Exfoliating is an important step in any skincare routine, as it helps remove the dead skin cells that build up and reveal a brighter, smoother complexion. However, it is important to approach exfoliation with care, as over-exfoliating can heavily damage your skin and cause irritation. Let’s look at the two most common types of exfoliants and how to introduce them into your skincare routine depending on your skin type.
Chemical exfoliants, like mandelic or glycolic acids, work by aiming to dissolve the bonds between skin cells and loosening the cells at the surface to allow a faster skin cell turnover rate to reveal new, fresh skin
Physical exfoliants, like microdermabrasion, work by using firm substances to physically scrub away dead skin cells. Similar to chemicals, scrubbing at skin cells will reveal newer skin that are hidden underneath the dead skin.
Exfoliation Depending on Your Skin Type
If you lean more towards dry skin, you will want to stay away from physical exfoliation as dry-skinned folks tend to have smaller oil glands and thinner skin. This causes the skin to be more susceptible to irritation from physical exfoliants like micro-tears. For dry-skinned people, it's ideal to exfoliate once a week to prevent extreme, sudden damage.
For those with combination skin, using salicylic acid (a chemical exfoliant) is best as it helps shed the dead skin without causing harsh abrasion, and can unclog pores, lessen oil production and smooth out any rough or dry flaky skin.
For those with oily skin, exfoliation is actually less harmful compared to other skin types. Oily skin tends to have thicker and hardier skin which allows it to work great with both physical and chemical exfoliation. Like the other skin types, it is important to start off slowly to prevent irritation. Ideally, you would want to start exfoliating once or twice a week and slowly work up depending on your skin’s reaction to exfoliating.
To get started on gently exfoliating your skin, check out our Urban Calm Gel Cleanser which is made with LHA ( Lipohydroxy acid) and Fermented Pear.
Exfoliating your skin has a multitude of benefits, like reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation or reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Consistent exfoliation over time stimulates collagen production which improves the skin texture, tone, and integrity.