Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The 10 Do's And Don'ts Of Exfoliation - 5 Each

I remember when I was in my teens, I had the usual acne, oily skin, and blackheads.  At the time, you popped any and all zits because that is what everyone else did.  If you invested in any face stuff, it was usually a tonic with lots of alcohol, or an exfoliant with cracked walnut shells that just left your skin looking like it slid along a road.  You just thought that was normal because we didn't know any better. Sometimes I wonder how I got to adulthood with decent skin.

Over the years, I've learned more about exfoliation and using it more effectively so I don't hurt my skin.  You can exfoliate but you have to follow certain "rules" or suggestions. Rather than list the Do's first and Don'ts next, I'm going to do one Do followed by a Don't.  So we're off.

1. Do use a chemical exfoliant rather than a physical exfoliant such as a scrub with walnut shells.  The chemical exfoliant use chemicals such as acids or enzymes to gently remove the dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin.  The exfoliant breaks the bonds that hold the dead skin cells in place.  Chemical exfoliants are so much more gentle to the skin and much better.

Don't exfoliate every single day.  If you over exfoliate, you can permanently damage your skin's barrier and it can lead to your skin experiencing dehydration, redness, and peeling.  In addition, it can exasperate acne. You only need to exfoliate once or twice a week for best results.

2. Do exfoliate at night only. When you exfoliate, you expose a fresh layer of skin and if you do it in the morning and go out, you are exposing your skin to more sun damage. If you do it at night, you give your skin a chance to heal while you sleep and you are exposing it to fewer environmental issues. 

Don't exfoliate right after a chemical peel or facial. You need to wait a week, otherwise it could cause significant damage and you don't want that. In addition, if you had your body waxed recently, skip the body scrub for the same reason.

3. Do wear sunscreen.  Although it is important to wear sunscreen everyday, it is more important to wear it after you've exfoliated your skin. This is because your skin requires extra protection for a few days after you exfoliate due to the fresh new layer.

Don't continue exfoliating if you experience stings, turns red or flakey, stop and wait a week while researching the ingredients and to make sure you are using the correct method for your skin and age.  What works for someone who is twenty something with oily skin won't work for a fifty something lady with drier skin.  So do a bit of research before trying again.

4. Do continue using your normal face routine after you've exfoliated. This ensures that your natural skin barrier is properly restored and keeps your skin from drying out.

Don't get too rough with your exfoliation because your skin is quite delicate and sensitive.  Always be gentle even when applying your chemical exfoliant.  

5. Do remember to exfoliate your body in addition to your face. Your body needs to have the dead cells removed so plan to exfoliate from head to toe at least once day a week.

Don't rinse your chemical exfoliant off right away because you want to give the active ingredients a chance to be absorbed. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes so it has a get rid of all dead skin cells while letting your skin experience it to the fullest effect.

Follow this list of do's and don'ts to have the best experience with exfoliation.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Skin Slugging


Last week, just before Thanksgiving hit, I wrote on hair slugging. While doing research on that topic, I discovered you could slug you skin too which makes sense since slugging adds and seals moisture into your hair or skin. This is especially important during winter when the elements and the conditions of your house work hard to suck the moisture out of your skin.

Skin slugging is referred to on Tik Tok but it has been around for a long time.  It is one of the basic tenants of the Korean skin care program which is one I use regularly because of how it makes my skin feel and look.

Basically, skin slugging means you slather an occlusive like petroleum jelly on your skin just before bedtime to hold in your skin's moisture.  Slugging also helps prevent water loss so you wake up in the morning with plump, glowey, moisturized skin. 

Let's look at the benefits in more detail.  As stated earlier, the occlusive you slather on your skin forms a barrier that prevents moisture loss.  This is important as you age because your skin tends to become drier and the barrier really helps slow tis down.  It keeps your skin looking younger.

