Here at PuraVeda Organics, we find that while many of our clients understand the necessity of using an exfoliation mask or scrub, but they don’t always understand the best way to accomplish well-exfoliated skin. Using the wrong methods can actually aggravate and damage the skin. Choosing the correct method of pore deep exfoliation depends on skin type, product choice and the season.
Under-exfoliation can prevent the healing ingredients in topical organic skin care products from absorbing properly into the skin, while over-exfoliation can strip the skin of natural oils making it look and feel damaged, irritated and sensitive. As such, a personalized method that balances your specific skin dosha is a prerequisite to achieve healthy skin.
The Different Methods of Exfoliation
Dermatologists suggest two methods of exfoliation – Mechanical/Physical or Chemical exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation uses friction to remove dead skin cells and environmental grime from the face. On the other hand, chemical exfoliation uses different types of acids (such as glycolic acid, malic acid, citric acid, etc.) or earth minerals to dissolve or extract foreign particles from the pores. If you have oily skin, use both mechanical and chemical methods, whereas if you have dry or sensitive skin, then use mild and plant-based acidic methods of exfoliation.
The ‘Do’s’ of Exfoliation
- The first criteria to find the correct exfoliation method is to know your skin type and choose the correct product:
- For Dry and Normal Skin: Use a mild method of exfoliation such as Papaya & Honey Exfoliation Mask & Scrub up to 2X times a week. Honey and steam-distilled oils nourish and balance drier areas of the face.
- For Sensitive Skin: Use SBR Papaya & Honey Exfoliation Mask Won’t irritate the skin, but removes impurities from the pores.
- For Oily Skin: Use the Papaya & Honey Exfoliation Mask & Scrub for gentle ‘mechanical + chemical dual action’ exfoliation up to 3X times a week. During the humid or summer season when oil glands can be hyperactive, you can use as an Exfoliating Scrub up to 1X times a day.
Pro Tip: For using the product as a ‘Daily Exfoliating Scrub’, apply a small amount of the exfoliator to damp washcloth and gently work in circles on the skin, concentrating on problem areas. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry.
- Choose a ‘clean’, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ exfoliator with no synthetic chemicals. Papain (a proteolytic enzyme) from Papaya, Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) from White Willow Bark, Lactic Acid (a form of Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA) from Milk are the best natural acid-based exfoliating agents. Micronized Walnut particles are great physical exfoliators suitable especially for oily skin.
- Do a small patch test of the recommended product 24 hours prior to full application upon 1st usage, especially if you have Pitta dosha or Sensitive skin.
- Exfoliate the skin preferably at night, to eliminate accumulated environmental pollutants.
- While exfoliating the face, concentrate on the neck, nose, jawline and décolletage area as well.
- Being rough on the skin can sensitize oil glands, leading to breakouts. Be gentle while using any mechanical exfoliation methods.
- Pink and slightly tingly skin after exfoliation is good. However, you should discontinue usage if you have redness, burning or peeling after exfoliation.
- After the mask has dried, wash the product preferably with lukewarm and soft water.
- Follow up with an Organic Hydrator to soothe the skin. Next, choose a suitable Serum Treatment to protect and increase the cellular turnover of the newly revealed layer of skin.
The ‘Don’ts’ of Exfoliation
- Make sure you remove all your make-up with a gentle Organic Cleanser before you start the process of exfoliation.
- Never over-exfoliate. Over exfoliation or using harsh abrasives and chemical peels expose fragile new cells before they have sufficiently matured, which can promote dryness, dermatitis, sun sensitivity and inflammation.
- Ask your dermatologist or do not exfoliate at all if you have recently undergone treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion or lasers.
- Do not exposure skin to UV rays immediately after exfoliation.
- Do not exfoliate on an irritated skin, such as post waxing or threading.
- Never use exfoliators that has parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, alcohol, polysorbates, PEG, plastic microbeads (not good for the environment!) or non-micronized walnut powder, artificial fragrances and colors, etc.
If you have never exfoliated, you should consider adding exfoliation to your weekly skin care routine, especially after your 20s when the skin’s ability to turnover cells begins to slow. Adding exfoliation will make a big difference to skin’s appearance. Go Green and Organic with Puraveda Organics!
Read Next: ‘How to: Natural Pore Deep Cleansing’