Exfoliating Benefits and Physical vs. Chemical Exfoliates
Let’s jump in with the basics, shall we? What exactly is exfoliating and what does it do for your skin? Exfoliating plays a large role in your skin care routine and has many benefits. It wears many hats from removing the dead skins cells from the top layer of your skin to allow for smoother complexion to unclogging your pores.
Your skin’s cells renew, die, and shed every 30 days. Exfoliating your skin can help remove those lingering dead skin cells and reveal smoother, fresher skin. It helps speed up the renewal process and keeps your skin looking younger. The process of exfoliation can be done in multiple ways: chemically, physically with a gradient substance, or with exfoliation tools.
Physical Exfoliates: These are your face scrubs that you can find in many price ranges in just about any beauty or drug store. Be cautious of how you use these as some scrubs contain ingredients like nut shells that actually do more harm to the skin than good, by scratching and scraping away at your skin. Stick to scrubs that contain small grains like sugars. Remember not to rub too hard as you can scratch your skin’s epidermis leaving your skin in worse shape than it started.
Chemical Exfoliates: Chemical exfoliates are definitely less work than physical. They typically come in forms of a mask or treatment where you leave it on your skin for a duration of time and the product will remove those layers of dead skin cells. There are 2 types of chemical exfoliates, BHA’s (beta-hydroxy acids) and AHA’s (alpha-hydroxy acids). AHA’s work on the skin’s surface and are typically made from plants and fruit acids. Examples of them are glycolic and lactic acids. BHA’s are most commonly known for salicylic acid. BHA’s are organic compounds composed slightly differently than AHA’s and are oil soluble so they penetrate through the fat and oils on the skin getting into the pores. AHA based exfoliates are best for aging or sun damaged skin, BHA based exfoliates are best for acne prone skin, however there are some products that contain both. When introducing BHA’s and AHA’s to your skin care routine, be sure to do so gradually with lower percentages slowly building up your skin’s tolerance. Remember, these are still chemicals and can burn/damage your skin.
Frequency: Depending on your skin type, dry or oily, you actually only need to exfoliate your skin one to two times a week. Over use of exfoliates can lead to dry and irritated skin. Keep it simple, remember your skin cells renew only every 30 days, you don’t want to irritate your epidermis.
Benefits: There are many benefits to exfoliating your skin, like those I’ve mentioned above, but there are so much more. Exfoliating benefits your skin by preventing acne, improving the absorption of other products, even your skin tone, increase blood circulation and reducing the appearance of pores.
Whatever your skin care routine is, you can bet that exfoliating will only enhance your results when done properly.
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