Next, it protects your skin from the hot, dry, air circulating from the furnace or heater.  In addition, the barrier helps provide the protection from dust and other envoirnmental elements found in your house.  Furthermore, the occlusive layer does so much more.  It restores your skin's natural fats known as lipids as you sleep, keeps out bacterias, while helping skin retain its natural elasticity. There is some research that indicates the barrier can help restore the natural fats and repair the skin's natural barrier. 

Having said that, not everyone can do skin slugging.  If you suffer from clogged pores, acne, or other such problems, then this may not be a good thing.  In addition, if you use retinoids, alpha hydroxide acids (AHA), or beta hydroxide acids (BHA) you need to be careful because the combination of occlusives with these might irritate the skin. 

When you are looking for a night creme to use, look for ones that have petroleum or ceramides because they work the best.  Yes, petroleum jelly is considered one of the best occlusives on the market due to cost and effectiveness. Although ceramides are not actually occlusives, they work in the same way to are often mentioned in the same breath. 

If you want to practice skin slugging, there are two different ways you can do it.  The first way has you cleaning our skin at night but do not apply any face oils, AHA's, BHA's and retinoids.  While your face is still damp, apply a little of the product and smooth it all over the face.  Go to bed, sleep well, and when you get up in the morning, clean your face well.  Instead of a fancy pillowcase, use one you don't mind getting stained and can easily be cleaned.

The other way is to remove your makeup and clean your skin.  While your skin is still damp, smear some of your product of choice all over your face.  Go about doing your normal things and a few hours later, wash the occlusive off your face and gently pat dry.  This is good for a day when you have time and need a little extra something.

Always make sure the occlusive is applied to damp skin.  If you are using OTC or prescription topical medicines for acne or other skin problem, apply them after you've finished slugging because they could irritate your skin. If for some reason you break out, notice an increase in acne, or see blackheads, quit.

So if your your skin is dry or you want to counter all the issues with winter, try skin slugging on a regular basis to improve it.  You want your skin as healthy as possible.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Hair Slugging!


The other day, I was reading my digital news and came across an article on hair slugging.  The first thing I pictured was hair beating up on itself but a quick search of the internet indicated that was not it.  Apparently, it came to public attention via Tik Tok as a hack designed to help your hair. Apparently, this developed out of a Korean skincare routine called skin slugging.

By definition, hair slugging is a process designed to lock moisture into the hair by using oil. It takes it a step further than just applying oil to your strands, it requires the hair to be covered by a sock or satin bonnet.  This helps the oil penetrate individual strands and when done, your hair looks healthier and shiny.  If you choose a sock, you might want to use a tube sock rather than a fuzzy sock so you don't leave any fuzzy bits in your hair.

To use hair slugging, one needs to wash their hair first so it is clean and has had all the extra moisture patted out so it is damp.  At this point, you apply oil to the hair.  It is recommended one use a light weight hair oil or serum because those are designed to penetrate the individual strands while providing protection but if you don't have any handy, you can use regular oil but you need to wash it out properly at the end.   You want to make sure the oil is well distributed throughout the hair, making sure the ends receive a generous amount and use little around the scalp.  Do not over penetrate the hair or your hair could end up too limp.

Furthermore, do not use a comb to distribute the oil, use your fingers as they do a better job. When your hair is soaked in oil, it can be a bit weaker and your fingers do not cause the hair to break as easily. Once the oil is dispersed throughout the hair, wrap it up in a sock or bonnet. Although some might recommend putting your hair into a pony tail before placing it in the sock or bonnet, a loose bun works much better. It is best to leave it in overnight but if you don't have that amount of time available, the oil can be left in for one to two hours.  

When you are ready, wash the oil out of your hair with lukewarm water and finish off with a cool water rinse to close the cuticles and lock the moisture in. If you use a regular oil like coconut or olive oil, you need to make sure it is throughly washed out otherwise it could lead to clogged pores and buildup. It is recommended one slug the hair at least once a week and up to three times if you have dry hair.   Just to let you know, this is not a "new" thing.  The idea of oiling ones hair has been around for a very long time.  It was used in Southeast Asia and India.  

So if your hair needs a bit of help in the hydration department, give this a try to see if it works for you.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.