Flaky skin? Breakouts? Clogged & congested pores? Dull & Uneven skin tone?
If you’re using the best of skincare products, but skipping an exfoliant because umm it seems harsh and your skin probably doesn’t need it, well, that’s the one skincare mistake you should stop making right now.
Exfoliation helps you do away with the unwanted impurities that hang on tightly to your skin, even when you double-cleanse day after day after. It speeds up the normal process of skin shedding so that you get rid of layers of dead skin that accumulate over time, without disrupting your skin’s barrier. When you exfoliate enough, it is also easier for nutrients to penetrate your skin. Here is a short list of favourite and popular kinds of exfoliators.
Physical Exfoliants: They manually get rid of layers of dead skin and impurities that have accumulated over time. Do try using a sheetmask right after you do a physical exfoliation, as your skin will absorb the nutrients more quickly.
Scrubs – These contain beads or granules that will manually slough off dead skin giving you a glowing & radiant skin in an instant. Recommended for use once or twice a week (as over-exfoliating with physical scrubs can lead to irritated skin). Great for those who are not friendly with Chemical exfoliants. The Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry wash off mask contains real sugar granules that melt into your skin as you’re using it to reveal hydrated and brighter skin.
Peeling Gel – The most gentle form of a physical exfoliate and my personal favourite. They contain fibres that turn into clumps when you apply it on your skin and they ‘grab hold of’ or ‘peel away’ dead skin and dirt gently revealing new, fresh skin. This is the exfoliant for Sensitive skin types. You can use it 2-3 times a week. The Mizon Apple Smoothie Peeling Gel contains natural AHA from fruit and flower extracts.
Chemical Exfoliants: The more preferred way to exfoliate for many. Unlike physical exfoliators, they help to deal directly with acne, pores,and pigmentation,while smoothing out lines. The two most popular chemical exfoliants are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) that are used in different forms of products, be it Cleansers, toners, and now creams. Best recommended to use along with pH adjusting toners like this and this.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid: Put simply, use AHA if you want smooth skin. This type of Acid helps in dealing with whiteheads/acne while lightening up acne spots and pigmentation marks, evens out fine lines and wrinkles giving you much better looking softer and younger skin. Glycolic and Lactic acid are popular AHAs. The Cosrx AHA Whitehead Power Liquid contains 7% AHA (Glycolic Acid) and is suitable even for sensitive skin.
Beta Hydroxy Acid: These oil-soluble acids go deep inside pores and work their magic by cleaning out gunk from deep within , thus preventing future breakouts and minimising pores. Salicylic Acid is a common form of BHA. The popular Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid however contains 4% betaine salicylate which is milder than Salicylic Acid, thus making it suitable for sensitive skin types too.
Do remember to exfoliate atleast once a week!