Despite what TLC taught you, yes you do want scrub. Face scrub. Exfoliant. Keep up! Ha. Sorry, it was just too tempting this time.
A few years ago, I read an article in one of my not-so-favorite fashion magazines, telling millions of impressionable readers that scrubbing your face is un-natural and damaging to the skin and that you should NEVER partake in it. At the same time, it was fine for a professional to mess with your skin for whatever series of cosmetic procedures they were also recommending. Hmmm.
My point is this: I can’t argue that it seems a little strange for you to enhance a function that your skin should be performing on it’s own, however with all of the pollution and stresses that our skin is bombarded with from inside and out, every day, it’s no wonder I’ve seen so many people benefit from giving their skin cell turnover process a little bit of a leg up.
Something I’ve never been able to condone though, are cosmetic procedures like chemical peels etc. I’ve never seen a ‘bad skin’ situation I didn’t believe I could fix without medical help – that goes for acne too, except in the most extreme of situations.
So why scrub? Simple. If you don’t help to nudge that layer of dead skin off your face, and allow it to build up, you’re going to suffer from a laundry list of skin issues. The smallest, being roughness and dullness. The largest being ‘immunity’ to every product you ever try to put on top of it, no matter how expensive or fancy it might be. Lack of exfoliation is also something to consider when treating breakouts. Ask yourself – can your skin breathe? Or are you trapping all kinds of oxidizing bacteria below the surface?
Using some type of exfoliant, at least once a week will help keep your skin smooth, glowing and prepped for all the lovely products you want to layer on top of it. And they’ll even soak in! Products like this tend to be rather lenient in terms of skin type, so feel free to experiment. I’ve always been a fan of light exfoliants, that instead of using granules which can sometimes be too harsh, use skin sloughing ingredients like salicylic acid or rice starches. These are great if you’re prone to irritation from physical scrubs since you can usually just smooth them on like a serum.
If your skin is generally tolerant of a little extra attention, then something in a physical exfoliant, by which I mean scrub, once a week will do the trick. I usually keep one in the shower to save some time and remind me to use it!
I’m sure you’re just dying to remind me now- What about non-chemical peels?
There’s such a wide range of them on the market, and they are so much more gentle than their name suggests. Often utilizing ingredients like fruit acids, or just plain sticky textures to grab onto dead skin they can be lots of fun to experiment with. Always follow the instructions to a T- they may not feel as effective as a scrub would right away, but over-use can cause all kinds of unpleasantness as they are usually more potent then their other exfoliating friends. Because of their application method, they often carry other benefits like anti-aging, blackhead annihilating, or skin tone correcting which is a great little bonus.
Some quick tips:
- Be gentle! If it’s already got granules in it, you don’t need to press harder to help it do it’s job.
- Follow the instructions! This goes for all types of exfoliants. Because the ingredients can vary so much, following the application methods will make the product extra effective.
- A little goes a long way. Unless you have crocodile skin, once a week is generally enough.
- Needless to say, two in one cleanser and scrub combinations tend to violate the ‘once a week’ suggestion, therefore rendering them unnecessary and excessive – be nice to your skin!