All the information you need to know before you decide to exfoliate your skin!
As we grow older, our skin does too. What does this mean? What does skin aging entail? No, greying is not a function of aging skin, but wrinkles, the lack of new skin cell generation, dehydration and much more are all signs that our skin is beginning to grow older. Having said that, there are many ways to age gracefully, to look after our skin as we do the rest of our bodies is one of them, doing this will in turn give you great skin.
Founders Beauty talks all about exfoliation and post exfoliation skincare tips
Pro Tip: Hence, when you try a new product, unless you have an allergic reaction, always give it between 21-28 days to see whether it has impacted your skin or not.
Unfortunately, sometimes your body doesn’t regenerate its skin as automatically as one would like, our ability to regenerate our skin begins to slow down as we grow older, and there could be many reasons why. This causes an unhealthy skin barrier, dull skin, and dryness; hence leading to wrinkles and triggering acne.
It is important to note that any blockage on the surface of your skin can lead to enflamed pores that harbours bacteria and oil – which essentially is what acne is. While there are many ways to prevent aging, Exfoliation is definitely one of them.
Exfoliation, which helps with sloughing off dead skin cells, and the prevention of clogged pores, not only leaves your skin looking brighter, but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, the effectiveness of topical products is enhanced post exfoliation, as a result to better absorption, it can also in the long term increase collagen production, improve blood circulation, improves dyspigmentation, hyperpigmentation, and minimize fine lines, wrinkles as well as skin sagging.
However the American Academy of Dermatology also expressively stresses the importance of exfoliating correctly: one must exfoliate carefully, and use the right exfoliant so your skin doesn’t get damaged in the process.
Thus, we at Founders Beauty, are determined to provide you with all the right information to better understand which exfoliator is best for you and how to exfoliate correctly.
Mechanical (granular), Chemical, or the use of a tool are all ways to exfoliate. All of these produce similar effects, except some exfoliants are able to penetrate deeper than others, how do you know which to choose? Let’s dive right in.
Physical or Mechanical [Granular] Exfoliants
A physical/mechanical exfoliant can be purchased or perhaps even made at home, making them the most preferred as a result to accessibility.
Massaging this granular based exfoliant, or exfoliating through a tool, is all you need to be able to achieve a surface level exfoliation.
This kind of an exfoliant is very common and has been performed on the skin for years. This is great for your skin around the body, but when using it on your face, it is important to be cautious, because your skin on your face are more sensitive. Having said that, physical can be used by those who have less sensitive, perhaps oilier skin.
This type of exfoliation method involves the use of chemicals such as AHAs (Alpha hydroxy acids), BHAs (Beta hydroxy acids, and retinol with enzymes as well as fruit enzymes and the like. Chemical exfoliation definitely offers an even exfoliation, it breaks up bonds in between the cells on the top layer of the skin, in turn bringing new healthy skin up. It is important, however, to choose the right chemical for your skin type otherwise one may irritate their skin barrier. If you are unsure about the type of exfoliant you have to use, best to see a dermatologist, or your health care provider – just as physical exfoliation can irritate your skin, so can chemical and medical exfoliation.
AHAs like Glycolic, Malic, Tartaric, Citric, Lactic, and Mandelic acid are water soluble and therefore penetrates skin more deeply, hence holding on to water, and helping with hydration too. BHAs, known as acne fighters, calms and soothes your skin here. Chemical exfoliants are great for people with acne-prone to sensitive skin.
How do you know which chemical exfoliant is good for you? The easiest way to decide which chemical to use when exfoliating is identifiying your skin type:
Normal/Combination Skin: Glycolic acid, it has extensive studies on it, it is the smallest AHA acid particle wise, in turn being able to penetrate deeply.
Sensitive Skin: Mandelic acid, is one of the largest molecules AHA, and therefore doesn’t penetrate so deeply on the skin. Or Poluhydroxy acids, a cousin to AHAs if you will, great for sensitive skin or rosacea prone skin.
Dry Skin: For dry skin, lactic acid is great, it is not just an exfoliant but it is a moisturiser as well.
Oily/acne prone skin: Salycylic acid, it is a smaller molecule and therefore can penetrate deeply, it is able to remove oil and get rid of a lot of the causes for acne.
Medical exfoliation, is the combination of using tools, and chemicals to exfoliate one’s skin, and must be performed in a clinic. Usually this is done by a dermatologist or an aesthetician.
This type of exfoliation is recommended when the skin requires exfoliation to repair the layers much below surface level.
Medical exfoliation can be done in the following ways:
- Chemical Peels: Which is done using a much stronger acid than AHA and BHA, to peel dead skin cells as well as treat wrinkles, discoloured skin and scars.
- Dermaplaning: Famously also known as the Scalpel Facial, Dermaplaning is a non-invasive exfoliating skincare treatment that removes dead skin accumulated over a period of time and peach fuzz. It brightens the skin and allows for the product to penetrate deeper and better, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Microdermabrasion: A minimally invasive procedure used to renew the overall skin tone and texture. It also helps in improving the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, acne scarring, and other skin woes. The technique uses a special applicator with an abrasive surface to gently get rid of the thick layer of the skin on the outside.
The above formats aren’t meant to be DIYs and must be tried only with the help of a professional who can also guide you with some post treatment care.
While exfoliating your skin, here are a few steps to remember:
- Wash your face with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.
- Pat dry with a clean cloth but not completely.
- Take your exfoliant, if using a physical one (pea-sized) just a small amount – and massage it on to your face.
- In gentle and slow circular motions, spread the exfoliant evenly. Keep away from your eyes and lips.
- Once you’ve applied it all over your face and massaged it with very minimal pressure, rinse your face again with cool water.
- Be consistent. If you’ve picked two days in a week to exfoliate, stick to the days and maintain that routine.
- The last and the most important step is to apply a serum, moisturizer and a sunscreen that is suitable for your skin.
- Lastly, don’t over exfoliate. If your skin feels unusually dry, flaky, crusty, waxy or seems like it’s burning more than usual, causing redness, or even breaking out, that’s the first sign for your skin being over exfoliated. If these symptoms occur, see a dermatologist.
While exfoliation feels great and brings about a brightness to your skin, it is important to remember not to over exfoliate. Overdoing it might lead to skin being irritated, flaky and dry. The process may strip your skin off its natural oils which results in dehydration, damaged capillaries and fresh acne breakouts. Let the process be simple, have patience and increase the pace gradually. Allow your skin to get used to the products you use for maximum effect. Moreover, it is best to exfoliate at night followed by a moisturiser, or a hydrating mask.
Protip: Look at the ingredient labels of your other products, to ensure that there aren’t exfoliant acids in there, if they are in there, then one might want to reduce the amount they use an exfoliant.
As mentioned, beautiful skin comes with consistency, effort, and patience.