The Do’s and Dont’s of Exfoliating, Based on Your Skin Type

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If you’ve ever dreamed of velvety soft skin, exfoliators are here to help. Exfoliation, or the act of removing the dead skin cells from the outermost surface of the skin, can be achieved two ways: You can exfoliate by physically scrubbing away the dead skin cells with facial brushes, microdermabrasion, washcloths, and grain-based scrubs. You can also chemically exfoliate with products that dissolve dead skin cells.

Chemical-based exfoliators have similar compounds to chemical peel ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid or salicylic acid—all of which work to gently dissolve the dead skin cells.

Mechanical or chemical exfoliation of your skin removes the dead skin layer increasing the penetration of other products that you place on the skin surface and enhances their absorption into the skin. In addition, because you are removing the dull, dead skin cells it helps to make your skin look brighter and more radiant.

Exfoliation is an easy and necessary step to achieving baby-like skin. Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, a dermatologist at Union Dermatology, broke down the specifics of exfoliation 101. Ahead you’ll find what to look for in an exfoliator depending on your skin type and a few product suggestions to begin your new skin journey.

If you have dry skin…

Avoid products with high amounts of alcohol. You would want to look for exfoliants that have moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, or ceramide. Since your skin tends to be dry, you should only exfoliate one to two times a week followed by a strong moisturizer.

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