Exfoliation is the key to healthy, younger looking and smooth textured skin. Exfoliation should be part of your basic skin care routine. The product selection is huge and there is the perfect product for every skin type and condition. How often you should exfoliate and which product is best suited for your skin can be found out through a consultation with your skin therapist, Barbara.
Some of us love that feeling of baby-smooth skin right after we’ve scrubbed-down with a hearty exfoliator. The skin is glowing and your moisturizer just glides on and absorbs like a dream. If you get too addicted to that sensation, that smooth, soft skin will likely turn to redness and flaking. The total opposite of what you intended. Over-exfoliation is so easy to occur with too vigorous or too often a scrub, and sometimes you won’t even realize you’re going too hard with the exfoliation until your skin rebels. It is important to know that you never have to scrub hard, just a gentle massage will do the job just fine.
Chemical vs. Mechanical: If you have sensitive skin, a chemical exfoliant may benefit you more than a scrub. Gentle enzymes, such as from rice and pineapple, can dissolve dead skin cells without irritating the skin. Sounds strange, but manual exfoliation - physically scrubbing - can really do a number on your sensitive skin. The chemicals in Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids are great to use in a toner, cleanser or treatment. An added benefit of using a chemical exfoliant is that it helps reduce acne without further irritating it. The main difference between AHAs and BHAs is that AHAs are water-soluble and BHAs are oil-soluble, so AHAs are better for removing dead skin cells on dry skin and BHAs are great for penetrating oily skin and pores.
Washcloths are another good option, as long as they aren’t too rough. Even a good old terrycloth washcloth will exfoliate gently and get your skin clean. For easily irritated skin, good options for face care are the Aveda or Dermalogica shammy cloths. These are super soft and will remove cleanser and product without irritation.
Skip the Brush: People swear by facial brushes, but the fact is that an oscillating/vibrating brush is far too rough for most people’s skin. Also you cannot hydrate your skin with water because water molecules are much too large to penetrate your skin. You’re basically doing to your skin what an electric toothbrush does for your teeth - scrapes away stubborn gunk. Rarely is there anything too stuck on your face. The gentlest brush-head could benefit someone with normal to oily skin once a week, but anything rougher or more often can do more harm than good. When you over-scrub, you are pretty much destroying the layer of barrier skin cells that are there to protect your skin from germs and bacteria. You may find that doing so causes dryness or possibly more acne and blemishes despite your efforts.
A word of caution: please do not use body scrubs for your face. The granules in body products tend to be too harsh for the face, leading to micro injuries.