Just scrub it off they say, pretty much every time you mention a skin issue. Be it dull and dry skin or wanting to improve skin texture, exfoliation is mentioned like it is the ultimate solution to every problem.
And it can be. But in moderation, without going overboard. As much as exfoliation is necessary for healthy and glowing skin, ‘too much’ of it can be harmful for you.
To understand why over-exfoliation is a no-no, you need to know the basics of the process of exfoliation; it involves the removal of dead, dry and flaky skin layers so that healthy skin glows from underneath. It also helps to unclog pores by dislocating accumulation gunk and dirt, giving you clearer and smoother skin.
But a lot of factors come into play regarding the amount of exfoliation that should be done and the method that should be employed, because every skin type is different with needs that are unique to it. Caution is especially recommended for people with sensitive skin that is easily irritated or skin that is sunburned as it can cause undue pain and inflammation.
So how exactly should you exfoliate, how often and with what? To find out all about the do’s and don’ts of exfoliation, keep reading!
What are Exfoliants?
There can be three types of exfoliating methods; physical, mechanical and chemical.
Physical exfoliation is the use of a scrub with granules which help to remove and abrade dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking fresher and brighter. It is the most minimally invasive and gentle method and works best for pretty much all skin types.
Mechanical exfoliation revolves around the use of a device or any machine which helps to exfoliate the skin. This is perhaps the most abrasive method of exfoliation which is used in extreme cases and avoided by those who have sensitive skin. Mechanical exfoliation can mostly be in the form of microdermabrasion and several laser treatments which help deal with the removal of dead skin.
Chemical exfoliation, as the name explains, is the use of several chemical agents such as acid-based products and enzymes which help to remove dead skin and speed up the biological processes of naturally peeling and subsequently healing the skin. Through the use of chemical exfoliators and chemical treatments, dead skin is removed in an attempt to brighten the skin and rejuvenate it.
Harms of over-exfoliating
Our skin naturally produces oils to keep it hydrated. However excessive exfoliation can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to excessive dryness. It can also cause the skin to become irritated and experience prolonged redness. With the top most layer of the skin removed, over-exfoliation can also expose the skin to bacteria and microbes, leading to acne breakouts.
However, if done right, exfoliation helps to improve pore clogging which reduces white heads, blackheads and acne. Moreover, it helps skin to look more plump and healthy. Dead, dull skin is replaced by healthier, glowy skin.
But remember that when it comes to exfoliation, less is more!
So how can you pick your recommended exfoliation type? Keep reading to find out.
In order to find out which exfoliant works best for you, it is important to inquire and learn more about your skin type. The different exfoliators and their processes vary from person to person depending on one’s skin type. Thus, it is important to find out whether your skin is sensitive or normal, oily, dry or combination skin. It’s also crucial to holistically understand the skin problems and conditions that you are facing. If you have acne, what will work for you may not be the same for someone who doesn’t have active acne but has acne-scars.
Start with Gentle Exfoliants
For people incorporating exfoliation into their skin-care routine, they should opt for exfoliants which are more organic and gentle so that they don’t cause irritation or broken capillaries which are a result of over-exfoliating. Redness and peeling can also occur if one over-exfoliates. The Leovard Multicleanser consists of papaya extract which is a gentle exfoliant and the perfect addition to your skin care routine.
Exfoliate in the Morning
Experts suggest that the right time to exfoliate is early in the morning after one wakes up from deep sleep. This is because when it’s night time, the skin repairs itself naturally and as a result one has a layer of dead skin ready to be removed in the morning.
Don’t forget your Moisturizer
Exfoliating can result in the skin’s moisture barrier being impaired as layers of the skin are removed. Thus, it’s extremely important to moisturize your skin right after exfoliation. Leovard’s Multicream is an amazing product which helps to restore moisture and hydrate your skin after an extensive cleansing and exfoliating session.
How often should one Exfoliate?
Gentle exfoliants can be used twice or thrice a week, depending on one’s skin type. It is important to remember that the older you get, the more exfoliator you will need because your skin will start to look unhealthy if an exfoliator is not used properly. With chemical exfoliants, once a week is also enough. Moreover for mechanical procedures, experts recommend getting an exfoliant treatment done once a month.
While exfoliation seems to be an incredible way to remove dead skin and get healthier skin, it is important to remember that over-exfoliating will cause skin to become dry, flaky and may even cause irritation. So choose wisely and carefully. However, don’t skip exfoliation because it's your gateway to glowy, youthful and healthy skin.