Beautiful, healthy skin takes work.
And correct exfoliation is the cornerstone of good skincare. But it’s confusing we agree.
With so many exfoliating products lining the store shelf, how can you begin to make sense of it?
The best way to search through the myriad of exfoliating products is to break it down by skin type:
An easy one to start with! Exfoliating is simply the act of sloughing off of dead skin cells to reveal beautiful, newly generated skin cells. It’s also a good excuse to use the word “sloughing.
There are several ways you can do this—physically, with a scrub, a rough washcloth, or a microdermabrasion machine; or chemically, with very safe skincare acids like alpha hydroxy acid.
The different types of exfoliating products
- facial scrubs
- enzymatic masks
- cleansing beads
- exfoliating products
- abrasive Sponges
- alpha hydroxy acids
- beta hydroxy acids
- roll-off masks, known in the beauty industry as gommage products
If you have dry skin
You would want to look for exfoliants containing moisturising ingredients such as coconut oil, or shea butter. Exfoliating products with a cream base or a gommage peeling formula is ideal, that will help get rid of stubborn skin cells that have adhered to the surface.
If you have oily skin
Your skin type tends to be thicker, and unless you are suffering from inflamed breakouts, your skin will have a higher tolerance to use exfoliating products a couple of times a week depending on the ingredients.
It would help if you looked for products that contain alpha or beta acids, salicylic or glycolic acids. Be sure not to overdo it though, if you dry out your skin too much; it can cause redness and irritation – you may even stimulate increased oil production as your body responds to being over dry.
To find out how exactly to exfoliate an oily skin follow the link.
If your skin is a combination skin type
If you have combination skin – your T-zone is oily, and your cheeks are dry, you should keep the majority of your exfoliation to the T-zone area. You should follow exfoliation with moisturiser applied heavily to the dry skin areas and sparsely on the oily areas.
If you have sensitive skin
This topic is quite in-depth, simply because there is so much going on with this skin type. For this reason, we have dedicated a whole article to it, which you can read here.
Be careful of ingredients within formulas.
It is important to ensure you are not using cheap exfoliants, which are often formulated with irregular exfoliating ingredients.
We have seen several cases in our clinic, where clients have over exfoliated with these types of products, to the point where they have impaired the barrier and caused terrible sensitivity in their skin.
These exfoliating products use ingredients like crushed walnut pieces that are not spherical in shape; these cause tiny micro-tears on the surface of your skin. In our professional opinion, they are the facial equivalent of a pan scourer and can potentially do more harm than good.
The Naked Chemist philosophy is about healing skin, calming inflammation, which we feel is at the root of all premature ageing.
This is why our exfoliating products are gommage or powder-based. Our powder-based exfoliant is enzymatic – the papaya and pineapple enzymes have a much deeper action on the skin than a manual exfoliant, yet are still extremely gentle.
They work like little Pac men on the skin, munching and dissolving the protein bonds between dead cells, penetrating the hair follicles, and removing the build-up of follicular debris in the cell wall, they also have an exfoliating action in the pores, helping to unplug blocked sebaceous (oil) glands; preventing the imperfections that can lead to scarring and acne lesions.