The Importance of Exfoliation
It can be difficult to know how often you should exfoliate your face, as there is no one-size-fits-all answer. According to London skin guru Anastasia Achilleos, the frequency of exfoliation depends on skin type, concerns and the intensity of the product used. Without enough exfoliating, dirt from pollution and sweat can accumulate in pores; however if done too frequently it may cause irritation. The key lies in finding that happy balance between getting all the benefits without being overzealous.
Achilleos remarks that exfoliation is the key to achieving healthy, vibrant skin. When you properly slough off dead cells and grime build-up your complexion will become illuminated with a beautiful glow. Moreover, this allows for deeper absorption of serums, oils or creams like sunscreen which can be applied more smoothly – results are further enhanced when accentuating hues such as blush melt seamlessly onto your face.
What You Should Use
If you want to jumpstart the retexturization of your skin, Achilleos suggests applying Intensive Glycolic Peel (10%) Overnight Treatment weekly before retiring for the night. She further mentions that anything containing fifteen percent glycolic acid should be handled with extreme caution as it is comparable in strength to products used in a salon setting. Furthermore, she recommends using these treatments during her menstrual cycle since this is when breakouts are most common for her.
- Customizing an exfoliating program to fit your skin type can assist your skincare products in working more effectively and make applying makeup much easier. In fact, you might end up needing less makeup. Our top tips from Achilleos are here for you so that you can start experiencing the benefits of regular exfoliation today.
- When determining the suitable exfoliation frequency for your skin type, start small and go slow. To play it safe, begin by exfoliating one or two times a week and see what works best for you. If at any time your skin is irritated or flushed, scale back immediately—your body will adapt to this new habit in due time.
- If you don’t show any signs of sensitivity, gradually increase exfoliating to two, three or more times per week. Some skin types appear and feel their most glowing and soft with regular exfoliation, while others just need it once a week. (Pro Tip: If your skin is more sensitive, try out the product on a small area first before applying on your full face.) Even milder exfoliation daily can give noticeable results.
- Deciding between physical and chemical exfoliants can be a daunting task. However, contrary to the terminology, “chemical” exfoliants are usually made with natural ingredients that work on the skin but might not always be visible. These types of products will dissolve dead cells and loosen debris for brighter looking skin — some common ones include alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic, lactic, malic or citric acid; beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid; and fruit acids including pineapple enzymes.
- For more regular exfoliation, Achilleos likes to incorporate physical scrubs. However, she cautions that it shouldn’t be used within 48 hours of using the overnight peel as this could lead to over-exfoliating. The SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser will help achieve a softer, brighter complexion with this combination of alpha and beta hydroxy acids that efficiently eliminate dead cells and other impurities. The inclusion of round jojoba spheres gently exfoliate the skin while lavender extract tones to reduce inflammation. Citrus oils impart astringent effects which further minimize enlarged pores for a stunningly revitalized look.
- After scrubbing off dead skin cells, it is essential to apply a moisturizer. Achilleos recommends pressing a few drops of face oil between your palms and then gently patting it onto the skin. She explains that allowing organic ingredients to penetrate deep into the newly exfoliated surface gives them more power and can provide powerful treatments for certain types of facial skins. However, be cautious when using active products directly after exfoliation as this may cause irritation on other sensitive areas of your face.
After exfoliation and generous moisturizing, skin appears brighter and more luminous. The application of sunscreen is essential to protect the newly polished layer, as makeup will effortlessly glide onto the surface. Many clients have reported that a consistent regimen has kept their complexion healthy enough for them not to wear any cosmetics even during an ordinary workday!