Allowing dead skin cells to stick around can make your mug look dull and flaky and even lead to breakouts—or worse! Enter exfoliation, the simplest step toward better skin.
The good news is that your body naturally gets rid of dead skin cells every four weeks. But the less-than-good news is that it sometimes needs a helping hand. When dead cells linger, they can make your skin appear dull and dry. Even worse, they can build up in your pores, which leads to blackheads and acne breakouts. To eliminate the gunk, you’ll want to master the fine (or more like medium-grade) art of exfoliation.
READ MORE: The Best Grooming Products For a Dry Face
There are two kinds of exfoliation: mechanical, which removes dead skin using physical friction with tools like a scrub or a cleansing brush, and chemical, which uses ingredients like hydroxy acids to dissolve the bonds that keep dead cells attached to your skin’s surface. Which type of exfoliant you choose depends on your skin type, but most dermatologists suggest chemical exfoliants because they’re less aggressive.
Dermatologist Dr Corey L Hartman, recommends using a gentle chemical exfoliant like a cleanser or toner with alpha hydroxy acids every day, and then if that’s not enough, use a scrub once a week. (Make sure not to rub too hard.) If you’ve never exfoliated before, start slowly and stick to once a week until you can work your way up to every day. Always follow with a moisturiser, says Dr Robert Finney, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Grab Your Tool
the ordinary The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Glycolic acid is both exfoliating and hydrating—perfect for anyone with dry skin.
Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub
Tiny bamboo-powder granules wipe away dead skin without roughing you up.
FOREO LUNA 3 MEN Cleansing Brush for Skin and Beard
Pour some cleanser on this brush and the soft silicone nubs exfoliate while you wash.
Proceed With Caution
“If your skin starts looking red, if you see scratches or scrapes, or the application of other products causes discomfort,” you’ve over-exfoliated, says Dr. Hartman. Over-exfoliating can also make your skin oilier because the skin underneath hasn’t had time to heal. Avoid this fate by starting gradually and using only one exfoliating product at a time.
If you’re using retinol already, you may not even need exfoliation. While the vitamin A derivative isn’t technically an exfoliant, it does help speed up the skin cells’ life cycle, says Dr. Finney. We like Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Max Night Serum. But if you are using it and still have lacklustre skin, consider exfoliating once or twice a week.
Wait, Is Shaving Exfoliating?
Every time you drag a razor over your skin, you’re removing dead skin cells from the surface. Congratulations, you’re already exfoliating. But unless you’re shaving your forehead, too, that’s taking care of only half your face. You can still use an exfoliant on your forehead, nose, and cheeks, but avoid the beard area, says Dr. Finney. Exfoliating too much where you also shave could make your skin more sensitive.
By Garret Munce
From: Men’s Health US