Whether you’re prepping for a fake tan session, buffing away dry skin, or just trying to introduce exfoliation as part of your regular skincare routine, there are a couple of dos and don’ts to get your head around before you start scrubbing.
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation means removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin. Several popular methods include:
• Pumice • Exfoliating brush • Loofah • Exfoliating mitt • Shower scrubs • Soft washcloth
Though many people swear by exfoliation, turning to their preferred method a couple of times a week, the process isn’t for everyone. If you have sensitive skin, you might find a soft washcloth and soap is enough to have your face and body in top condition – it’s vital that you consider your skin type before you start.
What are the benefits of exfoliation
Smooth skin, of course! In all aspects of skincare and beauty, having a soft, hydrated base to work with can make a huge difference. Exfoliation removes dead skin and can help keep your face and body looking and feeling super-smooth.
Always moisturise immediately after exfoliation to keep your top layers of skin soft, plump, and hydrated.
How often should you exfoliate your face?
Over-exfoliation can cause skin irritation and inflammation, so stick to the following:
• Two to three times a week for normal and combination skin • Once a week for sensitive skin
When it comes to the super-delicate skin on our faces, gentleness is essential. With that in mind, it might seem crazy to go near your face with a rough exfoliating brush or pumice – and it is. It’s important that you understand the difference between the skin on your face and on the rest of your body, and to approach exfoliation sensibly.
As well as altering the frequency with which you exfoliate your face, you should also avoid using harsh products on the delicate skin. No matter what skin type you have, never use pumice stones or extra-rough loofahs on your face. Instead, stick to soft facial scrubs containing ground up coffee, salt, sugar, or another exfoliating ingredient, as well as a face-safe base that will care for your delicate skin.
NOTE: never exfoliate your eye area – the skin around your eyes is thinner than on the rest of your face, and shouldn’t need to be exfoliated. If you find your lids or under-eye skin is a little dry, apply a gentle eye cream or moisturiser instead.
If you have normal or combination skin
Use a facial exfoliator a couple of times a week to loosen and remove any top-layer dead skin cells.
If you have sensitive skin
Wet your face with warm water, apply a couple of drops of cleansing water or a small amount of cream cleanser to the cloth, and rub your face with the product in small circular motions.
How often should you exfoliate your body?
Two to three times a week is plenty, though if you have sensitive skin, you might prefer to exfoliate less often.
The skin on your body is a little tougher than that on your face so you can step up the exfoliation a little. It’s a good idea to exfoliate if you’re spending a lot of time in the sun or wind, to remove the particularly dry skin that these weather conditions can cause.
Similarly, if you’re preparing to fake tan, you’ll want to exfoliate your whole body before you apply the product, focusing on knees and elbows, as these spots tend to be the driest.