The top five myths about exfoliating
We determine the good, the bad and unthinkable skin care practices for scrubbing away dead skin to reveal a fresh, spring glow this season.
Exfoliating is one of those
beauty regimens which everyone agrees is incredibly important—in theory. In practice, navigating the dos and don’ts of sloughing away our dead skin cells is considerably, well, bumpier. We chatted with Dr. Mary Lupo, the dermatologist for cult beauty brand Philosophy, about the best ways to exfoliate for healthy,
glowing complexion this spring.
Myth #1: Your skin care routine and products can be the same year-round.
Fact: “Seasonal shifts can impact your skin and as the weather warms up, it’s key to update your facial moisturizer,” says Lupo, who suggests finding a breathable, lightweight formula that hydrates skin without weighing it down. For spring, she recommends an oil-free moisturizer for normal to oily skin that’s rich in antioxidants to help absorb surface oil and leave a matte finish.
Myth #2: A body exfoliant can also be used on the face.
Fact: Not only do different body parts require individually tailored exfoliating products, but the intensity applied when scrubbing various areas of the skin should change too. “You can take a more intense approach below your chin, as the skin on your body is thicker,” explains Lupo. To exfoliate the body, she recommends Philosophy’s Microdelivery Exfoliating Body Wash, which features tiny polylactic acid beads, a naturally derived alternative to traditional polyethylene beads, which are designed to effectively exfoliate the skin, leaving a smooth, even tone.
When it comes to more delicate areas like the face, Lupo insists on finding a formula that includes diatomaceous earth, a finely ground, natural material that removes dead skin cells and acts as a physical exfoliant. As she explains, “It’s gentle enough for sensitive, red skin. The formula should also include vitamin E to nurture skin.” Apply facial exfoliators daily to slightly damp, makeup-free skin in the morning and evening, and massage for 30 to 60 seconds before rinsing thoroughly.
For tips on exfoliating sensitive skin, read on…
Myth #3: Problematic skin requires frequent, harsh scrubbing motions to properly exfoliate pores.
Fact: “Scrubbing is definitely not the answer!” Lupo warns. “Excessive washing only strips the lipid barrier, which increases inflammation.” The rub? Be kind. “It’s best to use gentle sweeping motions with a soft washcloth and a skin-loving cleanser.”
Myth #4: Avoid exfoliating if you have problematic, sensitive skin.
sensitive skin may benefit from gentle exfoliation,” says Lupo. “Instead of daily physical exfoliation, choose a gentle weekly exfoliation that bathes skin in oxygen, as it rapidly exfoliates, smooths and hydrates to help brighten skin and clear away dead skin cells.” This allows your treatments and moisturizers to work more effectively, while leaving the skin with a beautiful,
red carpet-worthy glow.
“With the exception of active acne, exfoliation can help clarify and support skin that may be prone to breakouts,” Lupo says. “By removing the debris clogging pores and compromising the skin’s moisture barrier, your treatments and moisturizers will work more effectively.”
Myth #5: Regular exfoliating is time-consuming and dries out skin by removing its natural moisture.
Fact: “Proper, regular exfoliation can help diminish the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by removing the dull, lacklustre layer of dead skin cells and environmental debris that clouds your complexion and often compromises skin’s natural moisture barrier,” says Lupo, adding that when you choose the right products, you will both resurface and
replenish your skin. The amount of time this actually takes, according to Lupo? “Three minutes or less.”
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