How to exfoliate different skin types

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Exfoliation is the process of cell renewal, which consists of removing dead cells, dirt and impurities that accumulate on the surface of the skin.

It can also improve the appearance of the skin and increase blood circulation.

Here we tell you which are the most suitable techniques, products and home remedies to exfoliate according to each type of skin.

Exfoliating brushes

They are usually devices with interchangeable accessories (such as bristles, pumice stone or facial sponge) ideal for removing dead skin and impurities.

It can also be a traditional brush with special bristles to ensure proper removal of dirt on the skin. Exfoliating brushes can be used both dry and with gels.

Exfoliating sponges

They are usually sponges made with natural pumpkin fibers, enriched with cotton or linen, or developed with finer fibers than common sponges.

To use them you should only apply them on the body as if you were doing a massage, but never dry, but during or after the shower, with soap or bath gels.

Once you finish the procedure, remember to moisturize your skin.

Exfoliating gloves

These are usually made with materials similar to those of brushes or sponges. However, they are more practical to massage and exfoliate large areas of skin.

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You just have to put them on, rinse them with soap or bath gel and perform circulatory massages on the hip, buttock, belly, ankle, elbow or back.

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA)

AHAs are compounds that remove the junctions between dead skin cells and the surface of the skin. Among the most common we find:

  • Citric acid: It comes from citrus fruits, which is why it stands out for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It is usually an ingredient in sunscreen and lotion, as well as anti-acne products.
  • Glycolic AcidNot only removes impurities from the skin, it also reduces damage caused by UV rays, hyperpigmentation and the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Lactic acid: it is similar in action to glycolic acid, although milder
  • Mandelic acid: It is another way to reduce hyperpigmentation and sun damage, although more slowly absorbed than the previous options.

To avoid any complications, the use of each of these compounds should be recommended and supervised by a dermatologist.

Beta-hydroxy acids (BHA)

Among the BHA we find beta hydroxyl or salicylic acid. They act in a similar way to AHAs, although they are usually more recommended for acne or oily skin.

Exfoliation according to skin type

At approximately 2 square meters in size, the skin is the largest organ in the body. Among other functions, it is responsible for:

  • Act as a protective barrier against foreign agents.
  • Function as a temperature regulator.
  • Function as a receiver.
  • Keep the body’s structures intact.

There are many types of skin, which in turn are influenced by different nutritional, regional and genetic factors. Let’s review how to exfoliate each of them:

Normal skin

Skin without complications or disorders such as acne, irritation, dryness or sensitivity is considered “normal”.

They are ideal cases to try any of the products or techniques previously developed, although it will be necessary to test them little by little to know how the skin reacts:

  • If you decide to use gloves, sponges, or brushes, try applying gentle, circular massages.
  • In the case of chemical compounds, you can use a brush to apply short strokes, leave to exfoliate for approximately 30 seconds and rinse with warm water.
  • You should never exfoliate on damaged skin with exposed burns, cuts or wounds.
  • You should always apply a moisturizer when you finish the peel.

Dry Skin

Also called xerosis, in this case the skin is usually tight, pale and cracked. This can be due to poor hydration, dry environments, not washing hands frequently or suffering alterations in the hydrolipidic layer that protects the skin (made up of water and a fatty substance called sebum).

The ideal for this case are usually AHAs, particularly glycolic acid, although it is best to consult an expert.

It is advisable to avoid mechanical exfoliation, that is, with sponges, gloves or brushes, as it can cause injuries and irritation.

Oily skin

Oily skin usually stands out for its thickness, dull appearance and enlarged pores, which are usually due to excess sebum.

In this case, opting for brushes, gloves or exfoliating sponges is usually the best option.

Mixed skin

Combination skin is understood to be cases in which alterations in the susceptibility of the skin arise depending on the areas of the face.

For example, the areas with the greatest fat presence are usually the forehead, nose and chin, (better known as the T zone), while the rest are more dry.

In this case, the ideal is to alter between mechanical and chemical exfoliation, although both procedures should never be performed on the same day.

Home remedies to exfoliate

Traditionally, there have been combinations of products that we can find in our cupboards with the aim of removing dead skin and impurities.

The following preparations are characterized by their exfoliating properties:

  • Olive oil and sugar.
  • Olive oil and fine salt.
  • Oatmeal with powdered milk and cornstarch.
  • Moisturizing cream with ground coffee.
  • Lemon juice with sugar.
  • Milk, banana and oatmeal.
  • Honey and almonds.
  • Yogurt and fine salt.

These preparations seek to achieve an abrasive agent to apply to previously moistened skin (otherwise the capillaries may be damaged).

To use it, you just have to achieve a pasty consistency and apply with light circular movements in the area you want to treat.

Leave on for a few minutes, gently remove with warm water, dry very well and finish by applying a moisturizer.

Precautions

Some scrubs, especially chemical ones, tend to be stronger than others, so how often you apply them is key to achieving good results and not damaging the skin.

Although the type of skin influences the treatment, generally one or two weekly peels are more than enough for dry skin, while for oily skin it can be as much as three or four times.

In addition, you should abandon the exfoliation if there is inflammation, excessive peeling, redness or irritation.

Remember, consulting a dermatologist is the best way to find out the most appropriate products for your skin type and how often you should exfoliate.

Summary

Exfoliation is the process by which the remains of dead skin cells, dirt and impurities are removed.

To carry it out there are many products, such as brushes, gloves, sponges, acid compounds and even home remedies.

The use and frequency of each of them will depend on the type of skin you have: normal, dry, oily or combination. In the event of irritation or inflammation, the exfoliation should be abandoned.

Consulting a dermatologist is the best way to find out the most appropriate products for your skin type and how often you should exfoliate.

Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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