Learning how to properly exfoliate your skin is a vital component of learning to care for your skin properly. This is because your skin needs a little help continually cleaning itself despite having an already sophisticated system for doing just that. The outermost layers of your skin are, more or less, composed of dead skin cells held in place predominantly as a way of protecting the rest of the skin from damage. That layer can get overly thick though or fail to shed as quickly as it needs to to maintain your skin’s health properly. Exfoliating helps to take care of this by letting you help your skin by removing the excess dead skin along with any oils and debris it has gotten caught up in. Let’s go over the basic steps for learning to exfoliate properly so that everyone can learn together. Happily, none of these steps are even that hard and some of them you probably already do.
Clean and Cleanse First
A big one, whether you’re exfoliating your body or your face, is remembering to clean up your skin some first. You need to at the very least rinse and clean the area you intend to exfoliate. You’ll want to aim to use warm, but not hot water for the best results. This serves multiple purposes. The warm water will actually help break down any oils holding dead skin in place and give your skin an initial pass for cleanliness. Your chosen way to exfoliate will have to do less work to properly clean your skin thanks to this. Additionally, getting and keeping your skin moist will make the skin itself for resilient when it comes time to exfoliate. You want to minimize skin irritation so that your skin both looks and feels healthy. Lastly, the warm water will encourage blood flow that will help your skin build itself back up easier after exfoliation.
This step, while required, is a little more complex than simply rinsing. Depending on the area of your body that you’re exfoliating, you’ll need to account for a separate thickness of skin. Your face is generally best served by gentle, chemical exfoliates as the skin is comparatively thin when compared to the rest of your skin. This is especially true around your eyes. Other options, such as exfoliating powders, are available for anyone with sensitive skin. The important thing to note is to avoid using salt scrubs on your face as the crystals are far too jagged. Sugar scrubs are potentially okay, but only very fine ones. Salt, sugar, and other scrubs are generally all okay for use on your body though due to the skin being thicker than it is around your face. Remember to be careful and use tight, soft circles when exfoliating your face to get the best results. This give you good coverage as well as massaging the face to improve blood flow.
Applying moisturizer after you exfoliate might not initially make sense since you’ll likely be getting out of the shower, but you really should consider doing it. This is because the moisture in your skin from the shower will eventually start to evaporate and you want it there. All the defense from irritation and redness it is providing will go away if you don’t seal it in. That’s why you should generally moisturize right after you exfoliate outside of the shower and within one to two minutes of exiting the shower if you’re exfoliating in it. This will lock in the moisture for the day and provide longer term protection against dry skin, irritation, and other potential issues from exfoliating. You don’t need to be too particular with the moisturizer you’re using either except when it comes to your face. Do pick one based on your skin type. If you’ve got dry skin, favor a cream. Oily skin should be moisturized with a lotion or a similar lighter moisturizer.
Taking the time to exfoliate properly using these steps will help improve your results. Most of us will learn these tricks over time or figure them out on our own. Putting them all together gives anyone the chance to know exactly what they need to be doing to ensure their skin’s health without all that trial and error. The simplicity of clean, exfoliate, and moisturize also makes it easy to remember even if you’re in a hurry. So go over how you’ve been exfoliating and see if you need to make any changes to your routine for the sake of your skin.