Exfoliate Your Face
Every women dreams of having flawless skin. Some lucky few are blessed with that flawless glory whereas there are most of us who need skin care products that kick starts the whole process to achieve skin that might not be flawless but definitely healthy and radiant. Skincare starts with a top notch full proof routine that involves cleansing, toning and moisturizing. We know this as the CTM routine. I am not going to go into details of a CTM process since almost everybody knows the basic mechanics. If you guys want to know my routine or anything about a CTM routine, products that would suit your skin type etc, sound off in the comments and I will write a detailed post covering it. Incorporating these 3 steps with products designed to suit your skin type is the starting point to achieve good skin. However you need to add another step to this routine to bring the “best face” forward and that is Exfoliation! Our skin naturally sheds millions of cells every day, but this shedding process can slow down due to sun damage, dry skin, oily skin and/or other skin issues. This results in dull, dry skin or clogged, enlarged pores, blackheads and breakouts. Adding a well-formulated exfoliator to your skincare routine will help in treating such skincare concerns.
Exfoliation is a practice that gets rid of the dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin called the epidermis. This process reveals radiant, fresh and younger looking skin. It also helps in removing all the pore-clogging dirt and oil thereby preventing acne. Exfoliation is therefore ideal for all types of skin. It goes without saying that you need to use exfoliants formulated with ingredients that suits your skin type – Dry, Oily or Sensitive.
Exfoliants can be Natural like Oatmeal & Sugar. There are lots of concoctions you can make with these ingredients by adding milk, honey or lime juice. Exfoliants can be Synthetic which includes all the scrubs, cleansers and enzyme peels you get in the market. The beads induced in these formulations work as physical exfoliants to slough off dead cells from the skin surface. Exfoliants can also be chemical like AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) & BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids). Chemical exfoliants works really well for those with Aging skin, Oily skin or Dry skin. It’s not unsuitable for sensitive skin but the chemical nature of the ingredients might pose irritation so make sure the ingredients concentrations suits your skin. It is always prudent to keep a tab on your skin’s behavior whenever you use a chemical exfoliant.
AHAs are brilliant for exfoliating the skin. Ideally when investing in an AHA product you need to make sure that the pH (acidity) of the product is in the range 3 to 4. According to study, this pH level ensures effective exfoliation. Secondly the AHA concentration should be in the range 5% to 10%. AHAs being water soluble primarily exfoliate the top layers of skin, making them ideal in treating sun damage and dryness, but not issues like acne and pimples as they can’t penetrate the pores (oil). Some well know AHAs are lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid and glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is the most sought after ingredient you can find in the market.
Nip + Fab (Rodial skincare) has an entire Glycolic acid range. I use their Glycolic acid cleansing pads and they are really good. It re-texturizes your skin and makes it topically soft and smooth. The glycolic acid concentration is only 2.7% though so I haven’t seen much improvement in dark spots. But nevertheless it’s a good AHA to start with. I have had Dry skin all through winter and these Glycolic pads never caused any skin irritation for me. So those with dry skin can definitely check this out.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should invest in a BHA in addition to an AHA or just use a BHA alone. This is because BHA is fat soluble and can therefore penetrate the skin through the pores and exfoliate from inside. By working from underneath the skin layer, BHA can treat the pores by dissolving clogs and oil that contribute towards acne. Salicylic Acid is the only BHA. BHA products should have a pH of 3 to 4 and a concentration of not more than 1% to 2 %
I just started using the Refresh Skin Therapy Salicylic Acid 2% Peel to treat a few hard flesh colored bumps that have popped up on my face.
Always make sure to moisturize post any type of exfoliation.