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Why should I exfoliate?

17.08.20    « EXPERTS » reports
Written by Nelly, Director of Boutique IOMA Paris

What are the benefits of exfoliation?

Exfoliating is of key importance for our skin. Exfoliation enhances, embellishes and cares for the skin, but above all it helps maintain skin elasticity, and therefore its youthfulness.

Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells present on the surface of the skin. It therefore encourages the regeneration and production of new cells, refines and smooths skin texture and helps to maintain a radiant complexion. More concretely, it stimulates cell renewal.

Regular exfoliation encourages better absorption of moisturising creams and helps you prepare your skin for exposure to the sun, so that your tan lasts for longer.

How to choose the correct exfoliator

Facial exfoliation is very specific because the skin is finer and more fragile than on the rest of the body. As with all skin treatments, the right exfoliator will depend on your skin type and your beauty routine.

For sensitive or dehydrated skin: so-called “chemical” or “gentle peeling” exfoliators are suitable for sensitive skin because they are less aggressive and do not contain any grains that exfoliate the skin. Instead it is the acid agents contained within the products that eliminate the dead cells on the surface of the skin whilst reducing the risks of inflammation.

For skin prone to oiliness or mixed skin : on the median zone, a grain exfoliator will be your best ally in terms of not stimulating the sebaceous gland. Clay-enriched exfoliators can be a good solution because they regulate sebum production whilst gently exfoliating the skin.

For oily skin prone to imperfections and shine: opt for an enzyme-based exfoliator, or “peeling” with fruit acids for purifying action. These products do not contain any grains to avoid stimulating sebum production. They are very effective for skin purification.

What are the different kinds of exfoliation?

Mechanical exfoliation

Mechanical exfoliation is a grain-based exfoliator. After being applied and massaged onto the skin, it is rinsed off with water.

Its rich, creamy texture exfoliates the surface of the skin by enveloping dead cells and impurities for supple, soft skin and a luminous complexion. This kind of exfoliation is recommended for normal to mixed skin.

It is not recommended for dry and sensitive skin because the grains and balls can be too aggressive for the skin, unless the balls are round, in which case they are relatively well tolerated by dry skin.

Chemical or enzymatic exfoliation

Enzymatic exfoliation is applied to the face like a cream or mask, in a fine layer and has a leave-on time. The enzymes are the key active ingredients that react chemically to penetrate the pores and cleanse them of dead cells, impurities and excess sebum.

Enzymatic exfoliation is particularly suited to dry, sensitive and reactive skin.

How often should I exfoliate?

For dry skin it is recommended that you exfoliate once a week as the dryness also makes your skin fragile, so causing further stress to the skin should be avoided.

For sensitive skin, exfoliation every ten days is enough. Remember to test your product beforehand on a small patch of your face.

Oily skin can be exfoliated once or twice a week. Avoid exfoliating if you have acne.

Exfoliate your body once or twice a week.

The morning is the best time for you to exfoliate your skin. Skin renewal is faster overnight, so there are more dead cells in the morning.

How should an exfoliator be applied?

You must apply the exfoliator in gentle circular movements from the bottom moving upwards, paying particular attention to rough areas. Don’t rub too hard as this will stress your skin. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water and apply a little cold water to activate blood circulation.

Errors to avoid

Avoid sensitive areas such as moles, intimate zones, the eye contour, sunburn, etc. These areas should not be exfoliated.

Take seasonal factors into consideration: exfoliation is less advisable in the summer because the skin needs to thicken up to protect itself from the sun.

In case you were wondering, exfoliation doesn’t remove a tan, in fact it does the opposite, helping it last longer by regenerating your skin.

Expert advice

• Always exfoliate BEFORE applying a mask.
• It is a great weapon against in-growing hairs.
• Apply a facial exfoliator to clean skin only.
• Remember to moisturise your skin after exfoliation, as exfoliation leaves it naked and defenceless against outside attacks. Applying a moisturising cream creates a protective film.
• Exfoliating lips is just as important as exfoliating skin. Exfoliating your lips is an essential part of your beauty routine.

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