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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Exfoliation Education: Do's and Don'ts for a happy face


'washcloth bathsponge and loofah' photo (c) 2007, Steve Johnson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Exfoliation is essential for keeping skin young and fresh-looking. Exfoliation can be done either through a manual process or a chemical process. Exfoliating manually consists of using a scrub, a brush or loofah, or a method like microdermabrasion. Chemical exfoliations use acids like glycolic or salicylic acid, among others, or even going so far as a laser peel. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to exfoliating.

Don’t worry about exfoliating if you’re in your 20s or younger. Your skin is turning over at a healthy rate, and adding exfoliation won’t make much of a difference.
Do exfoliate if you’re in your 30s or older. Your skin’s natural exfoliation process has begun to slow, so adding exfoliation will make a difference to the appearance of your skin.

Don’t exfoliate often if you have dry or sensitive skin and already use the gentlest products available. Either method (manual or chemical) can potentially do more damage. DON’T exfoliate visibly damaged skin at all.
Do exfoliate if you have oily skin. This will help clear out your pores.

Don’t exfoliate before you cleanse, otherwise you’ll just skim the surface and the product won’t do its job.
Do remove all makeup before exfoliating. This way you get the deep cleansing you’re looking for.

Don’t use too much pressure. This is your skin were talking about. You aren’t buffing a car.
Do use mild to moderate pressure and allow the product to do the job. Gentle pressure is better than harsh in order to avoid skin damage.

Don’t mix waxing with other procedures. While it is an excellent hair remover, waxing exfoliates skin, as well. Don’t exfoliate skin before or after waxing.
Do use proper moisturizers and sunscreen to protect the newly revealed layer of skin.

Don’t have intensive procedures like chemical peels or microdermabrasion done more than two times per year, unless recommended by a medical professional.
Do use a mild or moderate exfoliating product as needed. Usually, one time per week to as often as twice daily is appropriate. I usually recommend something like a toner applied with a cotton pad, depending on your skin type and skin care needs.

Do let your skin tell you when to exfoliate, how often to exfoliate and what products to use.
Do use the proper exfoliating products on the proper part of your body. Exfoliating products meant for your feet will be much more harsh than an exfoliate meant for your lips. Again, only use one product on each part of your body.
Do be careful with sensitive areas of your body, especially around the eyes, d├ęcolletage and the bikini area.
Do remember that pink and tingling skin after exfoliation is good, but red, peeling, burning or painful skin after exfoliation is bad. Seek medical attention if necessary.

If you have any other questions about exfoliating that weren’t answered in this post, leave them in the comments below!

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