Dust, pollution, grime, scorching heat, all of these cling to your skin daily as you venture out. Well, after years of glorification, everybody is aware of the much-hyped CTM routine. For the unversed, it is a sequential process of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your skin at least twice a day to achieve healthy skin. However, exfoliation is important too! It goes into the deeper layers of skin to remove any dirt, grime, makeup, or clogged pores to cleanse the skin deeply. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and helps rejuvenate the skin for a fresh glow.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Kashish Kalra, Head of the Department of Dermatology at Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, to understand everything about skin exfoliation.
Why exfoliate your skin?
Exfoliation is an important step to keep your skin from getting looking aged and keeps it healthy. As per the expert, here are two major reasons that answer why we should exfoliate our skin.
1. Removal of dead skin cells
“Our skin replaces itself every 30 to 40 days. So, almost daily, these dead cells accumulate on the superficial layer of the skin called the stratum corneum. These dead cells can sometimes clog your pores and can accelerate the ageing process and might lead to breakouts. So, as a general hygiene, you need to exfoliate your face,” says Dr Kalra.
2. Helps in better absorption of moisturiser
The expert tells that if we exfoliate our skin regularly, it helps better the moisturizer in the deeper layers of the skin.
Also read: Does your vulval skin need exfoliation? Here’s everything you need to know
How to exfoliate your skin?
There are 2 methods of exfoliation – chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation.
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• Physical exfoliation is when we use scrubs. The expert says we must refrain from over-exfoliating using this method as it can lead to dryness and rashes if you have a sensitive skin type.
• Chemical exfoliation involves the use of acids to get rid of dead skin cells. The awareness around AHAs, BHAs, salicylic acid, glycolic acid and more that help the skin in mild exfoliation, has increased over the years.
Know more: Physical or chemical – what’s a better exfoliation technique for your skin?
Who should exfoliate the skin?
Exfoliation may not be the best thing to do if you have sensitive skin, especially in a harsh way. It can lead to redness and dryness. In that case, you can start with mild face washes which have a mild concentration of exfoliating agents. Also, you can start by doing it once or twice a week and then you can head on, suggests Dr Kalra. Those with oily skin can do exfoliation daily as well.
When is the right time to exfoliate?
Exfoliation largely depends on your schedule, says the expert. You can exfoliate in the morning. It’s because when we sleep at night, our skin goes into a state of repair, and all the dead skin cells tend to accumulate in the superficial layer of skin. So, in the morning you can wipe them all off using a cleanser that has exfoliating agents. So, cleaning, moisturising, and sun protection (CMS) is usually suggested in the morning.
The cleansers these days come with exfoliations within, so you needn’t purchase a separate exfoliator for that.
“At night, when you come back from work, you can again use the same cleanser or a different one to exfoliate your skin. Alongside, people who apply makeup on an everyday basis must exfoliate at night as well. Un-removed makeup can clog your pores, so you must wipe off all the makeup using good micellar water, use a cleanser (you can also exfoliate twice a week), and then end up your regime by applying a moisturizer before going to sleep,” says the expert.
Word of caution: People nowadays have grown fond of applying serums to the skin. What they fail to realise is that sometimes these serums have AHAs like glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and salicylic acid that add to the extra burden of exfoliation. Remember, over-exfoliation is bad and can make your skin dry. Retinol is another ingredient that exfoliates the skin, and people using retinol in their 30s or 40s end up with dry skin. We should bear in mind the fact that as we age, we lose the natural moisturizing factor present in the skin.
So, you should exfoliate as per the needs and type of your skin. Excess of it will lead to not-so-good results.