How to Choose The Right Exfoliator

what is exfoliation, how to choose an exfoliator

PART 2 – Building a Solid Skincare Regimen

In Part 1 of Building a Solid Skincare Regimen Series, I talked about steps everyone should be taking to care for their skin.  Now, I’m going to talk about choosing the right exfoliator which is paramount if you’re going to do this properly.  Exfoliating has amazing benefits but you should be mindful about the process you choose to get the job done.  Take caution: If you’re not careful, you can injure your beautiful skin and cause more harm than good.  Let’s get into it.

What is Exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the process of the removal of dead skin cells which have a dulling affect on the epidermis (the visible, outermost layer of the skin). Exfoliation also stimulates rapid cell regeneration which helps aging skin to look more youthful.

What Types of Exfoliators are There?

There are two types of exfoliants: 1) Abrasives (brushes, scrubs and crystal/diamond microdermabrasion machines) and 2) Chemical Peels (Alpha/Betahydroxy acids). Along with AHAs and BHAs, many chemical peels feature fruit enzymes that are very effective such as Papaya and Pineapple among many others.

Deciding the Exfoliant That’s Right for You

The safest and (mostly) foolproof exfoliation method of at-home skincare is to use a gentle abrasive such as a facial/body brush or scrub. Scrubs feature will often feature great exfoliants like coffee grounds, sea-salt, sugar or rice starch (among others).
Coffee grounds, salts and sugars are great for the body however, are many times, too rough for the face. For the face, find products with rice starch of jojoba beads that have proven to be gentle and won’t tear delicate facial skin. Facial brushes are an awesome way to go as well (which is what I use).

I suggest seeing a dermatologist or certified professional esthetician before going the aggressive route. Improper use of peels and microdermabrasion devises can cause injury to your skin and actually end up being counter productive.

How Often Should You Exfoliate?

Once or twice a week is sufficient to keep skin looking healthy, beautiful and glowing. Any more than that and you run the risk of over-exfoliating which will cause your skin to look thin and encourage breakouts and rashes.

Closing Notes

1. Make sure to wear sunscreen after any exfoliation process to protect your beautiful skin from sun damage.

2. Never use a scrub intended for your body on your face. The skin on your face is much more delicate and you will tear your skin. Find a facial scrub with fine granules (ie. NOT the ever popular apricot scrub).

3. Never wax after exfoliating, waxing will snatch that fresh new skin right off and cause scars and scabs. Not pretty.

Coming up next in Part 3 of the Skincare series, I discuss whether to tone or not to tone.