Removing surface dry skin cells by exfoliating should be a regular part of your skin care routine if you want a glowing and healthy looking complexion. It’s especially important in Calgary where our climate is as dry as the Sahara Desert; skin can begin to look gray and ashy if dead skin isn’t removed through deep cleaning.
How do I know if I need to exfoliate?
A simple way to find out is to take a piece of clear tape and apply it to your forehead. Rub it gently and remove it—if you see small pieces of flaky skin, it’s time to exfoliate.
What other skin problems can exfoliation help?
- Blemished skin
Exfoliation should be a regular part of your home skin care program. If you breakout often, you may have been told to dry out your skin with harsh acne products. Although this will destroy the bacteria causing the acne, it will also dry out your skin, leaving it irritated and prone to future breakouts. As you dry out your skin, you create surface dry skin cell build-up, which acts as a barrier to trap bacteria on your skin, starting a new cycle of breakouts. Exfoliation can help to prevent additional blemishes.
- Post-breakout red/dark marks
The dark red marks appearing post-breakout are often more of a concern than the actual blemish. The way to hasten fading of these marks is to increase your exfoliation. Increasing the removal of the surface damaged skin tissue helps to remove the dark marks, encouraging the building of even-toned and non-scarred skin tissue.
- Clogged pores
Clogged pores create blackheads, small whiteheads and tiny bumps on the skin, often on the forehead. The same rules apply to clogged pores as with blemishes. The more often surface dry skin cells are removed (which are often caused by using harsh products that dry out the skin), the less oil is trapped and kept in the pores.
Hyperpigmention refers to the brown spots that appear as the result of hormonal changes, genetic and show up with more frequency with aging. Exfoliation helps to break up the pigmented cells, so they fade.
- Dry skin
Especially during Calgary’s dry winters, exfoliation is essential. What we typically do when skin is dry is to load it up with heavy creams to compensate for the dry skin. But dry skin is the result of dry skin cell buildup. Layering heavy cream on top of the dry skin isn’t going to help. Exfoliate more often to remove the dry cells, and then add moisturizing cream.
How Often Should I Exfoliate?
For most people two to three times per week is enough. Anymore than that and your skin may become irritated.