There are three different ways to exfoliate, manually, mechanically and chemically. Every skin type (for the most part) can exfoliate with any of these methods, although some are better for certain skin types than others.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO EXFOLIATE?
Exfoliating is necessary to slough away dead skin cells, this helps your skin look bright, refreshed and glowing..
NOTE: It's best not to use a scrub daily, give your skin "rest day" or two, depending on how sensitive you are, after an "active day" (a day you exfoliate).
A manual exfoliant is a facial scrub that you can use at home, in your shower, about 2-3 times per week. Be sure when you're choosing your scrub you check with your skin first! A few questions to ask yourself...
Do I have any whiteheads or just popped pimples? If you do, don't use a scrub that you have to physically rub on your face to slough away dead skin. This can break open any whiteheads you have and can spread infection, causing you to break out more. This is true for previously popped whiteheads as well, any infection can easily be spread. Try using a scrub that has enzymes in it and use it during a hot shower. The steam will activate the scrub and the enzyme will eat away at your dead skin cells. A crowd favorite is the Kiehl's Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub.
Am I sensitive? If you are, look for a nonabrasive exfoliant. You want to slough away dead skin cells but you don't want to damage or irritate the skin.
Do I have visible dry, flaky skin? If you do, look for something a little more abrasive, as long as you don't have either of the above. My favorite for this is the Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion.
**Make sure that whatever scrub you're using has a spherical bead with no rugged edges, using a scrub with an uneven bead can get into your pores and rip your skin.
A mechanical exfoliant can be used at home or at the spa. A mechanical exfoliation will include a Clarisonic Brush, Foreo LUNA, microdermabrasion or any type of "mechanical" tool you're using to exfoliate. Your clarisonic and luna can be used at home in the shower a few times a week, I suggest these to everyone. A microdermabrasion is a service provided by your esthetician, that will use a rough tip or crystals with a vacuum like feel to exfoliate. Generally they will go over your entire face 1-3 times.
A chemical exfoliant uses a chemical to slough away dead skin cells. These can be done by you, or your esthetician and sometimes by a physician. When doing it at home, make sure you do a patch test, especially if it's your first timer. Try somewhere on your neck that isn't as visible, or behind your ear. I love M-61 PowerGlow Peel. This can be used a few times a week (I usually do it at night)! It comes in a packet with a small soaked cloth with a one time use. This is going to help keep your skin looking fresh and revitalized.
A chemical peel done by your esthetician or physician can be more serious. The technician will apply an acid on your face with a small gauze. Your skin may burn and feel tingly, and they can go over your face up to three times. Depending on the strength of the peel your skin may actually peel a day or two later sometimes days later. A few important things to know when receiving a chem peel:
- WEAR SUNSCREEN- if you are getting any peel done and you do not use sunscreen, you may as well not get the service done, you need to make sure you're protecting your skin!
- If your skin peels, DO NOT pick at it, this can cause scarring and your skin may not heal as fast.
No matter which you decide ALWAYS remember that after exfoliating your skin will be more sensitive and sunscreen is VERY important!
Thanks for reading!