Updated: May 19, 2019
Everything you need to know about exfoliating at home.
Exfoliating is a favorite pastime of mine, I'm HELLA addicted. Not only do they get rid of dead skin, they also prevebt buildup and ingrown hairs while promoting healthy skin renewal! I began using sugar scrubs in high school, and I swore by The Tree Hut's Hawaiian Kukui body scrub! While I'm still addicted to exfoliating, I am now far more knowledgeable about it than when I was slathering the Hawaiian Kukui from head to toe.
(of a material) come apart or be shed from a surface in scales or layers
cause (a surface) to shed material in scales or layers
wash or rub (a part of the body) with a granular substance to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin
There are two types of exfoliation: chemical and mechanical. Chemical exfoliants are acids or enzymes, such as alpha hydroxy acid and bromelain, that dissolve dead skin. Chemical exfoliants range in intensity from daily use products to your occasional professional chemical peels. Mechanical exfoliants consists of sugar scrubs, sponges, brushes, loofahs, dermaplaning, etc. (I'm just going to assume that you get the jist), that physically removes dead skin.
Which Exfoliant Is Right For Me? It really depends on location and skin type. I would NEVER use a foot scrub on my face, however, some people may be able to use body scrubs on their face. In general, you'd use coarser exfoliants as foot or body scrubs and finer exfoliants as facial scrubs. However, that doesn't mean you can't use chemical scrubs as body exfoliants. When deciding which mechanical scrub is best for you, start with a finer or gentler exfoliant and work your way to a coarser scrub if you feel the first scrub is not getting the job done. The same goes for chemical exfoliants. Start using lower concentrations, then work your way up to higher percentages until you find a balance. I personally like to exfoliate my face with natural sponges, grains, and Hidden Vanity's 5% AHA Toner and 10% AHA Nighttime Serum. I use Hidden Vanity sugar scrubs for body and foot exfoliation.
How Often Should I Exfoliate?
As most other things in life, it depends. Skin type and location are the two main deciding factors, but daily exfoliation can be safely done if you are using the appropriate exfoliants. For example, I wash my face with a facial sponge (physical) and use my 5% AHA toner (chemical) immediately after each morning. Each night I wash with facial sponge and apply mt 10% AHA serum. When it comes to daily body exfoliation, I target my underarms (deodorant buildup), abdomen (helps fade my stretchmarks), vagina (ain't nobody got time for ingrowns!), and feet (I despise calluses). I usually exfoliate my entire body once a week or every other week, however, I always exfoliate before and after shaving to help prevent ingrowns.
Things To Keep In Mind
Before you begin to exfoliate away all of your troubles and strives, I must inform you about a few things. You should not exfoliate sunburned skin or skin that has open sores. Using the wrong type of physical exfoliant or using it improperly can lead to micro tears on your skin. These micro tears may turn into dark marks as the heal. So, don't go in on your skin as you would do a stain on a carpet. Also, you must ALWAYS apply sunscreen during the day if you use chemical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants will cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun, but you should be wearing sunscreen daily anyways... Right?! 👀
I hope I kept your attention ha ha, and that you feel more confident about exfoliation. I'm wishing you peace, blessings, and flourishing exfoliations! - Vanity ❤