As spring arrives, the skin’s sebum production increases, making exfoliation a priority for many people, including men. During the transition from winter to spring, the skin may become more sensitive and prone to dryness. They recommend performing a skin test before using any exfoliating products to understand potential allergic reactions.
But who needs to exfoliate? We suggest that people with increasingly dull skin tones, those prone to acne, and individuals with excessive sebum production should consider incorporating exfoliation into their skincare routine. There are two main types of exfoliating products: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators, such as scrubs and granules, can be used daily to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. In contrast, chemical exfoliators, like glycolic acid and salicylic acid, dissolve dead skin cells and should be used less frequently, ideally once a week or once a month.
Highly concentrated glycolic acid products should only be used under a doctor’s prescription, and it’s not recommended for individuals to self-administer. Many people worry that scrubbing their faces may cause the skin to become thinner. However, we reassure that using exfoliating products according to the recommended guidelines will only help remove the dead skin layer without thinning the skin. If physical exfoliators like scrubs aren’t effective, you can consider using chemical exfoliators with low acid concentrations, such as 1% to 2%.
Before exfoliating, it’s essential to perform a self-skin test, especially if it’s your first time using a new product. Apply a small amount of the product on the inner side of your upper arm and monitor for any redness, itching, or sensitivity. If no adverse reactions occur, it’s safe to use on your face.
Here are some tips for effective facial exfoliation
Cleanse your face before exfoliating.
Focus on areas with excess oil, like the T-zone, nose, and chin.
If no allergic reactions occur, proceed with more sensitive areas like the cheeks, but reduce the recommended exfoliation time (e.g., from 1 minute to 30 seconds) to minimize the risk of irritation.
Wash your face, starting with the cheeks, to minimize product residue.
Perform exfoliation at night to reduce sun exposure and potential scarring.
Understanding the skin’s structure is essential when discussing exfoliation. The skin consists of three main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat layer. The epidermis can be further divided, with the stratum corneum at the top and the basal layer at the bottom. The body continuously generates new skin cells and sheds dead ones in a process that takes around 28 days. However, factors such as air pollution, aging, and excessive sebum production can lead to the accumulation of dead skin cells, causing the skin to appear darker and duller, and increasing the likelihood of clogged pores and acne.
Who should avoid exfoliation? We advise against exfoliating if you have an ongoing allergic reaction or are sensitive to the ingredients in exfoliating products.
Additionally, avoid exfoliating if you have open wounds or active acne on your face, as the product can penetrate deeper into the skin and potentially cause damage. Individuals experiencing eczema flare-ups should also refrain from exfoliating, as their skin may lack the necessary oils, making exfoliation more likely to irritate and harm their skin.
To maintain healthy skin during the spring season, follow these additional skincare tips
Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining overall skin health and appearance. Proper hydration helps the skin retain moisture and promotes the natural process of shedding dead skin cells.
Use gentle cleansers: Opt for mild, fragrance-free cleansers that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils or disrupt its pH balance.
Moisturize daily: Apply a moisturizer suitable for your skin type to keep your skin hydrated and maintain its protective barrier.
Wear sunscreen: Sun protection is essential all year round, not just during the summer months. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause premature aging and skin damage.
Pay attention to your diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to nourish your skin from the inside out. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your meals.
Get enough sleep: A good night’s sleep allows your skin to repair and rejuvenate itself. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to maintain healthy, glowing skin.
Exfoliation is a vital step in skincare routines, particularly during the spring season when the skin’s sebum production increases. However, it’s essential to choose the right exfoliating products, follow proper usage guidelines, and take necessary precautions to ensure that you achieve healthier, radiant skin without causing damage or irritation. Remember to consult with a doctor if you’re unsure about which exfoliating products are suitable for your skin type or if you experience any adverse reactions.