The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Exfoliation: What It Means and How to Do It Right

It's a staple in skincare, it's probably J.Lo's way of maintaining her glow, and we're constantly told it's everything. But actually “what is” a peel? 

What does that mean? How do we do it right? Most importantly, how do we ensure we don’t do anything wrong? 

Let's go back to basics and explain the science behind this skincare conundrum—because the last thing you want to do is scrub your face clean in the name of a sacred skincare ritual. 

What exactly is peeling? Simply put, exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Your skin likes to shed dead cells on its own (just like a snake). Over a roughly 30-day cycle, your skin sheds these dead cells to make room for new, more beautiful skin cells. 

But sometimes it doesn't work well for your skin and you're left with dead skin cells. This can cause your skin to look and feel flaky and dry, while also clogging your precious pores. When exfoliating, you need to take your time and get the job done while preventing this problem in the first place. 

The benefits of eliminating these dead cells. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that exfoliation can make your skin look brighter and can even increase the effectiveness of topical skin care products by improving absorption. Okay, bye! 

Lifetime peel users can expect even better benefits. Over time, exfoliation can help increase your skin's collagen production, which may be the key to that aforementioned J.Lo glow, firmer skin elasticity, and the reduction of fine lines or skin sagging. 

Plus, since exfoliation prevents pores from becoming clogged, this means fewer breakouts in the future. We can cheer for that. first step. Now that you know the what and why, how do you actually do it? There are many options, from potions to recipes, gloves to microneedling. 

Some of us use tough, sticky soap, others use heavy-duty tools and head to the office to turn and polish the entire thing on the spot. The two basic types of peels you should know about are physical peels and chemical peels. We've analyzed each option in detail along with its pros and cons. It’s time to toss those dead skin cells to the curb! 

Body scrub (aka the furry stuff). Physical exfoliation refers to anything that involves scrubbing or rubbing with products, such as grit scrubs, dry brushing, mesh shower mitts, and loofahs. Pros: It's simple, cheap, and easy to use. You can do this at home using a homemade scrub (recipe below) or a muslin cloth. 

Cons: It’s easy to over-scrub if you remove too much dead skin. If used incorrectly, physical exfoliants can irritate the skin, causing redness, dryness, or worsening of breakouts. Applying an oil or serum afterwards can help reduce irritation and lock in moisture. 

Tool: Exfoliating Glove: Essentially a rough mini-glove meant for use on arms, legs, stomach, and other body parts. Great for showering in the morning to remove dead skin cells. Dry brushing: As the name suggests, these brushes are meant for dry skin and are similar to a coarse hairbrush for the body. Great for exfoliating arms and legs. 

Luffa: There are two types. The first is a natural sponge. The second one is a soft and fluffy tennis ball. Apply to your body (usually not your face). pumice. Pumice is the enemy of rough feet anywhere. It is a natural stone commonly used to treat dry, cracked heels and polish tired toes. 

Microneedling or micro derma roller. These devices have become very popular in recent years, but if you're a beginner, it's best not to try them at home, as the rolling technique is more complex than it appears on the surface, and there's a big difference between treating the skin and sticking to it. 

When performed professionally in a dermatologist's office, this procedure (using a tool that creates tiny needle pricks in the facial skin) addresses a range of skin problems by promoting the body's natural healing response and natural recovery. Dead skin cells are removed instantly. DIY peel. You can make a frosted cocktail in your kitchen using sugar, milk, coffee, and honey. It sounds weird, but these delicious ingredients we usually add to our coffee can help us exfoliate. 

Sugar and milk contain acids that can help exfoliate the skin. When used topically, coffee can provide protective antioxidant properties and even boost collagen production. One study also suggests that Manuka honey may help with wound healing. 

If you’re curious, try the recipe below! Over-the-counter drug products. Not interested in DIY? Once you've wandered through the skin care aisles, you'll find yourself drowning in a daunting sea of ​​over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Stay calm and scrub (gently) with these tips. 

First, determine your skin’s needs. If you know the pros and cons of a product, it will be easier to choose the right one for your skin. Assess your skin needs (is your skin dry, oily, combination, sensitive?) and click "Add to Cart." 

Check the label carefully. You should never (and we mean EVER) use an exfoliant designed for your body on your face. The skin on your body is much tougher than the delicate skin on your face. Your body may be able to tolerate harsher scrubs, but your face may break out from harsh products. oops. 

You can only use one device at a time, baby. You may want to delve into the world of exfoliation guns, but your skin won't accept it. Using more than one product at once to damage your skin can cause damage and lead to results you *didn't* dream of. 

Switch it if necessary. Our skin needs change over time. If you started out very oily but are now as dry as the Sahara, you may need to replace your product. So don't get stuck in a rut when things change. 

Chemical products (also called acids). Chemical peels are another popular method of exfoliation in which facial acids are applied to the skin for a short period of time and remove dead skin cells. 

If you're looking for a product that doesn't require making your own or doing extensive research on the soap aisle, talk to your dermatologist about choosing a scrub that uses chemicals like alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA), Retinol and enzymes help renew skin and remove dead cells.

Pros: The results of an at-home chemical peel are more meaningful and therefore more noticeable. 

More powerful chemical peels, performed by a professional, can result in smoother, more radiant skin while being safe, convenient, and often with minimal downtime.

Cons: Professional chemical peels cost significantly more than the physical peels listed above. While more visible results can be achieved, a mild professional peel typically costs between $80 and $100 or more, depending on whether it's performed by an esthetician or dermatologist. 

Exfoliate according to skin type
Obviously, we all have different skin and choosing the right exfoliant is crucial. Start with these tips to avoid irritation and get the glow you want.

So-called "normal skin" people (#jealous) can generally try almost any exfoliation technique with no ill effects. lucky you! Just find one you like based on your budget and personal preferences. 

If your skin is very open to what you like and don't like, try BHAs, which are less harsh than other chemical or physical exfoliants.

If you frequently suffer from oily skin (hello, oily skin), you may be able to use a stronger exfoliant, such as a store-bought or homemade scrub or an electric exfoliating brush (such as the Clarisonic), which will help exfoliate the skin oil and dead skin cells.

It's been so long that my skin has peeled off. 

Introducing fruit acids (like glycolic acid), which break through the skin's surface layer, allowing moisturizer or hydrating serum to be absorbed.

If your skin suffers from one condition or another, buy an exfoliant for each condition and alternate which areas you treat rather than trying to do everything. Try using a scrub or chemical exfoliator on oily areas one day and an AHA-content on dry areas the next.

prone to acne
If you're prone to acne, retinoids can come to your rescue. Look for peels that contain retinoids, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.
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