The Ultimate Guide To Exfoliating

Written by: Yeu-Gynn Yeung

If there’s one step we often forget in our skincare routine, it’s exfoliating. Exfoliating sounds kinda scary, especially since it involves a certain amount of scrubbing, and you never know if you’re doing too much or too little. If you do too much, you may disrupt your moisture barrier, which will cause dry skin issues. If you do too little, your skin may appear dull.

The key here is balance. Plus, there are different types of physical and chemical exfoliants to choose from, so you’ll need to know what works best for your skin type.  If it sounds overwhelming, we’ll hold your hand (and loofah) and guide you to exfoliate the right way for radiant skin. Say goodbye to dead skin cells and clogged pores in a jiffy!

1. The best time to exfoliate

Morning babes, rejoice! It’s always good to exfoliate in the morning instead of at night. Our skin regenerates and rejuvenates as we sleep at night, so the best time to get rid of dead skin cells is when you wake up the next morning. Plus, most of us tend to do the bulk of our skincare routine at night, using products with higher concentration of ingredients and chemicals. If you exfoliate at night during your skincare routine, you may irritate your skin with too much product or scrubbing. Wake up, exfoliate, and conquer the world, darling.

2. How many times do you need to exfoliate per week?

You don’t need to exfoliate every day. If you do this all seven days a week, you may disrupt your skin’s natural moisture barrier – it’s not a great look. Anyway, our skin actually exfoliates naturally. Every 25 days, your skin naturally regenerates itself. However, once you reach the age of 30, the process begins to slow down. You’re just doing all you can to help your skin out. Exfoliate twice, at most thrice a week for radiant skin. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to exfoliate just once a week.

3. Types of exfoliants

There are a few different types of exfoliants, including physical and chemical exfoliants. They both do the same thing – remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Physical exfoliants include face scrubs which are made of tiny beaded particles that you can feel on your hands as you proceed to scrub your face. Our beloved loofahs are also physical exfoliants. Meanwhile, chemical exfoliants are made of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids). AHAs are water-soluble and tends to work as a gentle exfoliator for your skin. BHAs on the other hand, are oil-soluble and can penetrate deep into the surface of your skin for a more thorough exfoliating process.

4. The best exfoliant for your skin type

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Oily skin

Babes with oily skin, the best exfoliant for you would be BHAs. As BHAs are able to penetrate into the surface of your skin, the chemical exfoliant can unclog your pores by breaking down the remaining bonds that connect the dead skin cells. Be sure to moisturise lightly after exfoliating as you’re skin will still need the moisture afterwards.

Dry skin

If you have dry skin, it’s best to avoid any exfoliants with alcohol. Search for gentle physical exfoliants with moisturising agents such as shea butter or ceramide. Exfoliate twice a week at most, and follow up with a strong moisturiser after.

Combination skin

If you’re T-zone is oily and your cheeks are dry, you have combination skin. Instead of exfoliating your whole face, choose to concentrate your efforts on the area with oily skin, and exfoliate your dry patches gently. Then, apply your favourite moisturiser on the areas with dry skin and let it absorb all the goodness.

Normal skin

First of all – congratulations! You’re in the ideal skin type group as it’s neither oily nor dry. You can use most exfoliants, whether physical or chemical. If you’re just starting out, begin with a gentle chemical exfoliant as to not overwhelm your skin. Slowly up your exfoliating game to see what works best for you.

Sensitive skin

If your skin gets irritated easily, exfoliating can be tough. You’ll need to exfoliate gently. Choose mild exfoliating scrubs and avoid loofahs or other exfoliating tools. For chemical exfoliants, you can start off with AHAs and slowly build up your tolerance for other chemical exfoliants. Otherwise, just stick to the same products that work for you. Exfoliate only once a week because your skin type is a little more delicate than the others.

Ready, get set, exfoliate! We hope this piece helps you out in your journey to radiant skin. Share with us your thoughts, your skin type, and your favourite way to exfoliate in the comments below.