Beginner's Guide to Exfoliants
Hey FaceTory Fam!
Want to know one of the most important steps in your skincare routine? It’s exfoliation! 🙌 Yes! 😌✨ This step is super important when it comes to helping maintain smooth, healthy, and strong skin! So, dear FaceTory Fam, read on if you’re interested in learning about how providing your skin a little scrub-a-dub-dub can make a world of difference! 😉
What is an exfoliator and what do they do?
When you don’t exfoliate your skin, dead skin cells sit on the outer layer of your face and clogs your pores, causing your skin to break out or produce blackheads. An exfoliator will help remove dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your face, allowing your skin to stay clean and perform a better job at renewing itself. Any skin problems (blemishes, dry patches, hyperpigmentation, dullness, etc.) will also heal faster and better! Exfoliating also helps your skin thoroughly absorb your other skincare products because that layer of dead skin is no longer there, allowing your serums, essence, and other treatment products to really sink into your skin and perform correctly!
One thing we have to stress is to exfoliate gently! In general, you should always be gentle with your skin, but especially when it comes to exfoliating. Scrubbing too hard against your skin can damage your skin barrier and create more problems such as dry skin, irritation, and breakouts. All your skin needs is a bit of gentle friction to help loosen up the dead skin cells, so nothing too abrasive. 😌
What kinds are there?
There are 2 types of exfoliators: physical exfoliators and chemical.
Physical exfoliators are different types of scrubs that gently rub the surface of your skin to remove dead skin cells. These include:
- Peeling gels
- Sugars/ salts
- Exfoliating tools- mechanic tools, sponges, and towels, etc.
Please note that physical exfoliating every day isn’t recommended (scrubs can irritate and scratch your skin if used too often). An alternative to this is using a cleansing brush if you want that physical exfoliating action. Otherwise, chemical exfoliating is the way to go! In addition, with physical exfoliators, you’re going to want to be extra gentle. Do not add any extra pressure when you use scrubs, sugars, or exfoliating tools. A light hand is all that’s needed when it comes to exfoliating! 😉
Chemical exfoliators are ingredients in skincare products that aid in cell turnover by helping pick up the dead skin cells on your face. These include:
- AHA- Alpha hydroxy acid, a good option for dry, aging, and sun-damaged skin. Some popular AHAs include glycolic, lactic, mandelic acid, citric acid, and tartaric
- BHA- Beta hydroxy acids, a good option for oily/acne-prone skin because it can penetrate through oils and clear our clogged pores. Look for products with salicylic acid for your daily dose of BHA.
- PHA- Polyhydroxy acid, great for sensitive skin if AHA or BHA is too harsh on your skin. Common PHAs include gluconolactone, lactobionic, and galactose
If you’ve never used chemical exfoliators, it’s best to introduce it to your face slowly (also look for chemical exfoliators with low concentration) so you don’t irritate or overwhelm your skin! Try applying the chemical exfoliator 2-3 times a week and gradually introduce it to your everyday routine. If you choose to use a chemical exfoliator, make sure you look at the ingredients in your other skin care products so you don’t mix high concentrates of AHAs and BHAs together as they may be too strong and dry out your skin. Finally, don't forget to apply sunscreen before stepping outside, especially if you use any acids (AHA, BHA, PHA) in your skincare routine. Using chemical exfoliators can make your skin more sun-sensitive than usual.
Which one is best for your skin type?
There is no set exfoliator for certain skin types. All skin types can work with both forms of exfoliation. The best way to see if it works for you is to try it out! Experiment with different types to see which one works best for your skin. Generally, you want to exfoliate 2-3 times a week and adjust it depending on your skin. Also, it’s best not to exfoliate on a shaving or waxing day, your skin is already sensitive and exfoliating it will sting and irritate your skin 😣 This also goes if you have any open cuts or unhealed blemishes.
And lastly, we must emphasize not to be too harsh on your skin! Exfoliating isn’t about scrubbing your skin with all the power of the universe💪 , so ease up on the pressure! All it’s meant to do is loosen up the gunk on the surface so it can easily fall off when you wash it.
So try out an exfoliator and get ready to see the difference in your complexion and as well as the overall health of your skin!
Just keep glowing! ✨