Beauty Tips & Tricks

Skin Care

Want Glowing Skin? You Need to Exfoliate Like A Pro

11 Sep, 2018
By Andie Reeves
Having healthy and glowing skin is always in fashion, but sometimes it feels totally unachievable. Does it seem like your skin looks dry, dull or ashy no matter how much water you drink and moisturiser you apply? It's more than likely you need a good exfoliator to help it along.

What Exactly Does Exfoliating Do?

Exfoliating loosens and removes the dead skin cells that are still attached to your healthy new skin cells. The process is great for unclogging pores, getting rid of ingrown hairs, improving blood circulation and correcting skin texture issues. After dead skin cells are removed your skin is smoother and brighter, giving you that healthy glow we all crave. It also encourages your skin to produce more collagen, which means younger, plumper looking skin.
Think of exfoliating as preparing your skin for the products you use on it. Once your pores have been cleaned they are more open to fully absorb your moisturiser, anti-ageing creams or whatever else you have in your beauty routine, and so your skin really benefits from them.

What Type of Exfoliator Should I Be Using?

In recent years we have steered away from the once-popular harsh exfoliating scrubs, known as physical exfoliators. This is because while their abrasive qualities feel like they're doing good for your skin they are actually damaging it by making hundreds of tiny micro-abrasions. This makes your skin inflamed, cause redness and brings on premature ageing.
  • Chemical exfoliators are the answer as they work to 'unglue' the dead cells from your skin through certain ingredients, like acids and enzymes, instead of physically scrubbing them out, which is way kinder to your skin. By helping dead skin cells to separate from the rest of your skin, a fresher healthier skin is revealed, often overnight.  

    The best exfoliators will contain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids, e.g. glycolic, citric and lactic acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy/salicylic acid). As a rule of thumb, AHA's enhance natural moisturising factors and so are best for dry, dehydrated skin, while BHA's work both on cleaning the skin and inside pores and are therefore good for oily and acne prone skin or if you have large pores.  BHA's are also gentler on the skin so are recommended if your skin is sensitive. 
    Many products include a mix of both. Just remember that using an acid on your skin makes you more vulnerable to the sun so it's extra important that you wear SPF every day.
    Our product picks:
    For normal-combo/acne-prone skins: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Exfoliating Astringent Facial Toner with salicylic and citric acids; Bioderma Sebium Exfoliating Purifying Gel with salicylic and glycolic acids, Celltone Exfoliating Gel with salicylic acid, Eucerin Dermo Purifier Oil Control Scrub with lactic acid and Freeman Exfoliating Pink Grapefruit Facial Scrub with citric acids.
    For sensitive skins: Vichy Normaderm 3in1 Scrub Cleanser and Mask for Sensitive Skin with salicylic and glycolic acids and Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream with primrose extract.

Read More. These Powerful Ingredients Are the Secret to A Better Skin
  • Physical exfoliators. If you do use a scrub, the exfoliating particles need to be super fine because the skin on your face is delicate and sensitive. They also need to be round as irregularly-shaped beads will cause micro-abrasions. The microbeads we often find in exfoliating scrubs aren’t biodegradable and have actually recently been banned in America (but there are alternatives on the way).

    Instead, go for natural alternatives like sea salt, oats, or a sugar scrub, which is one of the mildest scrubs you can use. If you can’t find what you want in-store, homemade scrubs are so easy to make. Depending upon their ingredients they can be either a chemical or physical exfoliator - or both.

    Our product picks: La Roche-Posay Ultra-Fine Scrub for Sensitive Skin, Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream and their One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, BioNike Defence Micro Exfoliating Scrub for Sensitive Skin, Neutrogena Visibly Clear Correct & Perfect Complexion and IQ Clear Start Smoothing Microderm Scrub.

Read More: How to Multi Mask to Really Improve Your Skin's Healthy Glow

How Do I Exfoliate?

Start with freshly washed skin and pat it dry. Apply a coin-sized amount of your exfoliator to your fingertips and gently massage the product in small circles all over your face (or just over your problem areas). Be sure to not use too much pressure and to not take longer than a minute or so. You can also use a face brush to gently work the product in circular motions onto your skin. Rinse off with water and your hands or a soft face cloth.

How Often Should I Exfoliate?

Once you see the benefits that exfoliating has on your skin you will probably want to insert it into your skincare routine as much as possible. This is where many women go wrong. There is definitely such thing as over-exfoliating your skin, and it can result in tiny, invisible tears in your skin that get inflamed and make you dehydrated.

You should exfoliate your face between one to three times a week maximum. Figure out how often you need to be exfoliating by paying attention to your skin. So, if your skin only feels dry and in need of a good scrub after a week then you only need to exfoliate once a week. On days where you aren’t exfoliating use a salicylic acid-based facial wash. This will give you the same benefit of unclogging your pores but without the roughness of an exfoliator.

Read More. Confused About Derma Rolling? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Do I Only Need to Exfoliate My Face?

Our face is our best asset so it makes sense to exfoliate it, but is it really necessary to exfoliate the rest of your body too? Well, yes. You want to be glowing all-over, don't you?
Using an exfoliator on your body is especially great for ingrown hairs from shaving, preparing your skin for fake tan and tackling those pesky red bumps lots of women get on their upper arms. Body exfoliators can be a bit rougher than the ones you use on your face, and it's really easy to make your own by mixing coarse sea salt with olive or coconut oil.
Our product picks: Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub For Smooth Skin, Mineraline Body Scrub and Dove Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash.
How Do I Exfoliate My Body?
First get your skin damp in the shower. Next load up your hands or shower mitts with your exfoliator and apply in circular motions all over. Don’t over-exfoliate: your whole body should take you about three minutes. Rinse off in the shower and follow with a creamy moisturiser once you’re dry. Your skin will happily absorb the moisture and feel really amazing afterwards.
At Dis-Chem, try Martini Bambu Spa Relax & Scrub Exfoliating Glove with bamboo fibres or the more fun Bathmate Bath Gloves.
Read More: How to Improve Your Skin by What You Eat. Yes, Really

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BioNike Defence Micro Exfoliating Scrub - Sensitive Skin
R 185.00

Celltone Exfoliating Gel
R 89.95

Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub For Smooth Skin
R 0.00

Clarins Gentle Peeling Smooth Away Cream
R 395.00

Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
R 415.00

Eucerin Dermo Purifier Oil Control Scrub
R 139.95

Freeman Exfoliating Pink Grapefruit Facial Scrub
R 92.95

IQ Clear Start Smoothing Microderm Scrub
R 59.95

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Correct & Perfect Complexion Scrub
R 119.95

Vichy Normaderm 3in1 Scrub, Cleanser and Mask - Sensitive Skin
R 265.00

Exfoliate! Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid to Smooth, Tighten, Firm and Brighten Your Skin!

Images. Pinterest

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