Physical and chemical exfoliants are tried-and-true ways of getting skin to look and feel better. However, the advancements in science and dermatological knowledge have shown that the incorrect usage of exfoliants can lead to skin oversensitivity and micro-abrasions, which can cause serious damage. Here are five common mistakes that you should avoid when using face exfoliators.
Don’t Use a Rough Exfoliant
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when using physical exfoliants is using exfoliants that are too rough, meaning the exfoliant particles are too large or too sharp. The most popular physical exfoliant currently on the market contains plastic microbeads. Unfortunately, these often inflict tiny cuts on the skin, leaving it tender and more prone to damage. Soft, organic face exfoliators, such as ones that contain jojoba wax beads, are gentler on the skin and do the job much better than microplastics, ground-up shells, or rock particulates.
Ease Your Skin Into Chemical Exfoliants
No matter your skin type, you should always ease into using chemical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants use hydroxy acids and retinoids to renew the skin. These chemicals are undoubtedly helpful, but you want to start off with using them only once a week. In addition, don’t use them in combination with vitamin C serums, as this can leave the skin raw and exposed. Lastly, always patch-test before trying a new product.
Pay Attention to Ingredients
Natural AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (butylated hydroxyanisole), which are found in the acids of fruits and vegetables, get rid of dead skin cells without the harshness of synthetic acids. Just make sure that the AHAs or BHAs in your chemical exfoliant are organically sourced and not synthetic, as these can be harsher on the skin.
Pair With a Good Moisturizer
After you’ve exfoliated, apply a good moisturizer to minimize the risk of dry, raw skin. Use a moisturizer with a good occlusive to lock in moisture. Petrolatum, carnauba wax, and beeswax are high-quality natural occlusives. These can fortify your skin’s natural barrier and help it retain moisture for beautiful, glowing skin.
Don’t Exfoliate Too Often
If you’ve determined that your skin can handle exfoliation, you can bump up the consistency to two to three times per week. However, if you notice that your skin is reacting poorly, act accordingly. Some people believe that if they force their skin to power through continuous exfoliation, it will get used to the routine, but this isn’t the case. Stay patient and give your skin what it needs.
Avoiding these five common facial exfoliation mistakes is crucial to crafting the perfect skincare routine. There’s no better day than today to start working on crafting the clear skin of your dreams!