Exfoliation is such a vital and important part of any proper skincare routine - one that will create REAL change in the skin. It helps minimize congestion and removes dead skin cells, unclogging the pores and allowing the products that follow to absorb into the skin better.
There are 2 types of exfoliation: chemical and physical. The most familiar, physical exfoliation, uses an ingredient that physically scrubs old, dead cells from the surface of the skin for a nice polished finish. These can offer instant gratification--skin immediately feels softer and looks brighter, however, it is easy to get carried away with this type of exfoliation and overdo it.
Over scrubbing can irritate skin and strip it of its protective lipidic barrier. It can also create micro-tears, creating inflammation and making your skin more sensitive. I am a personal victim of scrubs - creating a permanent scarred pore during my teen years! Since physical exfoliation has the potential to be somewhat harsh, depending on your skin’s condition, do not use a physical exfoliant more than 2-3x a week . And do not use physical exfoliation if you have acne as the granules can irritate the already inflamed skin and spread bacteria. Below is my pick for a facial scrub:
Chemical exfoliators are less harsh and my personal favorite. They offer so much more than a topical and superficial polish. They use a variety of chemicals to promote skin renewal through regeneration. They may contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid, or fruit enzymes, such as papaya or pumpkin. They dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, eliminating the need to scrub. You can also count on these types of exfoliants to break up unwanted hyperpigmentation and tickle those collagen cells.
Environ Sebu-Tone Clarifier, an exfoliating toner, is one of my favorite chemical exfoliators to address a variety of skin conditions. It speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliating process and the reconstruction of the epidermal skin. It creates brighter, cleaner and clearer skin. Below are some of my top picks:
If you prefer an enzyme exfoliant, PCA Revitalizing Mask is excellent to help rinse the dead skin cells away. Once the mask is applied to the skin, it acts like tiny PACman gently eat away at cuticle build-up to polish and refine the complexion. The DMK Foamy Lift is another great choice when you want an added bonus of detoxification to flush out impurities.