While many of us feel bathing is enough to maintain our skin’s health and hygiene, our skin may have a different opinion on the subject. Your body changes every 10 years, every cell of yours is renewed while your hair and skin get new growth every 3-4 months. It is natural for you to feel the dead skin on different areas of your body and it is healthy for your skin if you remove the dead skin cells from time to time.
Exfoliation is a process that allows you to remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin. When done correctly, the process of exfoliating skin can improve the appearance and texture of the skin. It can also slow down the process of ageing. However, it must be done properly in order to prevent your sensitive skin from any harm.
When exfoliating, it is important that you do it safely to avoid the risk of damaging your skin or encouraging redness and acne breakouts. Everyone has a different type of skin, one must consider choosing the right type of exfoliation method for their skin. In an otherwise scenario, different skin may react differently to the process as sensitive skin usually burns after product usage. So first be aware of your skin type. Know if it is sensitive, normal, dry, oily or combination and then opt for a suitable method.
You should determine if you are using products that cause peeling on your sensitive skin such as retinoid creams or products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide. Exfoliating while using such products can cause acne breakouts and worsen the dry skin.
Be aware. The process of exfoliating dry, acne-prone or sensitive skin is very different from the one for oily or combination skin. If your skin has dark spots, the process changes. In such a case, you must avoid chemical treatments.
While using a chemical exfoliator or scrub, apply the product in a small, circular motion and be gentle to your skin. After 30 seconds, wash your face with lukewarm water - not cold, not hot, lukewarm. If you’re using a sponge or a brush, use light strokes. Do not exfoliate if you have any open cuts, wounds or if your skin is sunburned. If you have a deeper skin tone, don’t be aggressive on your skin as it may leave darker spots on your skin.
The exfoliation process can make your skin feel dry as it removes the oil from the skin along with dead skin cells and dirt. In order to keep your skin smooth, soft and hydrated, apply moisturiser immediately after exfoliating. This is imperative.
You should plan how often to exfoliate as per your skin type and exfoliation method. The more aggressive your exfoliation process will be, the less number of times you’ll have to go through the process. Ideally, you must exfoliate once a week. However, be careful that you don’t over-exfoliate as it’ll result in redness and irritation on the skin.
Exfoliation isn’t a complicated process, to be honest. It can easily be carried out at home. There are two main types of at-home exfoliation you can try, mechanical and chemical. You choose as per what suits your skin needs.
For mechanical exfoliation, you use tools like brushes and sponges or body scrubs to remove the dead cells from the skin. However, for chemical exfoliation, you use chemicals like alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs) which gently dissolves dead skin cells.
For dry skin, choose scrub or mild chemical exfoliator that has moisturising ingredients such as cocoa, shea and other fruit extracts. AHAs are highly effective for dry skin however, mechanical exfoliation will cause irritation on dry skin so avoid that. Apply the scrub on wet skin using your fingers. Wet your fingers and massage the scrub on your skin in a small circular motion for about 30 seconds. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Mechanical exfoliation isn’t a good idea for sensitive skin as well, as it may cause irritation and redness. Hence, use your fingers for the process instead of tools like sponges and brushes and avoid scrubbing hard. Instead, use a mild chemical exfoliator and apply it gently with a washcloth or clean fingers. After massaging for a few seconds, rinse it off with lukewarm water and apply moisturiser immediately. If you have acne, use a salicylic acid peel which is mostly available with dermatologists.
If you have normal skin, you won’t face any complication with both exfoliation methods. Both chemical and mechanical options are safe for you. However, combination skin may demand a mix of mechanical and chemical exfoliation. Just make sure you are not using both the methods on your skin the same day or it might feel irritating. Do apply moisturiser immediately after exfoliation if your skin feels dry.
Oily skin is thicker than the other types. Hence, manual exfoliation and brushing would benefit the most. Oily skin often has an extra layer of oil and dirt on the surface and manual exfoliation can easily remove it. Just use the scrub or an exfoliator gently in small circular motions.
The process of exfoliating your face is gentler. Whichever method you use, it is best to use fingers, washcloth and cotton pads but exfoliating your legs depends differently on the tools used. For the best results, use a brush, sponge or gloves to massage the scrub on the legs. This will help you get rid of dead skin cells and regulate the blood circulation at the same time. After massaging properly, once you start seeing lather, rinse it off with lukewarm water. You can use any scrub with your favourite fragrance or ingredients.
Skin on your arms is similar to that of your legs, so the tools and process remain the same. However, while exfoliating be careful about your joints and underarms as the skin in those areas sometimes turn darker and in such a case, you must avoid being harsh on the skin.
I know you are already dedicated when it comes to your skincare routine but your skin may demand a little extra care from time to time. Exfoliation is something you can repeat at least once a week for your skin’s health. And the best way to make things easy for yourself and your skin is to use the best products and tools. Here are some of the best ones we suggest!
This exfoliator is good for all skin types except for dry skin. It has chemicals in the ingredients, hence it’s better to apply moisturiser after using it. It doesn’t create much foam when you massage it on the skin but once you rinse it off, your skin will feel soft and plump. It cleans up pores well. The scrub is grainy but isn’t harsh on the skin. It deep cleanses the skin without making it dry. It’s perfect if you’re planning to exfoliate once or twice a week.
As per the brand, this dermatologist-designed cleansing system exfoliates the skin 700% better than any scrub alone. It helps achieve even-toned skin. The Thermal Crystal Polisher helps in polishing away dull patches while the Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser provides gentle exfoliation. It comes with a water-resistant facial cleansing brush.
Get rid of the dead skin cells while cleansing your skin for better smoothness. Use these bath gloves with a body wash to work up the lather.
To exfoliate your skin naturally, you can use homemade scrubs on your skin such as a combination of ground coffee, sugar and olive oil; sea salt and olive oil; sugar and lemon or sugar, yoghurt, honey and olive oil. Apply the one that suits you the best on your skin and massage it in a circular motion using your fingers. Once you’ve massaged the scrub into your skin, rinse your body off using lukewarm water.
To remove dead skin from face, use a scrub with a washcloth, your fingers or cotton pads. Massage it gently for 30 seconds and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Make sure while exfoliating the face, you avoid the delicate area near your eyes.
Exfoliation is basically a process to remove dirt and dead skin cells from your skin. By doing so, you maintain the skin’s hygiene by allowing the fresh skin to appear while also boosting blood circulation. This improves your skin health and enhances a natural glow.
This depends on the area you are exfoliating and the bristles of your toothbrush. If the bristles are too hard and you’re planning to use it on your face or on sensitive skin, I would suggest you find an alternative. But if your toothbrush bristles are soft, it’ll be an excellent alternative to the other exfoliating tools, especially for rough areas like your knees and elbows.
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