Tips for Exfoliating the Skin

Today I am sharing some tips for exfoliating the skin. Did you catch my last skincare post on Tips for Cleansing the skin? If not, I recommend you start there and then pop back to this post. Obviously cleansing the skin is the foundation of your skincare routine, but I truly believe that exfoliating on a regular basis will take your skincare to the next level.

Why should you exfoliate?

When you exfoliate the skin, it removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, revealing the fresh healthy skin underneath. This gives the skin a nice healthy glow and leaves it feeling soft and smooth if done regularly. It also helps to minimise build up of oils which causes spots and blackheads.
Most people will cleanse and moisturise their skin on a daily basis and they seem confused as to why their skin is still looking a little dull and lifeless. Here’s why…
Think of the moisturiser as a glue. When it is applied to the skin, it can stick the dead skin calls onto the surface of the skin. If this continues to happen day after day, they can start to build up. Not only will the skin start to look a little dull, but the build up of dead skin will create a barrier, thus making your moisturiser less effective and quite frankly, a waste of money.

How often should you exfoliate?

You should be using an exfoliator on your skin 1-2 times a week. Some people can take more but as a general rule you should stick to one to two times. You would do this after you use your cleanse and before your moisturiser.

What type of exfoliator should you use?

There are different ones on the market designed for different skin types. You should not be using the same exfoliator on your face as you do your body. The skin on your face it a lot thinner and should be treated with more care. If you have sensitive skin, chose an exfoliator with very fine granules in so you don’t irritate it further and you should probably only exfoliate once a week. Some exfoliators don’t have any granules in at all and actually work by using enzymes to break down the dead skin that way. Which ever you chose to use, make sure you are performing it on a regular basis in order to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy.

How to exfoliate

Make sure you read the instructions on your packaging as each one can be a little different. But as a general rule you should do the following after cleansing:
Put some product onto damp fingertips
Pat some of the exfoliator onto the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead.
Using your fingertips, use small circular motions over all of the face paying particular attention to the crease of the nose and the chin. This is where blackheads tend to appear.
Was off with a flannel or some sponges
Pat the skin dry and apply moisturiser.

Don’t forget your body!

These principles apply to the body as well. We cleanse using shower gel, we should exfoliate the body about 2-3 times a week and we should moisturises daily. This will help leave the skin soft and smooth, it will also help to reduce any ingrowing hairs.
You may also wish to do something called ‘Skin brushing’. As well as gently lifting the dead skin cells off the surface, skin brushing will increase blood circulation which promotes brighter and healthier skin. It is also said to help aid in the reduction of cellulite. Skin brushes can come in various shapes and sizes. The one pictured below as extra rubber sections in it to help massage the skin at the same time. Simply run the brush over your skin in the direction towards your heart.

Make your own

You can make your own exfoliators using products from around the house. Strawberries are high in enzymes which are excellent for getting rid of that dead skin. Simply blend some up and apply to your face like a mask. Just be careful you don’t drop it everywhere as it tends to leave a pink stain on white towels etc.
You could also try mixing some sugar in honey for a fine exfoliator suitable for the face.
For the body, mixing sea salt in oil works very well, its moisturising as well as exfoliating.
For the lips, simply mix some sugar into Vasalene and gently rub into lips.

My Product Recommendations

I hope you have enjoyed this post?! Have you found it helpful? Please leave a comment below telling me about your experiences with exfoliators!
Don’t forget to check back in a few weeks for the next tip which will be about Moisturising