Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. This allows for newer cells to be on the surface so that your skin looks brighter and smoother, as well as improving the elasticity of your skin. Exfoliating also opens your pores so that your moisturizer can penetrate your skin. There are two different ways to exfoliate, chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation. Make sure you have cleansed your face first, before you exfoliate with either process.
Physical exfoliation is either when you physically use a washcloth, facial brush, or your hands to gently apply an abrasive scrub onto your damp face. Working in small circular motions and avoiding your eyes, massage the product onto your face for a couple of minutes and then rinse it off well. This process is effective for normal, dry and combination skin.
Chemical exfoliation is when you are using a chemical scrub such as a citric acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, malic acid or a fruit enzyme to loosen the dead cells. This time it is applied onto a cotton pad and wiped gently over your face, again avoiding your eyes, to remove dead skin cells. This process is effective for oily skin that may be prone to acne and blackheads.
For sensitive skin, avoid using an exfoliant when skin has blemishes or is dealing with sensitivities such as eczema and is red and inflamed. Wait until your skin has healed and remember to be extra gentle with your sensitive skin.
After exfoliating, moisturize your skin with either a serum or moisturizer so that it can reach deeper layers of your skin.
How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type. Normal and dry skin should usually be exfoliated once a week. Oilier skin is thicker and often needs a twice a week exfoliation. Often weather conditions may also dictate how often your face needs this process. Hot weather will usually produce more oil on oilier skin and then you may need to exfoliate twice a week or more.
Remember, your facial skin still requires a daily routine of using a cleanser, a toner and a moisturizing oil and or serum, and when needed, a simple weekly exfoliating, to keep your face looking its best.