It is seen that with time our skin loses its glow and radiance, so adding exfoliation to our skincare routine can be highly beneficial. Exfoliation not only helps in getting the glow back but also helps in treating various skin related problems.
So, before changing your routine you must be aware how exfoliation actually works and how to do it in the right way.
What Is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface by means of natural,chemical methods and exfoliation tools. Our skin cells have to face a lot of wear and tear due to its exposure to the environment and this natural cycle of wear-tear and healing goes on throughout our life, but becomes less effective in old age.
However, the dead skin cells sometimes get deposited on the skin surface, leading to uneven skin tone and acne breakouts. So, it is really necessary to use an exfoliator to boost skin's ability to remove the dead skin cells, speed up the cell turnover and boost complexion.
How is exfoliation beneficial for our skin?
Exfoliation improves the appearance of our skin and makes it look even more brighter and young. Exfoliators improve the effect of skin care products by enhancing its absorption. Regular use of exfoliation helps in preventing frequent acne breakouts. Exfoliation also boosts collagen production in the skin and which in return makes the skin look vibrant, glowy and wrinkle-free. Proteins present in them help in getting rid of fine lines and saggy skin.
How to exfoliate in the right way?
Exfoliation basically removes the dead skin cell from the outer surface of the skin. This can be done by both physical and chemical exfoliators. So, by following these steps mentioned below you can easily exfoliate your skin in the right way.
1. One should choose the product best for their skin
It is really important to choose the right product depending on your skin type. The choice of the product also determines the part of the body which you want to exfoliate.
2. Apply exfoliator the right way
Applying exfoliators the right way is of uttermost importance. While using a face scrub make sure it is applied on dry skin and if using a serum based exfoliator, make sure it is applied before moisturising your skin. Avoid any contact with eyes.
3. Get the exfoliator to work
After using the face scrub or a serum base exfoliator, a gentle massage is a must to get the exfoliator on work and see the best results.
4. Wash off
After applying the exfoliators for sometime, use lukewarm water to wash off the granules from the skin. Dry your face with a soft towel and you will see a smooth and a brighter skin.
5. Apply a moisturiser
After washing off the exfoliator, it is very important to moisturise the skin to prevent any damage on the skin and keep it hydrated.
What are the various methods of exfoliation?
On the basis of how exfoliation works, there are physical and chemical methods of exfoliation
Products that require manual scrubbing or rubbing are described as a physical exfoliant. This method gives immediate results as it directly removes the dead skin cells from the surface and improves blood circulation. Cleansing scrubs( for eg-coconut scrubs), loofahs, pumice stone, microneedling and body brushes are some of the examples of good exfoliators for our skin.The biggest advantage of this method is that it is easy to use and gives immediate results.
It is important to note that if used incorrectly, these exfoliators can cause dryness and irritation on the skin.
Chemical exfoliation on the other hand uses enzymes, retinols, mild acids to remove dead skin cells and boost the cell turnover. Most of them are safe to use but a medical consultancy is necessary before its application on the skin. The effect of this method is slow but is long lasting and shows effective results.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)
These are groups of water soluble acids derived from sugary fruits. The most commonly used AHA’s are glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid, lactic acid and tartaric acid. These help in peeling off the dead skin cells and regeneration of new skin cells on the skin surface. AHA’s help in treating mild hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts and getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles.
Beta hydroxy acids(BHA)
These are oil soluble acids and are a commonly used exfoliator nowadays. They go deep into the dead skin cell and clog their pores. BHA skin products are used to treat acne breakouts and sunburn. Salicylic acid is the most common BHA used in acne treatments and reduces redness and inflammation.
Poly hydroxy acids (PHA)
PHA’s are used as an exfoliating acid that hydrates, soothes the skin and improves the regeneration of skin cells. This helps in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Retinoids are medications derived from Vitamin A and benefits the skin by treating acne breakouts, minimises signs of ageing and reduces sunburns. They protect your skin from free radicals and boosts collagen production. Topical retinoids like retinol, adapalene, tretinoin etc, are commonly used nowadays.
Enzyme exfoliation is the type of chemical exfoliation that breaks the bond responsible for holding the dead skin cells together. They work gently over AHA and sheds the unwanted skin cells from the surface.
Various home remedies are used to exfoliate the skin effectively and comfortably. Various ingredients like sugar, honey, papaya, yoghurt, lemon juice, oats, coffee are used to exfoliate the skin and improve skin’s complexion. They remove the dead skin cells, soothe the skin, reduce the inflammation, prevent acne breakouts, detoxifies the skin and delays the occurrence of fine lines and wrinkles.
Which exfoliator is best for your skin type?
Choosing the right method of exfoliation for your skin type is necessary to reduce the chances of any adverse effects.
Normal skin is clean, clear and less irritated. People with normal skin usually can try any method of exfoliation without risk of having any adverse effects.
BHA’s are usually less irritating than other chemical methods, even to the most sensitive skins. But you should definitely consult a dermatologist before going in for any other exfoliating skin care product.
Dry skin is rough and flaky, AHA’s can easily penetrate through the skin layers and allow moisturiser to hydrate and soothe the cells.
So, if your skin produces lots of oil or sebum, a strong exfoliator like physical scrub proves to be a good choice in showing effective results. Exfoliating twice or thrice a week, helps in getting rid of excess sebum.
If you have oily and dry skin at patches, both the conditions should be considered. You should use both mild physical and chemical exfoliators for seeing the best results.
So, whether you choose scrubs or OTC products, it all depends on a person’s comfort, demands and daily skincare needs. But, it is highly necessary to consult a dermatologist before adding any of the above methods in your skin care routine. They can walk through your options and provide you with the best product depending on your skin type.