There are a lot of ways to stuff up exfoliating.
You can use exfoliating products too often, which compromises the skin and can leave it sensitised, shiny and thin. Or you can use them too infrequently, leaving the skin dull, congested and sad. Or you can use them as hats, which is absurd.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. You should. You really REALLY should.
Exfoliation is an essential part of every skincare routine because it breaks down the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together. Which forces old, dull, cloggy skin cells to bugger off, and allows fresh, new skin cells to come through all luscious and glowy.
What you need to know:
There are two kinds of exfoliation.
Physical exfoliation: which uses rough, jagged particles to physically scrub your face and clear it of old, gross build up.
Because this method can be so abrasive and cause micro tears in the skin barrier, we recommend exfoliating 2-3 times a week only, if you opt for physical products.
Chemical exfoliation: which uses naturally occurring acids (think, AHAs, BHAs, or PHAs) to clear the skin of rank, old skin cells. Chemical exfoliants typically give a far more even and thorough result, which is why we much prefer them.
While, thanks to the wording, this method sounds harsher, chemical exfoliation can be performed more frequently. Depending on the formula, that is (have they incorporated soothing agents like Tasmanian Pepper leaf extract or aloe extract to simultaneously calm the skin?).
If your skin is new to these active ingredients we still recommend easing them into your routine, building up tolerance to eventually be able to use them every other day, daily, or twice a day. Just make sure your usage aligns with your skin type and skin concerns.
Over-exfoliating is an altogether terrible idea. Your skin has only finite layers. And if you overdo it with exfoliation it’ll end up raw and sensitised and thin. Ick. Don’t.
Either way, exfoliants should be used straight after cleansing. And then followed by serums, face oils, and face creams. And if you’re using AHAs or BHAs always wear SPF in the daytime. (These products tend to increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun, so wearing daily SPF becomes even more crucial.) (Yes, Gina, even in Winter.)
Do that, and you'll be rewarded with:
A face cleared of dead skin cells! (Which can cause dullness and congestion.)
Appearance of your fine lines minimised!
Refined skin texture!
Reduced pigmentation and more even skin tone!
An excellent base for the rest of your routine! (Which allows all of your other products to penetrate more deeply and work harder.)
BUCKETLOADS OF GLOW!