Exfoliating is necessary to maintain healthy skin. Your skin naturally sheds layers of dead skin over time, but at the same time, it is very easy for your natural oils to catch skin cells as they’re shed. This gradually leads to a buildup in your pores that can cause numerous skin problems. The most common issue is acne of one kind or another. For all the good that exfoliating does, you still need to do your best to be aware of the ingredients that go into their products. Some of the ingredients people use are ones that no one should use and for others, their skin types make using the ingredients a problematic choice. To help with this problem, we’ve got a quick guide to potentially problematic exfoliators.
Your biggest exfoliating no-no is to use a product that uses microbeads. These are often created from plastic and bad for a number of reasons. A big concern is their environmental impact. Continual use of microbead products, before people knew better, has allowed them to build up in the food chain and water sources. This is causing environmental damage and make some sources of fish unsafe to eat. Your skin has a large complaint when it comes to microbeads. The beads appear smooth from our perspective. This is deceiving and people generally believe the apparent spheres will pass cleanly over the skin. In truth, the microbeads are often rougher than is necessary with plenty of sharp edges smaller than you can see with your naked eye. Utilizing the beads, in turn, causes tiny cuts and scraps to your skin whenever you use such products. This builds up over time and can make your skin rougher over time. It is better to use a naturally derived powder-based scrub than microbeads.
This acid is a more selective ingredient when it comes to being problematic. In truth, it is excellent for helping to cleanse and clean particular kinds of skin. The potent beta hydroxy acid is ideal for oily skin and even usable by “normal” skin with appropriate aftercare. Most of us just need to remember to apply a moisturizer after using a product utilizing salicylic acid to avoid it drying out skin and causing problems. This isn’t true for those with sensitive or dry skin though. The acid’s potency then becomes dangerous to your skin. Dry skin being dried out further by the acid can lead to breakouts and other forms of skin damage related to the dryness. In particular, it makes the skin more susceptible to sun damage. This is equally true for sensitive skin that reacts to ingredients far more than most skin types. Many cleansers and exfoliating products utilize salicylic acid, but most of them clearly advertise its use as an ingredient due to its usefulness in fighting acne.
Coming from the opposite end of the spectrum, natural oils are actually problematic for us by anyone with oilier skin. These oils, when used in exfoliating products, can lead to a more rapid buildup of oils on the skin than intended. People with oily skin need to focus more on oil control products than applying further oil to their skin. “Normal” to dry skin can utilize natural oils most of the time with the oils providing extra hydration alongside other ingredients in the exfoliating product. It should be noted that some natural oils do have oil control and lightly acidic properties. Citric acid,in particular, is relatively commonly found in popular natural oils. The trick is that this popularity comes with the tradeoff that it isn’t always as effective as other forms of exfoliation. Additionally, natural oils seem more likely to cause allergic reactions for some people as opposed to products utilizing natural chemicals isolated from the oils that are good for exfoliation.
Almost everyone benefits from including exfoliation in their skin care routine. It does take a little know-how to make sure you’re picking good products to exfoliate with though. Each skin type has particular needs and occasionally a trend lives on past its usefulness. Your best bet is to remember to check sources you trust routinely to make sure there are no new problematic ingredients to be aware of when selecting an exfoliating product. Doing so will let you maintain your beauty without ever worrying if you’ve damaged your skin by poor product choice.