Exfoliation, though very necessary and beneficial, can do some skin damage if not done correctly. There are many tools now available to assist in exfoliation, unfortunately with so many methods and products, it can really open up even more opportunity to make mistakes.
Let’s talk for a minute about the different kinds of exfoliation, chemical and mechanical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation refers to the acids you hear about all the time on skincare commercials, blogs etc. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are two of the most widely used in exfoliation products. Mechanical exfoliation on the other hand, refers to tools used such as body scrubs and brushes. Meaning YOU are in control of the exfoliation activity.
Regardless of the method we choose, the mistakes listed below occur all too often so be sure to take note!
Don’t Overdo It.
Notice how we are told to not wash our hair too often because it removes natural oils? This results in dry hair or on the contrary an even oilier scalp. This occurs because you are kicking your body's natural reaction into overdrive. Same thing occurs with skin exfoliation. If you do it too often, your skin will just continue to rapidly reproduce and over produce oils. Trust the process and follow the general guidelines of 2-3 times a week.
You Scrub Your Face, But Forget the Rest.
It’s easy to do. Focus on what you see most when you look in the mirror each day. But exfoliation for the entire body, from our head to our toes, will help with anti-aging, breakouts, ingrown hairs and more. Be sure to find a body scrub that is gentle, yet moisturizing and is appropriate for sensitive skin to be safe.
You Cause Skin Damage by Applying Too Much Pressure.
You see dry skin and think if you just scrub rapidly and hard, that you will remove all the dead skin. Careful now. During exfoliation there will be different layers of skin. Dry patches among perfectly “normal” skin. Without even noticing it, you can cause breaks and tears in the skin which sometimes won’t be noticeable until the following day. Slow down, ease up and be gentle!
Don’t Believe Everything You Read.
Search the internet on how often to exfoliate and you will find something different in every article you read. There’s a reason for this, and it’s because it depends on YOU. Each person has different skin and therefore responds differently. You have to exfoliate to remove dead skin, promote anti-aging, and have that dewy glow. You do not however, HAVE to exfoliate a specific amount of times or use one product. Pay attention to your skin and what is making it happy, and use that as your guide.
Another side note, is although we love and adore YouTube videos, bloggers and the many that give beauty and skincare advice, those ideas may not be best for you personally. This comes down to the products and ingredients used, as well as different skin types.It’s easy to get swept up in social media and all its messages, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Lastly, your skin will change. Age, hormones and circumstances will be constantly evolving. Each product used, for each step of your skincare routine will likely need to be adjusted from time to time. Just simply be aware of this, and have fun with new found products!
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