We have all heard it before: you should exfoliate your face. The problem is that when cosmeticians and beauty pros tell you that, they never really give you all the information about why it’s so important.
Your skin has its own natural exfoliation process whereby dead skin cells loosen from the top layer of the skin. However, that doesn’t mean that these dead skin cells fall off right away. In fact, as you age, this natural process slows down, which means your skin isn’t able to naturally regenerate as well as it used to. That’s why it needs a little help. Besides, it isn’t just the dead skin cells you want to get rid of to get younger looking skin—regularly exfoliating also helps you remove the excess dirt and oil that builds up on your face throughout the day.
Exfoliating increases blood circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. The result is a smoother, clearer, brighter complexion. Another good thing about exfoliating is that it works in conjunction with your other anti-aging skin care products. When you use a facial mask or moisturizer after exfoliating, it can penetrate your skin much better, making it that much more effective.
Exfoliating for Your Skin Type
Oily skin: Exfoliating is great for oily skin, which has a thicker epidermis layer and produces excess sebum (your body’s natural oils.) Exfoliation acts as a deep cleanser, removing not only the dead skin cells, but also the grease and impurities that build up deep inside the pores. For oily skin, I would suggest you exfoliate two to three times a week.
Normal skin: This skin type doesn’t need as much a deep clean as oily skin does. Choose an exfoliator that is labeled as “mild” or for “gentle” use. This will help brighten the skin complexion and keep skin rejuvenated. I would suggest exfoliating one to two times a week.
Combination skin: For those with combination skin, exfoliating twice a week will really help improve the appearance of that oily T-zone (forehead, bridge of the nose, and chin) by working as a deep cleanser in these areas.
Dry skin: This skin type is a little tricky because over-exfoliating can make dry skin worse. When purchasing an exfoliating product, make sure it’s very gentle and only use it once a week—your skin needs as much natural oils as it can produce. You should still exfoliate once a week to get rid of dead skin cells, but no more than that.
Other Exfoliating Tips
- Avoid exfoliating products with coarse sharp grains, as they can damage and irritate the skin.
- Always use warm water when rinsing your face.
- Avoid exfoliating your skin if you have highly sensitive or pustular acne skin.
- Do not use body exfoliators on your face—they’re too abrasive.
- It’s always better to exfoliate at night.
- Never exfoliate two days in a row—it puts too much stress on your skin.
I personally love exfoliating my face and then layering on all of my other skin care products—it’s such a great feeling. I’ve tried a few different exfoliators, but I still have one favorite that I’ve always gone back to: Sisley Botanical Gentle Facial Buffing Cream. I was a little scared when I used it for the first time because my face turned red, and I don’t usually have sensitive skin. But when I woke up in the morning, I couldn’t believe how good my skin looked after just one use. I’ll be the first to warn you that this product doesn’t sell cheap, but it’s worth every penny.