Wherever you look, there’s another radiant woman advertising for yet another cleansing lotion or a toner, and another dermatologist coming up with a brilliant random-number-step skincare routine that fits all complexions. In all fairness, without the army of experts that celebrities have on their speed-dial, we can hardly expect our skin to remain impervious to the stress of everyday life and not produce any wrinkles or the occasional zit. However, certain age-old truths in skincare apply to every single one of us, and one of them is exfoliation!
This often-neglected step in your everyday routine (yes, everyday, we’ll get to that later) can make or break your entire approach to skincare. So, if you’re aiming to beautify your complexion, you’d be surprised how often this one step can truly contribute to getting the best results. The secret may not be hiding in the fancy beauty product section after all, but your kitchen cabinet, or a simple scrub on your bathroom shelf!
Discover different ways to exfoliate
If all you know is the sugar scrub, you’re in for a treat, because the world is filled with quite a few very effective ways to exfoliate your skin. In addition to manual exfoliation with the help of gentle brushes or abrasive ingredients, you have chemical exfoliators such as different skin-friendly acids to remove dead skin cells and bring back that natural glow of yours. Then again, you can opt for electronic exfoliants which are equally gentle, but very powerful for different skin types!
The truth of the matter is, there is no one-size-fits-all, so you’ll need to try a few or consult your dermatologist to discover the one that suits you the most.
Do what Beyoncé would do
In the words of Beyoncé’s dermatologist, the same one that keeps Victoria Beckham’s and Kim Kardashian’s complexion spotless, exfoliation should be done every day – but not in the way you’d expect. If you envision exfoliation as scrubbing alone, then you’ve misunderstood the concept. Exfoliation is the process of nourishing the top layer of the skin, and that can only happen once you remove the accumulated dirt and dead skin cells.
All it takes is a gentle exfoliator for your daily use, in order for your cleansing and toning products to take effect. Then the actual, physical scrubs can be reserved for those once- or twice-a-week rituals for deeper nourishment. However, keep in mind that deeply irritated skin requires a different approach and careful consideration, so listen to your doctor before you go nuts with the scrubs!
Add it to your morning routine
Most of us would assume that perfect exfoliation starts by timing it in the evening, after you’re done with your makeup and exposure to the elements and pollution. While that does make sense, it turns out that exfoliating in the morning is actually better for your complexion, so you may want to consider switching your schedule.
The makeup-removing process alone can be strenuous on your pores, and add to that other cleansing steps, and you have too much product for your skin. Adding exfoliation into the mix could possibly lead to irritation. Instead, morning scrubs work the best, especially since your skin is renewed during the night, and it’s perfect timing to remove dead skin cells and refresh and protect your complexion for a new day.
Stick to gentle movements
Annoyed by the sweat and dirt that mess up your pores daily? You’re not alone. However, as much as you feel that you should use all of your might to scrub away at your pores, this is not the most effective way to get the results you want, that is, the radiance and glow minus the zits and blackheads. Exfoliation is yet another area of life where less is truly more: applying less pressure when using physical scrubs and using less product is often precisely what you need to get the perfect balance of beauty and cleanliness.
Whichever type of exfoliant you end up using in your skincare routine, use it with care. Circular movements are the best, and keep your pressure gentle, especially for those facial exfoliants. That will help prevent irritation, and the deep cleanse will still prevail!
Don’t forget the skin wax
Finally, many ladies aren’t aware of the fact that waxing any part of your skin, your face included, means that you’ve already conducted a scrub. Yes, wax acts as the perfect exfoliator for your skin cells, removing not just the unwanted hair but the dirt and possible blackheads.
So, if you do wax portions of your body, make sure to skip the regular scrub before and after your waxing session. It will help your skin recover, and you won’t miss out on any of the beneficial effects of exfoliation, so you can move on to soothing lotions and hydrating creams.
When in doubt: exfoliate! This little step in your skincare routine will help you restore your even skin tone and enhance the effect of all the products you use afterwards, whether they are store-bought or homemade. Before you do, however, check with your dermatologist to decide on the best system to apply in your case!