If you want to exfoliate, make sure you do it carefully so that you don't harm your skin. Follow these advice from board-certified dermatologists to properly exfoliate your skin at home.
Exfoliation is the process of eliminating dead skin cells from your skin's outer layer. While some individuals feel it enhances the appearance of their skin, it is not suitable for everyone. If not done correctly, it may cause more harm than benefit.
If you want to exfoliate, make sure to do it carefully so that you don't harm your skin or cause greater redness or acne outbreaks because not all exfoliation methods are suitable for all skin types, it is essential to evaluate your skin type before deciding on an exfoliation method.
Mechanical and chemical exfoliation are the two basic ways for at-home exfoliation, and the method you pick should be guided by your skin type. Mechanical exfoliation removes dead skin cells by using a tool, such as a brush or sponge, or a scrub. Chemical exfoliation dissolves dead skin cells gently by using chemicals such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids.
Dermatologists propose the following steps to avoid skin injury during exfoliating:
1. Take a look at the skin care products you already use. Some drugs and even over-the-counter treatments, such as prescription retinoid creams or products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide, may cause your skin to become more sensitive or peel. Exfoliating while using these products may aggravate dry skin or trigger acne outbreaks.
2. Choose an exfoliating procedure that is appropriate for your skin type. Those with dry, sensitive, or acne-prone skin may choose a washcloth and a moderate chemical exfoliant instead of mechanical exfoliation, since mechanical exfoliation may be too irritating. Those with greasy or thicker skin may benefit from more aggressive chemical treatments or mechanical exfoliation. However, if you have a darker skin tone or observe black areas on your skin after burns, insect bites, or acne outbreaks, avoid harsh chemical or mechanical exfoliation. More vigorous kinds of exfoliation may result in black blotches on the skin for certain persons, particularly those with darker skin tones.
3. Take care of your skin. If you're using a scrub or a chemical exfoliant, apply it lightly in tiny, circular strokes. Do this for about 30 seconds before rinsing with lukewarm — not hot — water. Use quick, gentle strokes with a brush or sponge. If you have open cuts or sores, or if your skin is burnt, never exfoliate.
4. After that, apply moisturizer. Exfoliating may be quite drying to the skin. To keep your skin healthy and moisturized, use moisturizer immediately after exfoliating.
5. Determine the best schedule for you. The frequency with which you exfoliate is determined by your skin type and exfoliation method. In general, the more vigorous the exfoliation, the fewer frequently it is required. Be cautious not to over-exfoliate, since this might result in red, irritated skin.