The three best things you can do for your skin are:
- Protect it from sun damage
- Moisturize (!!)
Protecting it from sun damage is pretty self-explanatory. Besides the obvious reason – skin cancer, it is also important in preventing age spots and wrinkles at the very least.
Moisturizing is another one that just makes a lot of sense. With our bodies composed of a majority of water and fluids, it’s important to continue to stay hydrated inside and out. Exfoliating, I’ve always found, is a little bit more of a grey area. You have to find the right routine so as to exfoliate effectively without being left with a dry, red, flaky face.
Exfoliating is the gentle massaging of the skin in order to encourage turnover of old skin cells to assist in regenerating new, fresh skin cells. This is something your skin does naturally which tells you something about exfoliation. The point is not to scrub your entire first layer of skin off as much as to assist your skin in its natural process.
In this day and age there are many factors that affect your skin’s natural regeneration. Everything from your makeup, your face wash to your diet and your environment as a whole. Especially if you live somewhere like Los Angeles, as some of us do, you’re encountering quite a few environmental challenges to your skin each day that exfoliation can help with!
Most people do pretty well with exfoliating once a week. The only people who should exfoliate more often are those with oily skin. This is due to the excess oils and debris that can settle into the pores. You won’t need to do it more than twice a week though. The best way to find out what works best for you is to start with a gentle exfoliation once a week.
There are two main methods for at-home exfoliation – mechanical and chemical – and the method you choose should be guided by your skin type. Mechanical exfoliation uses a tool, such as a brush or sponge, or a scrub to physically remove dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation uses chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, to gently dissolve dead skin cells.
To prevent skin damage while exfoliating, dermatologists recommend the following tips:
1) Consider the skin care products you already use: Some medications and even over-the-counter products may cause your skin to be more sensitive or peel, such as prescription retinoid creams or products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide. Exfoliating while using these products may worsen dry skin or even cause acne breakouts.
2) Select an exfoliation method that suits your skin type: Those with dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin may prefer just a washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator, as mechanical exfoliation may be too irritating for this skin type. Those with oily, thicker skin may want to use stronger chemical treatments or mechanical exfoliation. However, avoid strong chemical or mechanical exfoliation if you have a darker skin tone or notice dark spots on your skin after burns, bug bites or acne breakouts. For some people, especially those with darker skin tones, more aggressive forms of exfoliation may result in dark spots on the skin.
3) Be gentle to your skin: If you use a scrub or chemical exfoliator, apply the product gently using small, circular motions. Do this for about 30 seconds, and then rinse off with lukewarm – not hot – water. If you use a brush or sponge, use short light strokes. Never exfoliate if you have open cuts or wounds or if your skin is sunburned.
4) Follow with moisturizer: Exfoliating can be drying to the skin. Apply moisturizer immediately after exfoliating to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
If you want to use a combination of chemical and physical exfoliation, our Antioxidant Mask & Scrub is your go-to product! It contains exfoliating glycolic and lactic acids plus natural cranberry fibers for a little extra gentle scrub.
Here’s to glowing skin!