Skin Care Q&A - How Often Should I Exfoliate and Use a Mask?

Are You Taking Care Of Your Skin Correctly?

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Question:

I am a 32-year-old woman with normal to oily skin. I do experience a few breakouts from time to time. I wear foundation everyday and also cleanse and moisturize my skin two times a day.

I would like to know how often should I masque and exfoliate my face? Also, how often should I get a facial and what type?

Answer:

First, what you're currently doing is a great start, but your skin care routine does need a few tweeks.

Every single person, no matter their ethnicity or gender, needs to use four different skin care products: a facial cleanser, a moisturizer, an exfoliant, and a sunscreen. To those products you can add an eye cream, antioxidant serum, and a facial mask, but the four products mentioned above are a must for absolutely everyone.

First off, we recommend checking if your moisturizer has sun protection. If it doesn't, you need to buy one to use daily or buy a separate sunscreen for your face. We recommend Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer With Broad Spectrum SPF 15 or Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Using sunscreen not only protects your skin from skin cancer, but it also slows down the skin aging process. Skin that is well protected from the sun daily looks younger.

Exfoliation is more than important, it is a must skin care step in order to make sure your skin is healthy and smooth.

If you are prone to acne and breakouts you need to exfoliate in order to remove dead skin cells and oil that are stuck in your pores and causing blackheads and breakouts.  

As we age our skin renews itself more slowly, so we need to help our skin by exfoliating regularly. That way fresh, new skin cells are revealed, and skin is smooth and glowing.

Without regular exfoliation your skin can be rough, your products don't absorb well, and your skin will look dull.  

For some people exfoliating once or twice a week is enough. For others exfoliating gently every day is better for their skin. How often you exfoliate depends on the product you use and how sensitive your skin is. Also, do not forget to exfoliate the rest of your body, not just your face.

There are also numerous ways to exfoliate. You can use a gentle scrub like Queen Helene Gentle Oatmeal 'n Honey Natural Facial Scrub. Or you could use a facial cleanser with facial acids to exfoliate while you clean your face like Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Facial Wash or La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser for Acne Prone Skin with Salicylic Acid. Lastly, you could use a serum, gel, or a lotion that stays on the skin in order to exfoliate overnight. Try Paula's Choice SKIN PERFECTING 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant with Glycolic Acid for example.

We recommend masking once a week for healthy skin. Choose your mask (or make your own) depending on what boost your skin needs at that moment. Is your skin feeling tight and dry? Apply a hydrating mask. Is your skin breaking out? Apply a clay mask.

As for facials, typically we recommend letting your esthetician decide which type of facial your skin needs. Once your esthetician can touch and look at your skin up close they can really evaluate which type of facial is best for your skin at that moment. Perhaps one time you'll need a deep cleansing facial, but another time your skin will need extra hydration and soothing. For that reason, it is best to leave that choice up to the professional.

As for how often you need facials, that also depends on what is going on with your skin. We recommend getting facials at least four times a year, when the seasons change, but if you have acne you could need a facial every two weeks. If you want to improve the look and tone of your skin then getting anti-aging facials once a month might be best for you.

Other people just love how relaxing and renewing facials can be and will want to get one once a month for that reason, even if they don't have a specific skin care concern.

Updated by Hanah Tetro