I learned very quickly that exfoliation is the number one method for keeping my skin free of breakouts, but it’s easy to understand why many people would leave this step out of their routines altogether. For one, it can be difficult to find the right type of exfoliator and the appropriate strength of product for your skin’s level of sensitivity or toughness. With so many variables and ways that things can go wrong (and ways that things can go red!) it’s no wonder that exfoliation needs some more explanation.
So, let’s start with the basics. What does exfoliation actually do? It removes dead cells off of the skin’s surface and uncovers fresh, new cells below. This is important not only for keeping our skin looking healthy, but also for keeping things balanced and for maintaining a youthful appearance, since cell turnover tends to slow as we get older.
Beyond making us look older, dead skin cells can clog pores, causing dreaded blackheads and whiteheads – so clearing these cells away is crucial for clear and balanced skin. Over the years, I have personally found that skin that is not exfoliated can be much more frustrating to maintain because my products sit on top of my face and are not able to penetrate deep enough to be effective. In fact, my dermatologist told me that in order to get the most of my beauty investment, exfoliation is a must. These days, I love the way my moisturizer sinks in when my skin is freshly exfoliated.
My sensitive and breakout-prone skin does best with a glycolic acid serum (Alpha Complex is a great AHA option) applied at nighttime. My face does not stand up well to scrubs or electronic brushes, so this is the best solution for keeping my pores clear and glowing. Someone with more hardworking skin might find that a scrub keeps your pores beautifully balanced, and some people might prefer the ease of an electronic cleansing brush along with their favorite face wash.
All I know for certain is that when I am exfoliating regularly, my whole face has a glow that I cannot get elsewhere. My face feels smooth and free of bumps, and it looks bright and beautiful.
Now that you understand the need to exfoliate, I would love to hear about your favorite products!