Common Exfoliation Mistakes

While it’s true that no skin care regimen is complete with regular exfoliation, this task does require some basic guidelines to be effective. An important component of regular skin care, an exfoliating product should be strong enough to whisk away dead skin cells and, thus, help to clear out your pores. A good routine can result in skin that is fresher, brighter, less acne-prone, and more youthful. Commit some of these mistakes, however, and you might be cancelling out the supreme benefits of that scrub.

Mistake #1 – You scrub without water.
Before you exfoliate, it’s important to lubricate the skin with warm water. A “dry rub” can irritate the skin, causing redness, rashes, and painful after effects. Do yourself a favor and rinse your face first, then get to the scrubbing while your skin is still wet.

Mistake #2 – You scrub too hard.
Some people think that, to be effective, their exfoliating product must be mushed and mashed all over their face. On the contrary, the product is designed to do most of the work on its own. Instead of pushing and pulling the skin which leads to redness, stretching of the pores, and micro-level damage you won’t see until your older, go easy on your skin. Gently massage your fingertips over the skin in little circles for about 10-15 seconds, then move on to the next area. Any more is just overkill.

Mistake #3 – You scrub too often.
Exfoliation is definitely one of those things where the less-is-more philosophy works. While some of us might think exfoliating every day is a good idea (hey–you’ll get rid of lots of dead skin that way, right?), that’s too much. This kind of routine can leave your skin sore, damaged, and overexposed. For oily skin types, exfoliating twice a week is enough to keep cells turning over at a good pace and pores clear. Combination or dry skin types, however, can stick to a once a week schedule.

Mistake #4 – You scrub without follow-up care.
Scrubbing is important, but it’s a big deal for your skin. After you exfoliate the skin, you should always follow-up with a good moisturizer. Skipping this step can leave your skin over-dry and irritated, which can lead to overproduction of oil and lots of other issues. Quench skin’s thirst right away to avoid a dangerous cycle.

Mistake #5 – You scrub your face, but not everywhere else.
Many of us concentrate our healthy skin habits on one area: the face. But the rest of our bodies need some TLC once in a while today. Beyond washing daily, you should also moisturize daily and use a scrub once a week. Your rough elbows and knees will thank you for the extra attention.

Mistake #6 – You scrub with the wrong tools.
Before you scrub, make sure you’re using the right products for the right parts. Don’t use foot scrubs on your face (too harsh) or face scrubs on your body (not strong enough). The same goes for your scrubbing tools. Using a moderately rough loofah or sponge is okay for the body, but can be too much for the delicate skin on your face. Instead, stick to using your fingers with a scrub or a light exfoliating pad with regular face wash. Both will get the job done without causing irritation.

Mistake #7 – You scrub and carry on as usual.
Ignoring the fact that your skin is sensitive after scrubbing is an all-too-common error. When you scrub, the pores open up, brand new skin cells are exposed, and the moisture balance is a little off-kilter. Yes, stick to using that moisturizer as I mentioned in #4. Beyond that, go easy on your skin the day you exfoliate. After scrubbing, avoid sun exposure, harsh masks or facial peels, and hair removal products. The extra sensitivity can make it much easier to harm, irritate, and dry your skin after your weekly exfoliation.

Just by avoiding these common errors, your skin care routine can be greatly improved by regular exfoliation. Treat the skin kindly and it will pay off for years to come.


Belle Mag. Exfoliation. The Beauty Tips. How to Exfoliate.

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