When it comes to beauty tips and tricks, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the last year surrounds exfoliation and how to properly exfoliate. Prior to learning the right steps, I’d harshly rub my face with a washcloth or use intense beaded scrubs (which — turns out — are horrible for your skin). But after doing a little research and experiencing more facials, I think I’ve finally got it down!
What is exfoliation?
First off, it’s important to know why exfoliation is key (and what exactly it is!). Bottom line: it’s removing dead skin cells and aiding in turnover of those cells. You could apply all the oils and lotions and serums you want, but if you don’t have a fresh complexion to apply to, those products won’t go further than surface level. And I’m not just talking about your face (though that’s the main point of this article) — your body should also be exfoliated using a body brush or something similar.
I know I’ve had some confusion with things like Clarisonics and whether those truly exfoliate, and turns out, they’re not enough. Those are more for clearing out pores and residue — they aren’t turning over skin cells on their own. Also, as you read this, please know that you shouldn’t use one of the exfoliants with a Clarisonic or a similar device. Those devices can be used often, but should only mix with a very gentle cleanser (like this one).
How often should you exfoliate?
I’ve heard multiple answers to the question of “how often,” but what works for me personally is 2-3 times a week — which my facialist agreed with. This way, you’re properly turning over your cells, but your skin has time to adjust and heal. If you have sensitive skin, you may even try 1x a week to start.
As for when in your day to do it, I prefer nighttime. Once in awhile, my skin will get a little pink after the process (but in a good, flushed way) — plus, I live for the feeling of an exfoliated face followed by alllll the face products. I know, I live an exciting life you guys!
What products should I use?
And now for the best part — the products I love. Like I mentioned above, you definitely want to stay away from anything harsh. Even if you suffer from dry flaky skin, do your best to ignore anything that seems like it’ll strip your skin. I promise that after your skin gets used to an exfoliation routine, your struggles with dead skin will be a distant memory anyways.
OK, but back to products…I personally like to switch up how I exfoliate. Some weeks I’m really craving a mask, other times I just want a simple cleanser to do the work. Up to you!
Cleansers — Some people use a cleanser like this daily, but like I said, I choose something a few times a week. These shouldn’t be too harsh if you choose to use daily, though: KORRES (I love the whole Vitamin C line from them!) and Philosophy
Treatments/scrubs — Always read the label on these guys because some are more serious than others aka you might only use it once a month or something. But these are amazing: ExfoliKate & the gentle version is incredible for sensitive skin!
Facials — If you can swing it, try to head in for a facial once a month or as often as possible. They can obviously really handle exfoliating. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend Kate Somerville!
After you’re done exfoliating, it’s then time to go into your full nightly (or daily) skincare routine. After a couple weeks of adding this step to your program, you’ll notice your products working even better since they’ll be absorbed.
Let me know if you have any questions! Also, which products do you swear by when it comes to exfoliating? Comment below!