Exfoliating is a vital part of any skincare regimen, and at Poosh, we take it very seriously. It helps to dissolve stubborn grime from dirt, makeup, and sebum lodged in our pores, eat away at dead skin, and encourage cell turnover for a more even, radiant, youthful complexion and tone.
Without exfoliation, we experience more breakouts, blackheads, fine lines and wrinkles, poor absorption of amazing topical ingredients, and dull, flaky skin. However, exfoliation has come a long way. Gone are the days of harsh, lacerating ingredients with walnut shells or apricot pits from classic drugstore brands that shall remain nameless. Please, please tell us you’ve graduated from that too?
Scrubs are known as physical, or mechanical, exfoliators. They are not the devil, and we support their moderate use. It’s imperative to use gentle mechanical exfoliators, and use a light hand when massaging our skin with these mild abrasives.
We do NOT want to scrub hard at our skin. While that may feel like we are giving our skin an intensive treatment to reveal baby-soft skin, what we are actually doing is damaging the skin. It creates uneven lacerations on the surface, which agitates the pores and can spread bacteria, causing redness, inflammation, and breakouts. The skin on our face is delicate and should be treated as such.
We like very gentle formulas with natural ingredients and soft, small beads to buff and polish our skin, and to wipe them away with a clean, damp towel to help exfoliate away the dirt and skin lifted from the scrub.
Chemical or enzyme exfoliants are incredibly effective, but can also be damaging if abused. They come in many liquid or gel forms, as exfoliating daily toners and peel pads, or weekly exfoliating masks. It’s so important that we honor the instructions on the packaging and do not use them more often or leave them on the skin longer than instructed, because these chemicals are powerful and can actually burn the skin, causing redness and irritation.
It’s easy to get carried away with the notion of exfoliation. It breaks down dirt, grime, oil, makeup, and dead skin, so the more the better, right? Eh! Wrong-o. Over-exfoliation actually damages the skin barrier, which is a protective film of beneficial bacteria that helps fight acne-causing bacteria and keeps out toxins from our environment.
We want to exfoliate just enough to maintain a healthy glow, without overdoing it. Everything in moderation, that’s our motto. Here are some of our current favorite exfoliating products, both mechanical and chemical:
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