Saturday, August 24, 2013

Should I Use an Exfoliant? Exfoliating Sensitive Skin

Facial exfoliants are a common step in any skin care regimen. However, some people are not sure if an exfoliant is appropriate for their skin type or if exfoliation should even be included in their regimen altogether. Sensitive skin is sometimes exempt from exfoliators. But sensitive skin can also benefit from regular exfoliation. It boils down to understanding the two different types of exfoliation, and selecting one that is suitable for your sensitive skin.

Dark Side of At Home Face Exfoliators: I Have Sensitive Skin. Should I use a Face Exfoliator? Exfoliation works by scrapping away the top layer of dead skin. Most over-the-counter exfoliators are formulated with synthetic or natural bits to scrape away at this dead layer of skin. However, too much of a good thing can cause raw, dry, cracked skin. Sensitive skin should stray away from physical exfoliators. Chemical exfoliation delivers a more controlled exfoliating action, making it more ideal for sensitive skin. Chemical exfoliators are usually formulated with a fruit acid – either lactic or glycolic acid suspended in a face cleanser or lotion.

Chemical vs Physical Exfoliation: Use Chemical Exfoliation for Sensitive Skin
Physical exfoliators are usually formulated with small synthetic bits that are formulated right into the product. Depending on the manufacturer or maker, the exfoliator is sometimes packaged in a clear
bottle. Upon close inspection, you will usually find small beads or “stuff” in the product. This is the active ingredient that will scrape away at the skin. If you have normal skin or aged skin, then physical exfoliators will stimulate the skin, increasing blood flow and collagen production.

Chemical exfoliators tend to be packaged in opaque bottles. This is to protect the active ingredient from disintegrating in sunlight. Chemical exfoliators are usually formulated with fruit acids. Salicylic acid is a popular active ingredient in these types of facial exfoliators. Sensitive skin can benefit from these, for they are gentle yet effective. Results tend to be cumulative – with results improving the more they are used on the skin. Salicylic acid can also help normalize oil production on the skin, as well as help lighten hyperpigmentation spots.

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