The skin is the body’s largest organ. So, we really should do our best to take care of it the best we can! I mean we do have it our entire lives! Your skin does have a natural renewal process, it sheds skin cells and replaces them with new ones. So today I am answering the question, why do I need to exfoliate?
In my 20s & 30s, I really didn’t have much of a skincare routine and I regret it. I wish I had started taking better care of my skin earlier. But it is never too soon or too late to begin a routine! If you have a dermatologist, getting their opinion on what is best for your skin is always a good idea. I am going to go over some basic information that can help most people. It is a great starting point and will answer a lot of questions that some have.
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What is exfoliating?
Exfoliating is removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. By removing dead skin cells, you are allowing new cells to generate. Today we are mostly talking about physical exfoliation.
Some benefits of exfoliation:
- Unclogs pores
- Helps skincare products to penetrate better
- Helps even out skin texture and minimize the appearance of discoloration
- Stimulates skin cell renewal
How often should I exfoliate?
In general, most people should exfoliate 1-2 times per week. It depends on the sensitivity of your skin. People with sensitive skin may only be able to exfoliate once per week while people with oily skin can go up to 3x per week.
No matter what skin type you have always be gentle with your skin to avoid skin irritation and injury. Use a light touch. If you are exfoliating too often you may have dry skin, irritation, and damage. If you start to have any of these signs, try backing off no matter how often you are exfoliating.
What happens if I don’t exfoliate?
I get it, some people do not think exfoliating is necessary. But what can your skin look like if you decide not to put it into your routine?
- More frequent breakouts. Acne, blackheads, and whiteheads.
- The dead skin cells can trap dirt and oil and lead to ingrown hairs.
- Dull skin is due to your skin not being able to “turn over” skin cells easily.
- Skincare products won’t absorb as well.
What areas of my body should I exfoliate?
When you think about exfoliating what area do you think of? Face, body, or both? Both would be correct but there is another part of the body that is often forgotten! The scalp!
The scalp, that’s right! Our scalp also collects dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Exfoliating your scalp leads to a healthy scalp which will help grow healthy thick & shiny hair! You know this is a common theme with me, you can’t have healthy hair without a healthy scalp! There are several scalp scrubs out there, but my favorite is Scalp Purifying Scrub. I did a blog post a while ago, The Secret to a Healthy Scalp. You can read that here.
Our faces and bodies are also areas that we should exfoliate. Don’t forget about your upper chest area. This is often an area that is forgotten about. We should think of this as an extension of our face and treat it as such. This skin tends to get “crepey” and exfoliating and moisturizing will help with this. You can read more about these areas here, The 3 Most Forgotten Areas of Skin by Women. My favorite product to use as an exfoliate on my face is Berry Refined Scrub and for my body is Exfoliate & Refine Body Polish.
What is chemical exfoliation?
I mentioned early on that this blog post was referring to physical exfoliation but there is also chemical exfoliation. This type of exfoliation is when you use a product that typically has AHAs or BHAs. Products that have glycolic acids, salicylic acid, and lactic acid.
People can use these products more often than 1-2 times per week. You can see what your skin type will tolerate. Sensitive skin people will want to make sure you are using one that has a moisturizing ingredient in it.
Do you currently exfoliate regularly? How about your scalp, did you know that was just as important as exfoliating your body? Please share your thoughts below in the comments!