How Often Should You Exfoliate? A Face and Body Exfoliating Guide Made Simple

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Exfoliating Made Simple

Fresh Beauty

Exfoliating is a major part of our skincare routine, but sometimes it's hard to understand when and how often we should be doing this, along with what products are best to use for all skin types. Each person needs something effective for exfoliating that will get the job done without harsh irritants or after effects. The best exfoliation products and tips are waiting for you, find what you think will be perfect for your skin and get to scrubbing!

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What Is the Purpose of Exfoliating?

Omorovicza

So what's the purpose of exfoliating, anyway?

Over time, dead skin cells build on the surface of our face causing pores to clog and skin to look dull. Exfoliating is a way to slough off these cells so our complexion looks brighter, cleaner, and more radiant. When you get into a routine of exfoliating weekly, this can greatly impact the appearance of your skin and makeup, too. 

How often should you exfoliate your skin?

Dr. Melissa Doft, of Doft Plastic Surgery suggests that exfoliating the face 2-3 times per week is ideal for those wanting to get rid of pesky skin cells hanging out on the surface. If you have sensitive skin, she says 1-2 times per week is fine. Knowing how often to exfoliate greatly solves the mystery of how much is too much, but when exactly should we be doing this? Dr. Doft recommends exfoliating in the evening, because the process will remove excess dead skin cells, unclog your pores, and allow serums and moisturizers to have better contact with your skin helping everything work more efficiently. Applying your nighttime treatments never looked better the next morning.

Top Product Picks: Omorovizca Acid Fix AHA BHA Treatment, de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate, Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Polish, French Girl Organics Neroli Du Maroc Facial Polish, Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray, Jordan Samuel Skin "The After Show" Treatment Cleanser, L'Oreal Paris Pure Sugar Scrub

 

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What Exfoliating Products Are Best for Sensitive Skin?

Dermalogica

Sensitive skin can take on a whole new category when it comes to exfoliating, because you need to make sure that no ingredients or granules in products can irritate your already delicate skin. Exfoliating sensitive skin is best 1-2 times per week, and evening is best while doing your skincare routine. To ensure that your skin stays healthy, there are a few things you can do.

When exfoliating sensitive skin, be sure to rub it and not scrub it harshly. This will help in keeping your skin from turning bright red, or breaking out. You can also do peel-off exfoliating treatments that don't require a lot of rubbing, you simply just peel the product off your face and watch your dead skin cells come with it. Follow up with an overnight soothing and hydrating mask, such as Herbivore Botanicals Moon Fruit Super Fruit Night Treatment and wake up to a sparkly clean fresh complexion. 

Top Product Picks: Boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer, Fresh Beauty Sugar Face Polish

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Should I Exfoliate My Body, Too?

Tata Harper

Whether you have dry or sensitive skin on the body, it's extremely important to not neglect exfoliating your arms, legs, and other other patchy surfaces to ensure your skin feels and looks very smooth. Exfoliating a few times a week in the shower with a sea salt or sugar scrub is a great way to help skin repair and also prepare for shaving as well.

Apply body scrubs in a circular motion all over and rinse until everything is removed. If you have dry skin, opt for a body scrub that has oil in it, which you can pat dry after getting out of the shower for a more moisturized look and feel. 

If you don't want to use a scrub, you can also try dry-brushing exfoliation treatment by using a dry bristle brush to help promote circulation. All you need is a brush with firm bristles and you can get to work. Since this particular process can wake up the skin and give energy, a lot of people prefer to do this in the morning before getting into the shower. Simply use the brush in long strokes all over the body until you've covered everything. Dry brushing also helps eliminate toxins, causing fewer bumps and less body breakouts. 

Have stubborn bumps on the backs of your arms that you can't seem to get rid of? This is referred to as "chicken skin" or Keratosis Pilaris, which causes numerous small bumps around hair follicles. A great way to get rid of these tiny bumps is by using this Diamond K buffing and exfoliating tool on the backs of arms. The motion of using this tool will help stimulate collagen, in return providing better circulation to help brighten skin and deal with bumps.

Top Product Picks: Saje Natural Wellness "In The Buff" Dry Body Brush, Tata Harper Smoothing Body Scrub, Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Scrub

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Don't Forget Your Lips!

Kismet Cosmetics

Exfoliating your lips is key to chapped free skin and smooth looking lipstick, so don't skip your pout when wanting to get rid of dead skin. Lip exfoliants should be gentle to use on the thin skin on our lips so nothing cracks or bleeds. The best time to exfoliate lips is after you've done your skincare at night, before bed. Simply massage your exfoliator all over your mouth and then rinse, following up with a treatment hydrating balm after for hydration. 

Best practice for keeping your lips smooth is to do this at least 2-3 times a week, but if you're a heavy lipstick wearer, sometimes more than that is key. Matte lipsticks can sometimes tend to dry out our lips even more, causing flakes. Take note which lip products cause you to feel dry and have an exfoliator on hand just in case for those times you really need it.

Top Product Picks: Kismet Cosmetics Totally Baked Lip Scrub, Kari Gran Lip Whip Peppermint Naked