Exfoliation is an essential and undeniable part of facial skin care. This is because it is unable to shed the dead skin cells on its own and requires an external agent for this purpose. It removes the dead cells that clog the skin pores and also reduces excess oil present on the skin surface. Thus, the two main problems that cause the infection and result in outbreak of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, are eliminated.
There are two different types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators consist of grains, which when rubbed against the skin, get rid of the dead skin cells. However, it is not suitable for acne prone skin, which is highly sensitive. The ideal exfoliator for such skin is the one that uses chemicals that loosen the bond that holds the dead skin cells together.
Different Types of Exfoliators
Most of the chemical-based exfoliators that are available in the market, consist of acids and enzymes that help you get rid of the dead skin cells and give way to fresh and smooth underlying skin. They are found in the forms of lotions, gels, etc. Products that contain 2% beta-hydroxy acid or salicylic acid are considered as the best. As the beta-hydroxy acids are soluble in oil, it is more effective in treating blemishes and scars left behind by the acne. Then, there are exfoliators with alpha hydroxy acids that are also highly beneficial for sensitive skin. Retinol-based exfoliating agents can also be used. Retinol is basically a form of vitamin A which will help improve the overall skin condition.
Then, there are different chemical peels that can be safely used for removal of dead skin cells. Peels which contain glycolic acid and hydroquinone as components, act gently on the skin and can be used regularly at home. Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) peels are widely used by the dermatologists for exfoliation of the skin which in turn kill the bacteria lying under the surface of the skin. Thus, the root cause of acne is eliminated.
If you are looking for natural exfoliators, then you can prepare a fruit mask using one cup of grated apple and 5 tablespoonfuls of honey. Apply it on all those areas where acne tend to erupt more and wait for around 10-15 minutes. Then, wash it off gently with cold water without rubbing the skin much.
When exfoliating skin at home, you need to keep certain things in mind.
- Wash your face thoroughly with your regular facial cleanser before you use the exfoliator.
- Do not rub the skin too much as it may cause a lot of skin irritation later.
- Do not rub the towel on your face. Just pat it gently to soak up the water.
- After exfoliation, the skin tends to become dry and flaky. Therefore, do not forget to apply a good quality moisturizer soon after.
- The best time to exfoliate is at night, before going to bed.