It is crucial to exfoliate on a regular basis to help speed up the skin’s natural cellular turnover (which slows as we age). A lack of exfoliation leads to a buildup of dead skin cells, which may yield one or more of the following: dull, dry, or flaky skin, acne breakouts, clogged pores, and uneven skin tone.
There are two ways to exfoliate: mechanically and chemically. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically removing dead skin cells, often with a scrub.
Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves a process using an acid such as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (Glycolic Acid) or Beta Hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid). Alpha Hydroxy Acids are best for sun-damaged skin, uneven complexion, and dryness, while Salicylic Acid is best for breakouts and congestion. However, both both Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids help address clogged pores.
Wondering if you can incorporate both physical and chemical exfoliation into your regimen?
(Read more: What really happens when you don’t exfoliate)
For most skin types (with the exception of inflamed or severe acne—in which case, face scrubs should be avoided) the answer is yes. The goal is to get the best out of each method without over-exfoliating. Here are a few suggestions for each skin type:
Combination/Oily or Oily Skin Types should exfoliate two to three times a week. If your skin falls under this category, use an Alpha Hydroxy Acid or Beta Hydroxy Acid once or twice a week (the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is a good choice) and use a face scrub once a week (or vice-versa).
Combination/Dry or Dry Skin Types should exfoliate once or twice a week. If you have skin that is dry or on the dry side, you can use the Glycolic Foaming Cleanser in place of your daily cleanser (i.e., Seaweed Cleansing Soap) once a week and use a face scrub once a week, or use the Glycolic Acid Toner daily and a face scrub once a week.
Reveal your best complexion yet by exfoliating the best way for your skin type!