Healthy Living

How To Exfoliate Face And Make Your Skin Glow

Our facial skin has dead cells all over. While natural processes help get rid of them, there are ways we can do ourselves so that we can eliminate the layer of dead cells and expose the newer cells that make our face glow and look more appealing.

Exfoliation is a technique that is done with the primary goal of getting rid of the top layer of our facial skin — the layer that is made of dead cells. By removing this layer, our face could brighten in terms of complexion and be more accommodating to the skin care products we use. By accommodating, we mean to say that the products could easily penetrate deeper into our skin.

Before jumping into the process of exfoliation, it is imperative that you first learn the two types of exfoliation: mechanical and chemical. The former involves physical exfoliators or things that can be used to remove the dead skin cells manually. As for the latter, it involves exfoliators that chemically alter and eliminate the dead cells.

Self magazine explained that the mechanical or physical type makes use of scrubs and brushes — motorized or not —to remove the dead cells. On the other hand, the chemical type utilizes skin care products that typically contain acids, which could easily break the bonds between the facial skin cells.

According to John G. Zampella, M.D., an assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman department of dermatology at NYU Langone Health, physical exfoliators are effective but they tend to be more abrasive since they are prone to overuse. Contrariwise, chemical extractors dissolve the cells so they are easier to wipe away.

Mechanical Exfoliation

To perform a physical exfoliation you will need a clean brush or a facial scrub. Using either, massage your face lightly in circular strokes as though you are just caressing petals of a flower. Then rinse with lukewarm water, pat face dry and apply moisturizer to prevent drying.

Chemical Exfoliation

For this mechanism, you will need a chemical exfoliant, preferably one that has alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid and lactic acid. After cleansing, apply the exfoliant gently in small, circular motions. For peels, follow the instructions provided on the packaging. For facial wash, rinse your face with lukewarm water. Once done, pat your face dry and apply moisturizer.

It is important that you apply a moisturizer after a mechanical or a chemical exfoliation. New Jersey-based dermatologist Avnee Shah, M.D., told Women’s Health that the exfoliation process always leads to a bit of drying, so you will need to combat this using a moisturizer if you want to see the best results.

Woman touching face A photo of a woman touching her face. Photo courtesy of Pexels, Public Domain