Why You Need to Exfoliate
There are so many benefits to exfoliating but here are my top five reasons:
- Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin, to reveal new, soft skin.
- It provides a deeper clean, helping to unclog pores of blackheads and dirt, which prevents breakouts.
- Exfoliating is a great way to treat and prevent hyperpigmention aka “dark spots”. Exfoliating alone won’t keep dark spots away. You also have to wear sunscreen everyday.
- Chemical exfoliators help you achieve more radiant looking skin.
- Removing that dry, dead layer of skin allows your skincare to perform better.
Chemical vs. Physical
There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and physical. Some people prefer one over the other but I like them both.
A chemical exfoliator uses active ingredients such as acids (BHAs and AHAs are the most common) to slough off the dead skin cells over time. The higher the percentage of acid in the product, the faster it works but you want to be careful as certain acids can be too strong for certain skin types.
Physical exfoliators use, you guessed it, physical ingredients such as fine seeds, grains, and sometimes plastic beads (yuck) to physically slough off dead skin. Recently, research has found that the synthetic beads in some physical exfoliators were finding their way to the ocean and harming our underwater friends, so I only use physical exfoliators with more natural scrubbers like rice powder, cranberry seeds, and other finely milled environmentally friendly ingredients. Warning: Make sure you don’t use products with large abrasive scrubbers as these can cause tears in your skin’s tissue, creating large pores and irreversible damage.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
Depending on your skin type and the product, you should exfoliate 1-2 times a week. I have combo oily skin, so I like to exfoliate 1-2 times a week to help with dullness, enlarged pores, rough texture, and the occasional dark spot after a breakout.
If you’re just getting into exfoliating, I would start out with once every week, and depending on how well your skin plays with the product and your skin concerns, you may want to bump that up to twice every week.
My Favorite Exfoliators
I currently have 4 exfoliators in my rotation, 2 are chemical and the other 2 are physical. All of the products I use are gentle enough for combo oily skin and work to fight different concerns. Find out why I use each below.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
This mask is the most effortless exfoliator because you can sleep in it! It’s also so gentle and smells like watermelon. I use this when my skin is looking a little dull and/or my texture is rough. This absorbs quickly and removes any dead skin by daylight. You can even see some of the skin the next day, which is great for people like me who are naturally skeptical.
Neogen Dermalogy Bio-peel Gentle Gauze Peeling – Lemon
These pads work as an at-home facial peel to brighten and exfoliate the skin. The lemon in this provides a boost of vitamin C for radiant skin. The pads are double sided with one slightly textured side and one smooth side. I wipe my face with one of these after cleansing to treat dark spots and then, rinse it off with lukewarm water. These are a bit potent as they contain Lactic and Glycolic acids, so I wouldn’t recommend leaving this on for more than 5 minutes. The pads are pretty large, so you can cut them in half to double their life.
Tatcha Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder – Deep
I am obsessed with this powder. I love using this when I want a deep clean to unclog my pores. I mainly use this when I’ve been wearing a lot of makeup or after I’ve finished working out. Tatcha also makes different versions of dry and sensitive skin types, so there’s something for everyone. Since this doesn’t have any harsh acids and is a tiny grain of powder, I feel comfortable using this more often, though not daily.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator
This is another powder I love and use more often due to the size of the powder and the gentle formula. I use this one whenever my skin is experiencing breakouts. It’s a gentle, no-fuss product that cleans my pores and preps my skin for the rest of my routine.
If you’re interested in try any of these products, you can shop them by clicking the image below.