It may seem simple and straightforward, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who don’t know how to safely exfoliate their skin. Even though it’s what we’ve always been surrounded by, harsh scrubs and the like are not good for our skin. If anything, they’re actively harmful. Your skin is delicate, and you should treat it as such. Exfoliating your face should be a careful, gentle practice. That’s how it will stay safe! Need a little more guidance? Here’s a brief guide to help you out.
Types of Exfoliation
Before you do anything, you should learn the different ways you can exfoliate your face as well as the rest of your body. There are several different ways to go about it, but the two main methods include:
- Mechanical – This type of exfoliation involves using physical tools to buff off the dead skin. This typically comes in the forms of exfoliating brushes, sponges, and scrubs. The Soakly Facial Soaking Cloth provides a 2 in 1 cloth 1) for your pre-soak, and 2) to exfoliate.
- Chemical – This exfoliation method involves using a solution or peel that removes the top layer of dead skin. Chemical exfoliation is traditionally done by using either BHAs (like salicylic acid) or AHAs (like glycolic acid).
Usually, mechanical exfoliation isn’t quite as safe as chemical ones, as you can easily overdo it or be too rough with yourself. Mechanical exfoliation should only be done with a light hand and not too often. For most people, once a week is should be just fine. Meanwhile, chemical exfoliation can be a little easier on your face and can be done more frequently. That is, if you get the right exfoliant for your skin type!
Skin Types and Methods
As hinted above, the right exfoliation method greatly depends upon your skin type. Not all are created equal. Some will interact better with certain types of exfoliation and that’s important to know to keep your skin safe and sound. While there’s no set rule for all, there are a few generalizations you can keep in mind.
- Dry Skin – An AHA is the best here because it removes dead skin while staying gentle and not overly drying. Avoid mechanical exfoliation whenever possible since it can wreak havoc on the moisture content in your skin.
- Oily Skin – Mechanical exfoliation might actually be a good technique for you. It can reach deeper into your skin and remove more build-up than a chemical exfoliation. Still, be careful to not go wild! Rougher does not equal cleaner, better, or safer.
- Sensitive Skin – Like your dry-skinned friends, you should really clear from mechanical exfoliation. All that rubbing will just result in angry, irritated skin. Nobody wants that. Instead, opt for a very gentle chemical one.
- Normal Skin – Theoretically, you’re the lucky ones here. Both mechanical and chemical can work for you. Do keep in mind, though, that it still relies on personal body chemistry. Your mileage may vary with either method, so it might take some trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t.