If you think that with a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, you have got the whole skincare squad to achieve that healthy skin, think again! What you are missing in order to get smooth and radiant looking skin, is exfoliation. Exfoliators make up for an excellent addition to your skincare routine and everyone in the skincare industry is head over heels in love with exfoliation. But what’s so great about it? This article breaks down everything you need to know about exfoliation in skincare: Beginners level.
What is Exfoliation and why is it necessary regardless of your skin type?
In simple words, Exfoliation is the process of removal of dead skin cells and other impurities on the skin. And when the top layer of the skin, which looked dull due to the accumulation of all sorts of skin enemies, is removed, it unveils fresh, glowing, baby-soft skin.
It is essential to exfoliate regardless of your skin type because who doesn’t love shedding those dead skin cells sitting on their skin? Apart from this, here are some benefits of exfoliation:
- Exfoliation helps to slough away the dead skin cells and encourages new cell turnover
- It boosts circulation and evens out the skin tone
- It helps to improve the overall skin texture
- It helps products that you apply later on penetrate deeper into the skin
- It cleans out and decongests pores
Tips to pick the right exfoliator
The best way to choose the right exfoliant for you is according to your skin type. So, if your skin type is:
Glycolic acid, which is a type of Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is the best one to start with. It is found naturally in sugar crops, and since it has smaller molecules, it can penetrate better than any other kind of AHA. It is an all-rounder exfoliant that can target every possible skin concern.
Another great exfoliator for normal skin type is the L ascorbic acid, the most stable and purest form of Vitamin C. If you suffer from dark spots and have hyperpigmentation, this one must be your go-to exfoliator. Our C For Yourself Vitamin C Serum is jam-packed with L ascorbic acid and Vitamin E. These ingredients work best together to reduce the appearance of scars and pigmentation and can also prevent sun damage.
Lactic acid, which is another, more gentle form of AHA, is a great pick. This exfoliant can exfoliate as well as moisture the skin at the same time. Since it is derived from milk and has larger molecules, it works gently on the skin.
Either mandelic acid, a form of AHA, or PHA, is right for you. These do not penetrate as deeply into the skin but can brighten your skin without being too irritating. They have very large molecules so it’s less harsh and best for sensitive skin, even for rosacea and acne-prone skin.
Salicylic acid, a form of BHA, is best for you. It is oil soluble and can go deep into the pores, helping you control oiliness and frequent breakouts. It can unclog your pores and help you achieve cleaner looking skin.
How to exfoliate as a beginner
Now that you know what exfoliant you should pick according to your skin type, it’s time to use it correctly. As a beginner, you must introduce your skin to an exfoliant very carefully or you might ruin your skin. There are two ways by which you can introduce an acid/exfoliant into your skincare routine.
In the form of a Cleanser
A cleanser is a wash-off product and usually, exfoliating cleansers have a very low percentage of acids in them. Hence, making them a perfect start for beginners. The results are slow when using exfoliating cleansers but since the percentage is so low, it can be well tolerated by beginners.
Start by using any exfoliating cleanser of your choice 2-3 times a week at night and then gradually increase the frequency once you are comfortable.
In the form of a Toner
A toner is another way to introduce chemical exfoliation to your skin. A toner can penetrate deeper into the skin and help to even out the texture of your skin. The focus of toner is usually on a single exfoliant, such as either AHA or BHA. So, it’s great to target specific skin concerns.
The best way you can introduce an exfoliating toner in your skincare routine is by using it twice a week at night.
Things to keep in mind while exfoliating your skin as a beginner
Exfoliation is a beautiful mistress, can be the love of your life and your worst enemy. The trick is to choose products based on your skin concerns and not what is trending. Prioritize your skin health over anything else and keep these things in mind while using an exfoliant so it can be the love of your life:
- Start slowly and at a lower percentage of acids
- Use exfoliants at night and never forget to apply a good sunscreen with SPF 50+
- Avoid the eye area as it’s sensitive
- Don’t layer too many acids trying to solve all skin concerns at once, remember that less is more
- Always do a patch test
- Always make sure to use a barrier repair moisturizer afterwards to calm your skin
- Don’t rush for results, but be patient and consistent