Exfoliation is the most important step in our skincare routine, that can transform our skin for the best or for the worst, if done in the wrong way and with the wrong frequency. There isn’t only one type of exfoliation that suits every skin type, but different types to respect the features and needs of everyone.
Exfoliation: why doing it and how is done
Exfoliation is a step that bring multiples benefit to the skin like:
- removing dead skin cells and ease the cellular turnover, to reveal a brighter and even out skin, refining the skin texture
- preventing blackheads formation and helping in getting rid of them
- stimulating collagen production, delaying the aging process
- it helps to maintain our tan more even and for a longer time
It’s not a practice that can be overused: we must respect the renewal process of the skin and its needs, adapting it to our skin type and not to the trends. It’s recommended to exfoliate the skin once a week or in two weeks, depending on the type of the exfoliation and the skin type.
There are three types of exfoliator: mechanical, chemical and enzymatic.
How can you know which one to choose and for what type of skin is suited best?
Mechanical exfoliation: who should use it and when it should be done
Mechanical exfoliation is the most known and used type: it’s done with products that have exfoliating granules, that remove blemishes and dead skin cells with the “mechanical” pressure of our hands in our face. If you had used once in your life a scrub, you had tried this type of exfoliation.
Of all its benefits, we can highlight that it’s easy and quick to use:you don’t have to leave them on for several minutes and they are easy to rinse. Sensitive skin can irritate from the mechanical pressure and for this reason it is recommended to thicker skin, and oily and combination types. It’s always better to choose products without not so big granules that can’t scratch the skin. Other than that, mechanical exfoliant has no limits: can be done in every season, in our night or morning routine, but always once a week.
For exfoliating and purifying the skin at the same time, it can be chosen as a mask with microgranules and purifying activities. It will be a brightening boost and will purifying your skin in a few minutes and as needed.
Enzymatic exfoliation: who should use it and when it should be done
The removal of the dead skin cells with enzymatic exfoliation occurs with the use of the enzyme, often derived by fruit like papain. With enzymatic exfoliation you can have a more gentle exfoliation but as effective as the others, perfect even for sensitive skin. The products used for this type of treatment need a leave in time to let the enzyme get attached to dead skin and take them away without friction. It doesn’t contain photosensitizing agents and it can be done in all the seasons. It is suited for all skin types and has to be done once a week
For a more energetic action, you can find a product that has both enzymatic and mechanical exfoliation in it, to combine gentleness, immediate result, muthal benefits and easiness in the application and use.
You can find this type of product in the exfoliating mask that had to be left on the skin for a few minutes and then rinsed, revealing the brightest skin before a big event.
Chemical exfoliation: who should use it and when it should be done
Compared to the previous type of exfoliation, the chemical one does a keratolytic activity: the molecules of the keratin’s protein chain are broken, corneocytes, and the cohesion strength of the first layer’s cells are lessened.
This type of exfoliation can be done using acid like BHA, that can penetrate in deeper layers of the skin, or AHA: not only they removed dead cell skin, and accelerate the skin turnover, but they mitigate small lines and wrinkles, prevent blemishes and help getting rid of sunspots.
Although they are more effective in the long run, sensitive skin shouldn’t use them and they have to be chosen and used with care: start with a small percentage and increase the frequency only when the skin gets used to the product. Do not use it more than twice a week. Some of them like AHA, are photosensitizing: it’s important to reduce their use when spring and summer arrive, using it only in the night routine, and applying a sunscreen to prevent sun damage and sunspots.