Everything There Is To Know About Exfoliation
Exfoliation is one of the most important, yet underappreciated, steps in your skincare routine, and it is frequently misunderstood.
Don’t be put off by the term “combination chemical peel” – exfoliating properly is the key to achieving smooth, glowing skin.
Here, we consult with our certified beauty therapist Kitija to provide you with an overview of various exfoliation practices for your face (or any body part, really).
What is the definition of exfoliation?
“Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, increasing cell turnover and revealing newer, more radiant cells beneath,” Kitija explains. It also improves the efficacy of other skincare products because they can penetrate the skin’s surface more easily without the layer of dead skin.
Though most skin types can benefit from exfoliation, Kitija warns that overdoing it can be counterproductive. Exfoliating too frequently or using an exfoliator that is not suitable for your skin can cause irritation, peeling, and redness, so always read the product label first.
Is it okay to exfoliate in the summer?
Exfoliation can and should be done in the summer; after all, removing dead skin cells allows for a more even and smooth tan. Kitija, on the other hand, advises caution: “Exfoliation makes the skin more vulnerable, especially to sun exposure.”
Exfoliate only at night, and remember to always wear high-protection sunscreen to keep those new cells safe.
Mechanical vs. chemical exfoliation
Exfoliation can be classified into two types: chemical and mechanical.
They are both pursuing the same goal, but in different ways. “Chemical exfoliators slough off dead skin cells by stimulating cell turnover with acids like AHAs, PHAs, and BHAs,” Kitija explains. This contributes to the desired brighter, more radiant, and refined complexion by improving skin hydration, unclogging pores, and targeting hyperpigmentation.
Kitija recommends taking baby steps if you have extremely sensitive skin or are new to acids. Choose the gentlest formulations and gradually incorporate them into your routine, working your way up to stronger active ingredients later.
Mechanical exfoliators, on the other hand – products containing small particles or brush bristles – work by physically scrubbing away surface cells and dislodging dirt in gentle motions that also help boost circulation.
Keep in mind that mechanical exfoliation should be done only on healthy skin and never during acute inflammation or breakouts.
Should I also exfoliate my body as well?
Skincare isn’t just for our faces; our bodies’ skin deserves some extra attention as well. Regular exfoliation from head to toe will not only feel indulgent, but will also make your bodycare routine more effective, polishing away dullness and dead cells to leave the skin silky soft and hydrated.