Select exfoliating cleansers that contain sea salt and/or sugar. They key is to select an exfoliator with regular, round grains because exfoliating with square or irregular grains can cause skin lacerations. These abrasions may not be visible to the human eye, but they can cause serious damage.
Karen Asquith, aesthetician and national director of education for G.M Collin Skin care, explains, "[When] they are damaging the skin, they activate the repair mechanisms. If the repair mechanisms are activated regularly for a long period of time, they are unable to keep up, they become exhausted... This 'burn-out' of the skin’s fundamental functioning causes pre-mature skin aging."
Exfoliating once or twice a week is usually enough to achieve silky skin. However, women with oily skin should exfoliate more often than those with dry skin. If your skin becomes excessively dry or irritated after exfoliation, don't scrub so hard. Cut back on how often you exfoliate, and explore the possibility that you may be allergic to the products you used.
"Over-exfoliating is also a concern," says Asquith. "The skin needs time to recuperate, therefore two to three times per week is sufficient. Following exfoliation, a body cream should be applied. Depending on the treatment, a slimming, firming, or hydrating cream will penetrate better following an exfoliation and the results will be increased."
So, it's not just about properly removing dead skin. It's about what the new skin gets to soak in. So, Asquith suggests exfoliants that contain other active ingredients.
"[Look for] hydrating, anti-septic, soothing and nourishing components thereby addressing more skin concerns and achieving multi-functional actions," she recommends.
Here are some of our favorite exfoliating products:
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