The saying “Out with the old, in with the new” can be valuable skin care advice. You need to slough away old (dead) skin cells that dull your complexion and clog pores to allow your bright, beautiful glow to, well, glow! But an over-enthusiastic effort to free your face of a worn stratum corneum could do your skin harm. To make sure you get the maximum benefit from exfoliation without damaging your skin, use these tips:
Tip #1: Clean and Stem to Prep
You never start a deep cleaning project without first getting rid of the surface gunk or clutter. Think about it—before you shampoo your carpet, you vacuum; before you wash your car, you rinse away the fine grit. So it is with exfoliating. Before you get to the work of shedding dead skin cells, you need to get the daily dirt, oil and makeup out of the way.
So, wash your face with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water the way you do every morning and night. Once the surface impurities are out of the way, prepare your skin to let go of deeper impurities by steaming. Fill a sink with hot water, and cover your head over the sink with a towel to keep the steam around your face. Steam for five to ten minutes (no more, no less)…and take the opportunity to breathe and relax.
Tip #2: Fruit Extracts, Yes. Fruit Pits, No.
Fruits have a lot to offer. Enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc.—they’re all excellent natural skin health boosters. But fruit pits ground up to scrub away skin cells are not skin-friendly. Ground fruit pits are too abrasive—they are not evenly sized and often have jagged edges that can damage the vulnerable new skin cells coming up to replace those you slough away.
When selecting an exfoliating product, one with synthetic beads, whose round shape is gentler on your skin, is best.
Tip #3: Work Longer, Not Harder
Perhaps it’s been a while since you dug out your facial scrub and sloughed away those old, dull skin cells, so the “gently massage for 30 seconds” doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough. If that’s the case, you can give your skin a little extra exfoliating TLC, but the key is to gently massage longer (but no more than 90 seconds), not harder. Rubbing harder will only irritate your skin, leaving a splotchy red complexion behind.
Tip #4: Opt for Gentle Daily Exfoliation vs. Intensive Sporadic Treatment
The truth is, dead skin cells are usually pretty ready to be shed, so it doesn’t take a lot of work to remove them. You can actually keep the pile up at bay by gently exfoliating daily. Try gently massaging your daily cleanser around with a soft, clean wash cloth. Seriously, that’s all it takes!
Tip #5: Encourage Cell Turnover between Exfoliations
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, but for your complexion to look bright (not raw), there needs to be healthy, mature cells ready to take their place. That’s where cell turnover comes in. Cell turnover is the process by which skin cells mature and rise to the stratum corneum layer and push the existing (dead) cells out of the way. Regular cell turnover and exfoliation keep the skin looking full and radiant.
To encourage cell turnover, look for moisturizing products (especially for nighttime) with Retinol (a derivative of Vitamin A).
Hale Cosmeceuticals has a full product line with everything you need to exfoliate, encourage cell turnover and properly rehydrate and nourish. Proven to gently exfoliate and clean pores, our Dermist GSL Cleanser is 20% off this month.