Body scrubs can make your skin feel and look smooth and baby-soft. Exfoliate too much, and you can cause problems. Over-exfoliating can cause undesirable side effects, from skin sensitivity to breakouts and rough patches. What’s the perfect Goldilocks level of exfoliation for your skin?
Exfoliating 2 to 3 times per week is beneficial for most people, but you may want to reduce your exfoliation in some cases.
Our Kate Somerville skin health experts have created this guide to assist you in determining when and how to exfoliate your entire body. Read on to find out how you can establish a perfect body-polishing routine.
Exfoliation: When and how to do it
Most people can maintain their skin’s health by exfoliating 2-3 times per week. Warm shower water will open pores and help you exfoliate. Scrub your skin gently in circular motions with your exfoliating body wash. After letting it sit as directed, rinse it off to reveal smooth, baby-soft skin.
You can over-exfoliate your body even if you’re a pro. This is because you may use your scrub more than you need to or choose a scrub that doesn’t suit your skin type and the season.
You may have been exfoliating your skin too harshly if you notice:
Dry and flaky patches
Why Exfoliating Your Body Is Not Recommended
Exfoliating twice a week may be a good guideline, but there are other times you might need to lay down the loofah. You should not use an exfoliant on skin that is inflamed or injured.
Laceration or rashes
Other products like chemical peels
Why Exfoliate Your Skin
Every day, the body replaces about 40,000 dead cells with new ones. While most of the dead skin cells will eventually fall off, there is a thin layer at the top of your epidermis called stratum corneum.
Your skin may appear to be:
Exfoliants are the best way to aid the skin in its natural sloughing and remove dead skin cells. Regarding a visible outcome, our founder Kate calls the exfoliation process “the #1 game changer in skin care”. Why? You can reveal younger, more youthful skin by sloughing off dead skin cells. By removing the dead skin cells, you also remove a layer that makes it difficult for skin and body care products to penetrate and produce a visible effect.
Did you know that there are several methods of exfoliating the skin? These methods can be divided into three categories: chemical, enzyme-based, and mechanical.
Chemical exfoliants come in many different combinations and strengths. However, the following are some of the more common ones:
Alpha-hydroxy acids (also known as AHAs).
Salicylic Acid (also known as BHA)
Enzymatic exfoliants are a chemical exfoliant that uses natural enzymes, similar to acids, to break down the proteins of dead skin cells. Tropical fruits like:
Imagine enzymatic skin exfoliation as a Pac-Man-style game. The enzymes “digest” the dead skin cells sloughed off, revealing new, fresh skin.
Mechanical exfoliants (also called physical exfoliants) use the strength of the hands to remove dead skin cells. Physical exfoliants include:
Washcloths, hand mitts, or loofahs are all examples of exfoliating tools.
Exfoliating products include sea salt, pumice, or coffee grounds
How To Choose The Right Exfoliant
How do you pick the best exfoliating body polish for you out of all the options available on the market? Ask yourself these questions to determine your skin type.
Are you a combination of oily, dry, or combination skin type?
Are you prone to acne or sensitive skin?
Are you prone to sunburn?
Are you mature or thin-skinned?
Dry, sensitive, acne-prone, sunburn and t,hin skin may benefit from a mild chemical exfoliant or softer mechanical exfoliant. Oily skin or mature skin may benefit from more vital chemical and mechanical exfoliation.
You should also consider whether your exfoliation regime must be adjusted seasonally. In hot weather, the buildup of sunscreen and sweat will need to be removed more aggressively, while cold weather can cause chapped and dry skin, requiring a gentler exfoliation.
Start testing exfoliants after evaluating your skin type and the season. Start by applying a small amount to the inner wrist skin and watch for any adverse reactions. This is important, especially if using an enzymatic or chemical exfoliant.
To keep your skin healthy, you should periodically re-evaluate your exfoliant.