Let's Talk about (Smooth) Skin: Pt. I

I was recently sending someone a DM on Instagram about exfoliation when I thought, “Sheesh this is too much for one message. A blog post perhaps?”. Yes, I think so. So let’s talk about skin! The skin on your face that is and how to keep it clear and smooth. Over the years I’ve had many people ask me, “How often should I exfoliate?”. Well that is a loaded question. Let’s break it down.

Exfoliation is the process of getting rid of the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Dead cells can clog your pores, make you break out, leave you with a dull complexion, make fine lines appear more prominently, etc… It’s not a good look to not exfoliate. Now let me say this, I am not an aesthetician. The knowledge I have on the subject has been picked up over the years from working in the beauty industry and having a general curiosity about it, soaking up bits of information when I can.

There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and physical (aka mechanical). This post is going to be dedicated to chemical exfoliation. A second post to follow will talk about physical exfoliation.

Chemical exfoliators are made up of chemicals or acids, the chemicals doing the work for you (don’t let the name scare you). These are made to be gentle, yet effective. Salicylic acid would be a great example of a chemical exfoliator and a very commonly used ingredient in skincare products. Different acids work in different ways. To learn more, click on this link. Glossier does a great job explaining the different acids used in their chemical exfoliator product, Solution. I’m on my second bottle of this product, which means you know I have to love it to purchase it again.

Above would be examples of chemical exfoliators.

Another note on chemical exfoliation: Vitamin C is another great exfoliator. It’s been getting a lot of attention in the beauty industry over the last couple of years. Many brands carry a Vitamin C product (from cleansers to serums). Vitamin C will gently exfoliate, giving you that glow, firming the skin and re-texturizing. One product that I have used and loved is Clinique’s Fresh Pressed Powder Cleanser. It’s a dry powder Vitamin C cleanser. Each packet is meant for one use; open it and pour into your hand, drip some water into the powder and mix. Then apply it to your face. I gently rub it in for about a minute, letting the ingredients penetrate the skin. I love the way my skin feels after using this. I would not cleanse with this everyday, first because it would be expensive and second, I don’t need to use it everyday.

Other Vitamin C products pictured below.

Always remember this, (and I’ll say this many more times to come) how often you exfoliate depends on you! Your skin type plays a big role in how to care for your skin. I personally have combination oily skin, so I tend to produce oil in my t-zone and upper cheeks, but not really anywhere else. I do get more dry in the winter (hello Michigan winters) and more oily in the summer, so I adjust my skincare (and makeup) accordingly. Some people have oily skin but also sensitive skin; these are a couple factors to consider when trying to find that balance of exfoliation. I don’t exfoliate everyday, but maybe 4-5 times a week. And I use a combination of chemical and physical exfoliators.

Questions? Comments? Leave me a note below. I love talking all things skincare.