Between clay masks, gel masks, sheet masks, peels, and scrubs, how do you know which exfoliant to choose? Which one is actually going to work for your skin?
It’s no doubt there is a plethora of options when it comes to exfoliators. But, although the options are plenty, there are few that are truly effective in doing what an exfoliant is intended to do—remove the dead cells from the surface of your skin to reveal a vibrant, radiant complexion beneath. If you want to learn more about the purpose of an exfoliant, you can read all about it here!
1. Your skin exfoliates naturally, but…
The Epidermis—the surface of your skin—turns over approximately every 28 days on its own. However, as you age, this natural process can slow down, resulting in an accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface. As these layers of dead skin cells build up, they absorb light rather than reflect it, which creates a dull skin tone and a less radiant complexion. Exfoliation is a necessary step to help remove this build up of dead skin cells and to reveal a bright, refined skin tone.
2. Chemical exfoliation is generally preferred by dermatologists
There are two primary methods of exfoliation—mechanical (beads, brushes, scrubs, blades) and chemical (Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids). These acids are preferred over mechanical techniques because they release the dead skin cells with their natural exfoliating properties versus tearing or ripping them apart (which can damage the skin barrier).
3. AHA Masks & Peels are much more effective than cleansers
Unlike Alpha Hydroxy Acid masks and peels which have proven to be effective, cleansers don’t sit on the skin long enough to yield results.
4. Avoid daily and even weekly exfoliation
Over-exfoliating will fatigue and damage the surface of the skin, making it much more prone to dehydration and irritation from other skincare ingredients. We recommended a peel which can be used for 3-4 consecutive days, only once a month.
5. Lactic Acid is a multitasking workhorse
Glycolic Acid usually gets all the glory, but Lactic Acid has a ton of clinical support for its incredible efficacy in improving the appearance of skin tone and texture. Plus, it’s less irritating than Glycolic Acid.
6. Salicylic Acid is an unsung anti-aging hero
We tend to think of Salicylic Acid (a Beta Hydroxy Acid) as an acne-clearing ingredient because it penetrates clogged pores by breaking down fatty material that can bind dead skin cells together. But, it’s also a great exfoliator, improving the appearance of skin tone and texture, and is usually much less irritating than Glycolic Acid.
7. Cleanse and remove makeup before exfoliating
Removing surface oils, dirt and makeup enables the exfoliating ingredients to be absorbed into the skin to work more effectively. Our gentle Restoring Cleanser is a great way to effectively cleanse dirt and impurities, while removing makeup.
8. The benefits are broad and great
Well formulated Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid treatments can even skin tone, brighten skin clarity, boost skin radiance, reduce the appearance of fine lines, refine and polish skin texture, and moisturize skin.