We shed millions of dead skin cells each day, but sometimes nature needs a little extra push to run its course. That’s where exfoliation – the process of removing dead skin cells from the top layer of skin with a cosmetic product – comes in.
By Candice Graham
Do: Be gentle.
Make sure you’re letting the product do the work and are only applying slight pressure. A gentle exfoliant with tiny round beads, or microbeads, is sometimes all you’ll need to get the job done. Beware of exfoliants with rough particles which can scrape skin and cause irritation. As a wise aesthetician once said in response to a harsh exfoliant: “I use that stuff on my feet, not my face.”
Do: Moisturize immediately.
Letting a dab of your favorite moisturizer soak in right after you exfoliate is a good idea. Moisturizers hydrate the best when dead surface cells have just been scrubbed away.
Don’t: Exfoliate before or after waxing.
If you just got a brow wax, you’ve essentially already exfoliated that area of your face, as waxing takes excess skin cells along with body hair. It’s wise to wait to exfoliate until a day after waxing and to hold off a day before so that excess cells aren’t stripped.
Do: Cleanse first.
Washing your face with your regular cleanser before you exfoliate is a very important step. The warm water will help open up your pores so they can be cleared out. Plus, if there’s a day’s worth of makeup, oil, and grime on your face, exfoliation can press it further into the skin and pores.