The Art of Exfoliating

shutterstock_123660829Some people don’t think of it and others might take it too seriously and exfoliate too often. Here are the in’s and out’s of exfoliating.

Why should you exfoliate? We are constantly turning over skin cells with washing our face but as we get older our skin cell turnover process slows down.  Our skin basically needs a little help from us. By not exfoliating we end up with clusters of dead skin cells that can lead to lackluster skin – which should not be anyone’s goal.

Who should not exfoliate? Most people will generally benefit from some level of exfoliation but we cannot mention enough that you need to think about how often and how much pressure you are using when exfoliating. Also there are times when you need to take a break from exfoliating or wait 72 hours to exfoliate such as after skin treatments, waxing, sun burn or skin irritation.

What parts of the body should be focused on? The key areas to use a body scrub on are elbows, knees and heels. But other parts need attention as wellsuch as the back, upper arms (chicken bump skin) and legs.  It can also help to prepare for other treatments (such as before applying a self-tanner to help it be more evenly absorbed).  Exfoliation can help prep the skin for waxing by removing flaky skin, however, it not recommended to exfoliate immediately before waxing.  You may want to follow up 2-3 days post-wax with a body scrub touch-up and then continue 2 to 3 times a week to help with ingrown hairs.

Can I use a body scrub on my face? We do not recommend using a body scrub on the face. The ingredients used in body scrub are meant for the body and by using them on the face, you may irritate or damage skin.

What ingredients are important to look for? It is important to look at key ingredients that help nourish, moisturize and smooth the skin in addition to exfoliation. It is also good to review the list to make sure that there is not an ingredient you do not care for or are allergic to.

Do I need to use a tool or brush to help exfoliate? No, you do not need to, but if you choose to, you can. But keep in mind how often you are exfoliating, how sensitive your skin is and how much pressure you are applying. Most body scrubs can be used manually, meaning with your own hand. Apply the product with your hand and rub in a circular motion. The amount of pressure and size of exfoliant (sugar, salt, micro beads) in the formulation can make it a more aggressive treatment. If you choose to use a tool or brush just keep in mind the amount of pressure you are using to not damage the skin.  And common sense rules here – if you have a sunburn or just had a lunch time peel – anything that makes your skin more sensitive – wait a few days before aggressively exfoliating.

Try Apothederm Body Prep to help nourish and soothe skin while exfoliating.  It helps deliver rejuvenated and balanced skin.  With jojoba beads and calendula extract it is even gentle enough for sensitive skin types.