Exfoliating is an important step in our skin care routine but sometimes we can go overboard. That silky smooth fresh faced feel can get a little addictive, leading us to scrub a little too often and cause our skin more harm than good.
Daily exfoliating is too much for our skin. Our skin produces new cells every minute of every day but they need to go through a maturation growth phase before they are ready for the spotlight (much like we do before we become fully grown adults).
Exfoliating and scrubbing away at our skin cells means that we are not letting our cells go through this growth process they need to create beautiful, happy, healthy skin.
If we take away too many cells, we are leaving immature cells to do the job of the grown ups. We all know what damage can happen when immature people are in charge (Like the time I was teenager and thought it would be interesting to use the blender without putting the lid on- mum was not impressed, cleaning banana smoothie off the kitchen ceiling!)
So lets not make that same mistake for our skin!
Every skin care range has an exfoliant, some of them even have multiple options. But how do you know which is right for you. Well…as I always say, you need to speak with an expert skin therapist who will prescribe the right product for your skin but read on to learn what not to do!
Addicted to your Harsh Scrub?
Using a facial scrub that contains gritty bits can be irritating and harmful to your skin. Some out there are best left for cleaning your bathroom grout, not for gently polishing your skin (I'm looking at you apricot scrub!)
Using a scrub that contains crushed nut shell, coffee grounds, salt, sugar or plastic beads is on my no-go list as they are too harsh for our precious skin cells. Stick to exfoliating products that contain jojoba wax beads or an enzyme based exfoliant . They are smooth round beads and help polish away adult skin cells that are past their prime.
Once per week, gently massage the granular exfoliant around your face, concentrating on hair line and eyebrows as skin can build up around these areas.
Addicted to your Mechanical Brush?
If you've got one floating around in the back of your bathroom cupboard, even worse if it is currently sitting in your shower to use morning and night, this has GOT-TO-GO!
These mechanical brushes are a no go for daily use.
Yes, they are promoted to use every day with your cleanser but what you are doing is brushing away the top layers of your skin, the adult cells who are keeping the peace and making sure the teenagers are behaving. Keep your mechanical brushes to only once per week and don’t go too crazy with it. A gentle once over is more than enough to give the desired effect.
Addicted to your Acids?
Have you got skin care that is laced with glycolic, salicylic and resurfacing Vitamin A? These ingredients are designed for skin in moderation- sometimes not even at all.
If you see any of these ingredients on the labels of your products, let's have a little chat about whats really happening.
Acids work kind of like ‘pac-man’ they break down the glue that hold our skin cells together. Helpful for exfoliating yes, but not great if you are using them every day, several times a day across several products.
Take a look at your cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser… if they each contain small amounts of acids, then with each step your are breaking down your adult skin cells and starting to work on the teenagers that are coming up behind them.
Exfoliating ingredients need only be used once per week so if they are in your daily skin care, you might want to re-think them.
Addicted to your wash cloth, sponge or other manual device?
Daily use of a facecloth or sponge is still exfoliating away skin cells. Much like the mechanical brush. If you chose to use this option as your method of exfoliating, only use it once per week to allow your teenage cells time to mature. Alternatively you can switch to a skin chamois. These help to gently cleanse without stripping away the skins natural barrier.
Overall, exfoliating more than once or twice per week can cause skin problems. All of the above methods are ideal options for exfoliating but weekly moderation is the key.
Your skin can have too much of a good thing! So give your cells a change to mature through their lifecycle. The adults know what to do and when to do it, let's give those teenage cells a chance to do their growing up away from the spotlight, just like I did being a teenager before the internet, smart phones and facebook was invented!
Love Robyn xx