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.