How to properly exfoliate

How to properly exfoliate
How to properly exfoliate

Wintertime is here and the dry skin is baaaaack!

I don’t know about you, but every year I struggle with dry and itchy skin. Suddenly my face, which was smooth and glowing for the past few months, becomes a playground for the cold, dry weather that loves to take its toll on my delicate epidermis. Instead of being moist and supple, my skin feels tight and looks flaky and pulled taught.

I usually switch to a richer moisturizer when cold weather strikes, but the key to getting through the winter without being a flaky monster is exfoliation.

Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to exfoliate, depending on your skin type. You can definitely over-exfoliate, so you don’t want to go too crazy with it. Here are my best tips.

How to Properly Exfoliate Based on Your Skin Type

Normal Skin: Exfoliate every other day with a soft facial brush and creamy cleanser. I personally love a facial brush; I use a Clarisonic. Then once a week, you can use a gentle exfoliating scrub or glycolic mask to slough off dead skin.

Oily Skin: You can probably use the facial brush daily with a non-oil based cleanser. You can also use an exfoliating scrub once or twice a week. Back off if you notice your skin showing redness and irritation.

Dry Skin: That’s me, lucky me! Dry and sensitive skin (often the two go hand in hand) requires some babying. You definitely do not want to over-do the exfoliation, but definitely keep up with it on a regular basis. I like to use my Clarisonic 3-5 times a week, and I used to use a very gentle exfoliating scrub with fine granules once a week, but now I actually prefer a clay mask. It’s gentler to the skin than a scrub. You will know you’re over-doing it if your skin becomes red and irritated. Back off, and use a more gentle exfoliating method. A washcloth and a creamy cleanser may be all you need.

General exfoliation tips for everyone: Be kind to your skin! Don’t scrub your face too hard; instead use gentle, circular strokes. And always follow cleansing and/or exfoliation with moisturizer.

Professional Procedures: Good, consistent at-home care is essential to maintaining beautiful, healthy skin, but sometimes you need a little boost. Almost everyone can benefit from occasional spa treatments. I’m a huge proponent of regular facials, and you also may want to consider microdermabrasion.

Ultimately the key is to find what works for you and then be consistent. Your skin will thank you!

About the Author