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Your Ultimate Guide to Safely Exfoliating Your Skin article image by Mayerlingskincare.com

Perhaps one of the more easily forgotten skincare is exfoliation. While it’s not something that is recommended to be done daily, it’s certainly something that should be practiced regularly, especially if you’re keen on having an effective anti ageing regimen.

Regular exfoliation gives your skin a chance to remove dead skin cells from the outer layers, therefore removing dry or dull skin and increasing blood circulation. It helps unclog pores, prevent acne, boost circulation, and increase cell turnover. As a result, you get a more even skin tone and a brighter, more radiant complexion.

If it’s so beneficial, why are you skipping it? If you’re discouraged by how tedious it seems, you’re not alone. Exfoliation is easy but it could be a delicate process as you are dealing with the skin’s layers. To make sure your exfoliating game is impeccable, we’ve listed down everything you need to know to exfoliate safely.

Essential Steps

The key point to remember when exfoliating is to be as gentle as possible while doing the following:

  1. Using your finger (or your exfoliating tool of choice), make small, circular motions to apply the exfoliating scrub. Opt for a  highly effective yet gentle, triple-action cleansing exfoliant that’s safe for all skin types, like the Mayerling Exfoliant Cleansing Scrub.
  2. Exfoliate for about 30 seconds.
  3. Rinse off with lukewarm (not hot!) water. 
  4. Do not exfoliate if you have cuts, open wounds, or your skin is sunburned. 
  5. After exfoliating, apply a moisturiser with SPF.

Exfoliation by Skin Type 

Like any other skincare step, knowing how to exfoliate according to your skin type prevents any harsh effects on your skin. 

Dry Skin

For dry and flaky skin, exfoliation is essential. Glycolic acid works well to help remove dead cells on the surface of the skin and encourage healthy skin turnover. Don’t forget to follow up with an SPF and moisturiser after, since the exfoliation process can make the skin more prone to sun damage. In general, avoid mechanical exfoliation—the method of using a tool or product that will act to physically remove dead skin cells—for this skin type as this process can cause further dryness and may lead to microtears. 

Oily Skin

Manual exfoliation is great for oily or thicker skin since oily skin may have an extra layer of buildup that manual exfoliation can remove. Gently work your way through circular motions.

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, it’s a no-no to use mechanical methods of exfoliation as it will only irritate your skin and may lead to redness. Instead, use a mild chemical exfoliator and apply with a gentle washcloth. 

Normal Skin

For normal skin or for skin with no known complications, you’re safe to try mechanical exfoliation or chemical exfoliation, which utilises acids or enzymes to remove dead skin cells. Experiment and find out what method works best for your skin.

Exfoliation by Body Part

Some parts of the body are more sensitive than the rest. Thus, it’s crucial to identify these spots and know exactly how to exfoliate each. 

Face

It’s important to remember your skin type so you’ll be able to use the right type of exfoliant. Start by applying the exfoliant gently to the skin with a finger. Spread it out in small, circular motions. Finally, rinse with lukewarm water. For a liquid chemical exfoliant, use a cotton pad or washcloth to apply. 

Hands and Feet

For hands and feet exfoliation, there are actually available scrubs and peels that you can buy. As well, a good alternative used through the years is a pumice stone to exfoliate feet.

Pubic area

Taking care of the pubic area through exfoliation is ideally done in a warm shower to first soften the skin. 

How Often Should You Exfoliate?

It really depends on your skin type. For dry skin, exfoliating your skin once or twice per week is enough to be effective, while oily skin may require more frequent exfoliation. In general, avoid over-exfoliating to prevent redness and irritation. Get to know your skin better, choose only the best skincare and anti ageing products, and talk to a dermatologist to find the right exfoliating method for you.