Polishing Mask. This at-home treatment harnesses the natural resurfacing power of fruits to soften and refine skin’s texture. Plus, its gentle-yet-effective ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that this exfoliant will not irritate your skin. We even recommend it for sensitive skin! To use, simply massage onto clean skin, let it work 10 – 15 minutes and rinse with clean water. Fruition may be used 2 – 3 times per week.
For lighter, daily exfoliation, we recommend our Dew Perfector. Dew contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is not only a gentle exfoliant, it is also a humectant. Humectants pull moisture into the skin from the surrounding environment allowing this product to hydrate dramatically while it exfoliates. Another characteristic of Lactic acid is that is does not cause flaking. We’ve also added amino acids to provide daily skin nourishment.
Repeat after us: ALWAYS moisturize after exfoliating. For normal and oily skin, we recommend following Fruition Brightening & Polishing Mask with ABO Face Serum. ABO rejuvenates skin while providing lightweight hydration. For dry skin, we recommend Creme ER3, which deeply moisturizes parched complexions.
What If I Want a Spa Treatment?
If you’re looking for more heavy-duty exfoliation, visiting a professional is your best bet. Dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and dermaplaning can all provide incredible results. Unfortunately, those results are at the cost of increased irritation.
That’s why recommend following your procedure with Extraordinary Face Oil – Nancy’s Blend. This healing elixir provides soothing hydration to irritated or inflamed skin. Nancy’s Blend will help your skin to recover more quickly, so you can enjoy your results with less downtime.
Of course you know that you should be using sunscreen daily. However, sunscreen is actually even more important post-spa treatment. By sloughing away skin’s outer layer, you’re exposing the sensitive under-layer to the elements. For daytime, we recommend using our Moisture Shield post-treatment, since it provides much-needed moisture plus SPF 30 to sensitive skin.
What’s your exfoliation routine?