March 27, 2020
Missing your regular facials + and that post-facial glow? We’re with you… we cannot wait to reopen the doors of our treatment rooms and continue to support you in getting your g-l-o-w and self-care on. But.. until then, there’s ways to continue to treat your skin, and from the comfort of your own four walls at that. Shop Good Holistic Esthetician, January, chimes in and shares the why and how you should be properly exfoliating at home.
When it comes to exfoliation, it can be a pretty tricky step to nail down, especially when dealing with the frequency and the type of exfoliator you choose for your skin type. But, this step in our skincare regimen is crucial for many reasons. Our skin naturally regenerates itself every 28 days and oftentimes needs support to accelerate cell turnover and encourage the reversal of conditions like acne scars, pigmentation, dullness and even boosting circulation. Plus, proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells covering the skin, which opens the way for your natural products to penetrate deeper into the skin and work more effectively.
However, overdoing it is all too common when it comes to exfoliation, which means it can end up causing more harm than good if not done correctly. How, you ask? Over scrubbing and tingling disrupts the moisture barrier of our epidermis which can cause long lasting damage. Micro-tears can be created in the skin, which can allow moisture to escape and bacteria to enter. (Yikes, no thanks!)
So, to recap: we know we need to exfoliate! But we need to be careful about choosing the right method and how often. From chemical exfoliants like AHA’s + fruit enzymes to physical options like walnut shells… it can be really overwhelming to know what to look for and which is best for your skin type. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for.
Here are the exfoliants you should be reaching for based on your skin type:
ACNE – May Lindstrom Problem Solver
Gentle exfoliation is essential in your regimen if you are experiencing acne. Dead skin, oil and debris are easily trapped in your pores, so removing the layer sitting on the surface will encourage your skin to heal from these unwanted friends. Avoiding scrubs and harsh ingredients is very important to prevent an active breakout from spreading to other areas of the face, and causing more inflammation + damage in that area. So, we reach for The Problem Solver – a beautiful jet-black fusion of antioxidant-rich cacao, activated bamboo charcoal, salts, and exotic spices, which can heal inflammation + irritation, fade hyperpigmentation, stimulate collagen production, and even treat and prevent breakouts. Pro tip for acneic skin: This high-performance mask can be used for chest + back breakouts, too!
HOW TO USE: 30-45 minutes, once or twice a week. Activate one tablespoon of powder with equal parts filtered water to form a mousse-like consistency. Expect a warm, tingling sensation… it’s doing its job!
OILY – Linné Botanicals Scrub Mask
Exfoliating regularly is incredibly important when you are battling excess oil production (a.k.a the shine). If exfoliation isn’t a part of your weekly skin routine, clogged pores and acne can be frequent visitors to oily-prone skin. Removing that excess oil is critical to support a balanced and clear complexion. You’ll want to reach for a physical and enzyme duo, like my favorite Linne Botanicals Scrub. Enzymes from sugar cane, sugar maple and lemon + orange extracts biochemically dissolve dead skin cells to encourage cell turnover, unclog pores and prevent acne – while bamboo silica mechanically exfoliates the skin. Plus, the aroma is incredibly uplifting and calming (great to give a worried mind a gentle refresh). Pro tip for oily-prone skin: when you over-exfoliate with excessively harsh ingredients, you’ll strip away that natural “glow, a.k.a natural oils of your skin. This should be avoided as much as possible — it can actually trigger the skin to produce even more oil.
HOW TO USE: Rub gently in circulation motions for 1 min after cleansing the skin – and let sit for an additional 3-15 minutes. Use once or twice a week. Hello, smooth + radiant skin!
MATURE – Moss Mornings Sleep Peel
Exfoliation has many benefits for mature skin in working towards a smooth and natural glow, but there’s no need to be heavy handed with this step. Over-exfoliating can actually trigger the opposite desired outcome – slower cellular turnover, a pronunciation in fine lines + wrinkles, and stripping skin of necessary oils (we want these oils for more moisture and a plump complexion!). When you’re properly exfoliating your mature skin, it should encourage the skin cells to regenerate while boosting blood + lymph flow, bringing oxygen to the surface. The Moss Mornings Sleep Peel strikes the perfect balance! Using a combination of lactic, glycolic, salicylic, mandelic and hyaluronic acids, the peel gently exfoliates the skin overnight while still locking in hydration. You’ll truly awaken with a luminous AM glow. Pro tip: use a gentle cleanser beforehand and stay away from anything enzyme-based that will further increase the exfoliating effects.
HOW TO USE: After cleansing, lightly glide the peel over the skin starting at the forehead down to the cheek, chin, and neck, and repeat on the other side of the face. You may feel a slight tingle. Sleep with overnight. After awaking, go through your normal skincare regimen. Use 2 times a week.
SENSITIVE – Botnia Kale Yeah Mask
For sensitive skin types, exfoliating can be even trickier. The goal here is to avoid causing irritation and skin flare-ups, all while supporting the removal of dead skin cells. Because those with sensitive skin types are more prone to things like flaking, irritation and redness, you want to exfoliate less frequently (once every 1-2 weeks) with a less active exfoliator. If you have easily reactive skin conditions like eczema and rosacea, easing into any exfoliation is key. I love to look for anti-inflammatory ingredients for my sensitive clients – and keep it pretty gentle. Botnia’s Kale Yeah is rich in vitamins A, C + K – plus additional minerals that aid in regenerating skin cells and support calming inflamed skin. Pro tip: Instead of using water to activate the powder formula, reach for some goat’s milk yogurt – which has a high concentration of lactic acid and will provide just the right amount of exfoliation and a repairing dose of probiotics for the skin. The cool temperature of the yogurt will also help soothe any inflamed sensations!
HOW TO USE: mix 1 part mask to 1 part goat’s milk yogurt. Let sit for 15 minutes + rinse clean. Use once every 1-2 weeks.
NORMAL – H is for Love Propolis
If you’re one of the lucky few to fall under this category, you’re familiar with a well-balanced complexion (and… let’s be real, you’re #blessed!). But, that doesn’t mean you should be skipping out on weekly exfoliating sessions – the benefits will still shine through (literally, with a healthy glow). Your skin type can handle most forms of exfoliation – both from physical and chemical sources – so, take some time to experiment and find which works best for you. I love H is for Love Propolis – a clay based exfoliant + mask duo that regenerates skin to reveal a brighter and more even complexion. White turmeric, camu camu, raw cacao, and additional spices encourage blood flow to the surface of the skin as you feel a subtle tingle during use (and it smells ah-ma-zing). Pro tip: Propolis can also be used as a spot treatment for troublesome areas.
How to use: Mix a small amount of dry powder with water until a mud-like consistency is reached. With a gentle touch, massage into the skin taking your time to stimulate blood flow and release dead skin cells. Leave on for a minute or so and then rinse away as you would a normal cleanser. Use it as a mask by letting it sit on the skin for 15-20 minutes. Use 1-2 times a week.
When it comes to exfoliation, we can all agree that our skin calls the shots. Make sure you’re taking the time to feel your skin’s texture and listen to what it’s needing. This will support you in making sure you’re only exfoliating when you need to, vs over-stripping the skin. Make this moment a relaxing ritual – put on your favorite playlist, light some candles or even let your exfoliating treatment work its magic while you soak in the tub. Prioritize this time for you. Here’s to coming out of this quarantine with our best. skin. ever. 😉
Have additional Q’s about exfoliation? Our team is here for you! Book a Virtual Skin Consult with one of our Holistic Estheticians and find out which exfoliator is right for your unique skin.