We always hear about exfoliating being a part of an awesome skin care routine, but is it really good for you? Or does it cause more harm than good? And how often should you do it? Let’s find out.
It’s a basic truth that exfoliation can clean more effectively than simply wiping your skin. There are multiple ways to exfoliate, from using exfoliating cleansers (cleansing creams with tiny beads or minerals) to using exfoliating brushes and other tools. The point of these items is to scrub and buff away dirt, dead skin, and trapped oil. Exfoliating brings all of this gunk to the top layer of your skin, making it easy to be washed away with soap and water. Exfoliating can also increase blood circulation, making your skin look brighter and healthier.
The simple answer is yes, exfoliating truly does have multiple benefits. However, in order to get those benefits, you have to know how to do it right. In order to exfoliate safely, you must first know your skin type. This will tell you how often to exfoliate, what product to use, and what tool to utilize.
If you find that you typically have oily skin, then it’s a good idea to exfoliate frequently. Three to four times a week is a good starting point. Thanks to the fact that oily skin tends to have more layers of buildup, manually scrubbing and buffing it out is ideal. You can use an exfoliating brush or a facial scrub to get rid of the dirt buildup and get rid of the ruddiness.
Dry skin requires less work. Exfoliating once or twice a week is ideal for folks with this skin type. You must be careful, however. It is quite easy to overdo it with dry skin. While you may feel like you have a layer or two of dirt and buildup, with dry skin, you don’t have much protection from the scrubbing and general friction caused by exfoliating. With that being the case, it’s best to avoid mechanical exfoliating tools. Instead, try chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid or alpha-hydroxy acid. These acids can help you shed dead skin cells and produce healthier ones without leaving your skin dry as a rock.
Exfoliating with sensitive skin isn’t just tricky, it can also be harmful. It’s best not to use any type of scrubbing tool or scrubbing soaps/creams to exfoliate. Instead, visit a dermatologist and inquire about a mild salicylic acid chemical peel. This is considered generally safe for those with sensitive skin and still achieves the effect that a manual exfoliator has. Your dermatologist should be able to determine how often you need a chemical peel for exfoliation.
Just like anything and everything in life, too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Such is the case with exfoliating. While exfoliating isn’t considered harmful, it’s easy to overdo it. Exfoliating too often can cause redness and inflammation. The friction from too much exfoliating can also scar the skin.
Those with sensitive skin and acne must be even more careful. If you suffer from acne, over-exfoliating can inflame the zits, making them worse, not to mention it’ll be painful. If you have sensitive skin, constant exfoliating can lead to irritation that may open the door to other skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
The best way to avoid harming yourself with exfoliating and to know your skin type is to speak to a licensed professional.
If you’re in Cincinnati, Ohio, then you are in luck. Our experts at The Dermatology Group can help you determine your skin type and figure out the best plan of action for your exfoliating routine. Give us a call today!