Friday, August 23, 2013

What is Facial Exfoliation?

Facial exfoliation is an additional step in a skincare regimen, with the frequency depending on the exfoliant used and the person's skin type. The purpose of exfoliation is to remove dead skin cells that we shed over time. Built-ups of dead skin cells tend to clog the pores - leading to acne breakouts - and make the skin look dull. In addition, de-clogging the pores make absorption of other skincare products more effective.

There are several ways to exfoliate the skin, but can be summed up into two types: mechanical and chemical.

Mechanical exfoliation is a method wherein a form of abrasives is used to manually slough off the top layer of the skin, which can be done from once to thrice a week, depending on your skin type. Abrasives may be in the form of facial scrubs, rotating brushes, or abrasive cloth. The abrasives of facial scrubs differ in roughness and size, with those containing larger grains to be more likely irritating, thus should be used less frequently, and with those containing micrograins that have smoother texture, thus less irritating and more suitable for the sensitive skin type. 

Chemical exfoliation uses no physical form of abrasives, and the process of exfoliation, as the label indicates, occurs on a chemical level. Since no form of rough abrasives is present, this method is more likely to be preferred by the sensitive skin type. Instead of grains, AHAs and BHAs are used. AHAs, such as lactic acid, not only chemically slough of the top layer of the face, it also moisturizes the skin at the same time. BHAs, also called salicylic acid, work better for the acne-prone and oily skin type due to its ability to cut through grease and fight acne. Most of AHAs and BHAs can be applied once or twice daily.

Of course, with any type of exfoliation, moisturizing the skin afterwards is a required step. Removing the top barrier of the skin makes it more delicate, thus, a form of protection is a must. The skin also becomes more sensitive to the sun, so applying a sunscreen is another essential step. 

If after using an exfoliant, you find your skin to be irritated, lessen the frequency or discontinue use. To be on the safe side, always try a patch test on the inner side of your elbow to see for any allergic reactions before using the exfoliant on the entire face.

For my own skincare regimen, I use a facial scrub as my exfoliant. I am currently using Kiehl's Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-dermabrasion which contains very small abrasives that are comfortable on my skin. Since my portion of facial scrub is already running low (and the said scrub is very expensive), I am starting on a lookout for a new form of exfoliation. 

Do you exfoliate your skin regularly? What type of exfoliant do you use?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Want to get the latest update on Serious Skin Care Blog? Subscribe by Email.