Exfoliators are typically used to give your skin a deep clean by sloughing away the dead skin cells that have built upon the surface. Exfoliate face and body with either physical exfoliants such as scrubs and brushes, or chemical ones like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). The choice of which one you use is dependent on your particular skin care concerns.
While it is healthy to know what product you are treating your skin with but an important factor here is if you know how to use them the right way. It only makes sense that the directed usage can lead to fast effective results. So there is a right way to exfoliate your face and body. Check out what and what not to do when exfoliating.
Pro Tip: Make sure that with certain skin conditions you shouldn’t be exfoliating at all. Rosacea is one example. However, BHA exfoliants can be gentle for rosacea-prone skin. For a better understanding of what are different exfoliators methods and how they contribute to your aging skin, check out this article.
How to exfoliate face and body?
Whether you choose physical or chemical exfoliation, preparing your skin prior to the process is the first thing you need to get started on.
Don’t get confused by the name but it is a gentle way as it sheds off the dead skin. It penetrates deeply unlike physical exfoliants. Follow the steps to apply them as advised by dermatologists. This simple step in your skincare regimen will help you with aging skin and contain your natural glow for a lifetime.
How to apply?
- Simply wash the area with a regular cleanser and let it dry.
- Apply a small amount of the product and pat it into the skin.
- The liquid product can be applied with a cotton pad, whereas, lotion or gel-based product is ideal to put on with your fingers.
- Spread evenly and massage it for a while with your fingers.
- As per the instructions, rinse and follow with moisturizer and SPF.
What not to do:
- Never apply the product to wet skin when you’re using chemical exfoliants.
- Don’t leave the product on for longer than the suggested period.
- Avoid contact with the eyelid and under-eye area.
As per Rachael Burns, a consultant dermatologist, you can face poor results even when using the right products because you apply them incorrectly. She says, “If you’re using a chemical exfoliant, always follow the instructions. As a general rule, use a small amount of product and apply it to cleansed skin with clean fingers, using small, gentle circular movements. If you’re using an exfoliating wash, you can rinse it off the skin after a minute or two. For chemical peel products, follow the instructions and don’t be tempted to leave them on for longer than recommended. Rather than doing the skin some good, it may cause the skin to become red and sensitive, possibly with some peeling or flaking,” she added.
Scrubs and exfoliation tools such as sponges, gloves, and brushes are types of physical exfoliation. When exfoliating face and body with physical exfoliants, make sure to soften your skin first. Experts believe that exfoliating while a steamy and warm shower is the way to successfully exfoliate face and body. The hot bath can actually help your skin by softening it and allowing the pores to open for a deep cleanse. According to Christine McMackin, a certified advanced aesthetic specialist, it is beneficial. “This aids in the exfoliation process and the removal of dead skin cells,” he said.
How to apply:
- Go for a warm bath to soften your skin prior to exfoliation.
- Let the water run over the skin for almost 5 minutes beforehand so soften the skin.
- Apply the product gently into the small circular motion using a clean brush.
- When washing, make sure water is lukewarm or can irritate the skin.
- Follow with a moisturizer.
What not to do:
- Don’t put a lot of pressure or you can end up stripping off your skin.
- Avoid hot water on the freshly exfoliated face and body.
- Don’t forget your lips and use exfoliate them with the right product.
Exfoliate gently on sensitive areas such as the face, arms and legs. Whereas elbows, knees, and heels accumulate more dirt so they need more attention. These areas can withstand an aggressive exfoliation due to thicker skin. Cracked heels can be revived by directed exfoliation.