Are you an exfoliant slacker or an overachieving exfoliator?
What does this even mean?
Alayne along with Julie, one of the many skin care experts at Alayne White, break down some common questions along with their answers to help you along the bumpy path of skin that could use a good exfoliant.
We end this blog with an easy yet detailed at-home exfoliant routine to give you smooth and soft skin with a healthy brightness — what an exfoliant should be doing.
- When was the last time you used an exfoliant on your face?
- What defines “exfoliant?”
- When is it too much or not enough?
What Is An Exfoliant?
An exfoliant is anything that encourages the removal or dissolving or sloughing off of dead skin cells. But what are dead skin cells, and why do they need to exit?
Your old skin cells turn over at a snail's pace as you age, and in that slowdown, they build up on your skin's surface. This causes a lackluster, drab look to your skin. By exfoliating, you are getting rid of all that dead skin, allowing your serums and moisturizers to get in to do their good work.
Types of Skin Exfoliants
There are several types of exfoliants and which one you use depends on your preference and skin type. Here are the most common exfoliants for the skin:
- Traditional Scrubs. These are physical, granular, and gritty. They buff the skin's surface.
- Chemical. These are acid or enzyme based, such as lactic, salicylic, or glycolic, to name a few.
- Mechanical. This includes microdermabrasion, rotary brush, dermaplaning, razor, waxing, or using a washcloth.
You may notice that retinol is not listed here. Many believe that retinol is exfoliating their skin due to the fact that some experience peeling/flaking. Retinol is not an exfoliant since it cannot break down the sticky substance that holds dead skin cells to the surface. Retinol IS, however, a wonderful antioxidant and helps bring new healthy skin cells to the surface quicker, which gives us a smooth and vibrant appearance. There are now different forms of retinol that can be used no matter what your skin type/sensitivity is. If you need help choosing the one for you, we can help! Retinol is a great addition once you get the hang of a basic skincare routine. Here is the retinol we love.
Which Skin Exfoliant Is Right For You?
Some exfoliants are more potent than others; for example, just washing your face exfoliates, but aging skin needs a little more than this.
However, as our skin ages, it can also become more sensitized to all of the extreme bells and whistles we throw at it, and mixing and matching can make your skin go haywire if you don’t know what you are doing or what the ingredients are doing. Here are a few guidelines:
- Evaluate what you already have. If you have big tubs of that apricot stuff left over from, well you know….Throw it out or use it up on your body (If it is not older than 6 months).
- Carve out some time for yourself once or twice a week. Decide on morning or evening, weekday or weekend and commit to it.
- Make it easy. Keep what you need by your sink; if you have to drag it out of somewhere, you probably won’t do it.
- Wash your face. Make sure you wash your face completely before you start any type of exfoliating routine.
- Know what to expect. Understand that a bit of pinkness is good but know the difference between tingle and burn. Too much can be an indicator of a potential overdo. If anything causes discomfort, discontinue right away and splash 5-10 times with cool water, which will neutralize any acid-based exfoliant product.
A Simple And Effective Exfoliating Routine
1. Remove all eye makeup with Gentle Makeup Remover
(These cleansers will lay the groundwork as they have a very mild exfoliating property. If you wear makeup or lots of layers of product, cleanse twice.)
3. Apply a thin layer of this liquid exfoliant.
Press on to skin.
4. Wait 30 seconds and repeat. Do not rinse either time.
5. Apply a pearl size with a good amount of water of this Brightening Polish.
6. Massage very lightly, don’t even move the skin.
7. Let sit for about 20 seconds.
8. Rinse well.
9. Pat dry
11. Apply SPF if you are doing this routine in the morning and are headed outside.
YOUR SKIN should feel soft, and smooth and your serum and moisturizer should soak in and glide on. You can do this treatment once or twice a week.
To make it easy, you can buy the complete exfoliating set here.