If you’re not sloughing off the build-up of dead cells on the surface of your skin, you’re inadvertently diminishing the effectiveness of your skincare routine. When it comes to your skin, exfoliation is sacrosanct. Not only does it amplify your skin’s ability to absorb skincare products effectively, it unclogs your pores, prevents acne, encourages lymphatic drainage, and boosts circulation. Isn’t it surprising how massaging the face with a scrub can restore your glow?
Since the winters are kicking in, it’s only natural that our cells dehydrate, dry out, and die faster than usual. It’s crucial that we eliminate this accumulation of dead cells on the face for our moisturisers and ultra-hydrating products to be able to seep into our skin, and our newer cells to come in healthier. Here’s the only way you should exfoliate your skin during the winters.
01. Types of exfoliation
Remember that you mustn’t over-exfoliate or you risk triggering itchiness, inflammation, peeling, and other undesirable side-effects on the skin. Coupled with your already-dry winter skin, these conditions just exacerbate the situation. Experts suggest exfoliating thrice a week - and if your skin is sensitive, don’t exceed once or twice a week.
There are two kinds of exfoliators: chemical exfoliators and mechanical exfoliators. The former is an acid-based formula that dissolves dead cells, and the latter uses a scrub, granules, sponge, gloves, or brush to strip your skin of dead cells. Our go-to mechanical exfoliator for the winters is the Lakme Blush & Glow Green Apple Apricot Gel Scrub. Suitable for all skin types, this gel-scrub is infused with apricots and apples, and rids your skin of blackheads and whiteheads while clearing your skin of impurities.
02. How to exfoliate your skin
Start exfoliating your skin after you’ve cleansed your face. If you have dry skin, you can use a mild chemical exfoliator in lieu of a mechanical one - since it might just irritate your skin, and lead to microtears. Look for one containing glycolic acid.
If your skin is sensitive and acne-prone, the general rule of thumb is to stray away from mechanical exfoliators, and opt for a chemical exfoliator containing salicylic acid. This acid sloughs away dead cells on the skin, and clears your pores of acne-causing debris; but it is a little strong. You must consult your dermatologist before introducing a new product to your skin. For something soothing, an exfoliator containing lactic acid can help. If you notice that chemical exfoliators are leading to the development of dark spots on your skin - it happens - stop using them.
If you have thick and oily skin, you should use a mechanical exfoliator. This technique can rid your skin of the layer of oil build-up through scrubbing. If you’re using a chemical exfoliator, salicylic acid will benefit your skin since it breaks down impurities inside your pores, and regulates the skin’s oil production.
Regardless of whether you’re using a mechanical or chemical exfoliant, ensure that you’re massaging your face in circular motions for about 30 seconds. In case you’re using a sponge or brush, go over your skin with short, light strokes. Remember not to scrub your skin harshly.
Rinse the product off with lukewarm water. The best time to exfoliate is when you’re in the shower. Hot water opens up your pores, and scrubbing all those debris off becomes easier. If you have wounds or cuts on the face, don’t exfoliate at all.