Exfoliation is an important part of the skincare routine. Exfoliation refers to getting rid of the dead skin cells. As our body produces more skin cells it also gets rid of the older. When the dead skin cells do not get removed from the skin naturally, they accumulate imparting a dull look to the face. It may also combine with the natural oils, blocking your pores and causing breakouts.
Exfoliation gives the best results when done after cleansing.
There are mainly two ways in which you can get rid of the dead skin cells.
Physical exfoliator-: In this, you use some type of rough particles to get rid of the dead skin cells. For example small grains of coffee or any type of nuts, a textured cloth or any other external tool with a textured surface. this is the most common way. The results are visible after the use itself.
Physical exfoliator works for many people but it causes some irritation and redness to people with sensitive skin. It should not be done more than two times a week. Also using larger grain particles on the skin causing micro skin tearing but does more harm than good.
It is always better to perform a patch test before you use any type of exfoliator.
Chemical exfoliator-: These contain some type of acid or enzyme which will help in dissolving and loosening the dead skin cells. Many people get scared of the term acid. The acids used in chemical exfoliators are mild variants extracted from natural sources.
The results may not be visible after the first usage but it is beneficial in the long term.
Most Popular type of acids used in chemical exfoliators-:
- AHAs– Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from natural sources like milk, fruits, and sugar. These work on the surface of the skin and cannot penetrate into the pores. These are the most gentle exfoliators and is suitable for all skin types. Example -: glycolic acid, lactic acid
- BHAs– Beta hydroxy acids are derived synthetically from willow bark and other citrus fruits. They can penetrate through your pores. These are great for people with oily or congested skin. Example-: Salicylic acid
Using a chemical exfoliator depends on the product you are using. These acids may be present in your face wash, serum or toner. When starting with a chemical exfoliator it may give you a slight burning sensation. Always read the instruction when using them as the concentration may vary from product to product. you can start with a low concentration.
Some of the products are really gentle to use for daily use. You can use twice a day depending on your skin needs. Also, do not forget to apply sunscreen if you use them during the day time. Exposing skin to the sun will cause more damage than good.
You can choose any type of exfoliation based on your skin needs. make sure to do it properly.