This is a question I think a lot of us end up asking at some point on our skincare journeys.
There’s one right answer –
Everybody needs to exfoliate.
Yes. That includes you.
The tricky bit, is that people differ in how often they need to exfoliate. To help figure this out, let’s take a look at what exfoliation actually does, and its benefits.
Exfoliation helps to clear dead skincells. This is important for oily or dull skin, particularly those that are black-head prone; and also for dry skin, as it can help to prevent build-up and flakiness. Exfoliation also encourages circulation, which is important for skin all over the body, and has a multitude of benefits.
So, now that we know what exfoliation does and what it can help with, let’s consider each skin-type separately.
Oilyness tends to be correlated with clogged pores – so exfoliation can help to deep-cleanse and ‘flush out’ the pores, and keep the surface of the skin clear. However, what you don’t want to do with oily skin is to dry it out too much. Because, if you strip skin of its natural oil, it notices how dry it is and starts SkinCell to panic, and produce even more oil. Not good news for oily skins. So, exfoliation needs to be achieved with a product that won’t dry out the skin too much, but will gently lift dead skin cells and clear the pores.
Dry skin can also suffer from clogged pores, due to a build up of dry dead skin cells. This can result in flakiness, which doesn’t look or feel very nice. A solution would be an exfoliator that is also moisturising – so that you’re sloughing off the dry skin without drying the skin out even further, resulting in a smooth, soft complexion with no flakiness.
Normal skin still needs exfoliating, to encourage cell renewal and to clear dead skin cells that might be lurking around and clogging pores or causing blackheads.
Acne-prone skin, like all skin, needs some form of exfoliation – but you’ve got to be careful here. The last thing you want to do is to use an abrasive or rough exfoliator on active-acne areas, as this will just spread the infection. What you need is a gentle but effective exfoliator to slough away dead skin cells without aggravating your skin.