Continuing with the topic of exfoliating..which is the best exfoliant for you?
There are 3 kinds of exfoliators:
Scrubs- Aka a "mechanical" exfoliator, they are abrasive and have particles in them that literally scrape the dead skin cells off.
Acids- Peels are made up of chemicals that melt away dead skin cells over the process of a few days.
Enzymes- This exfoliant is king. Usually worn as a mask for a few minutes, enzymes gently dissolve dead skin cells.
How to determine which exfoliator is best you? Well, it depends on what you need, so let me run you through a few different scenarios.
Let's say you haven't been the best about exfoliating, choosing to spend your money on makeup instead, for the last few years. You've spent the summer enjoying the beach and rooftop brunches, so a peel would probably be your best bet to kick start your new skincare regime. Go to an esthetician for this, and skip spending money on an at home peel. They simply don't compare to the real deal. Anything that's available to the general public, has been "watered down" to be made dummy proof or less effective so that no one burns themselves at home.
Peels are great and everyone should do one at least once a year (right after summer is best) Unless you have some sort of skin disease, there is a peel out there for everyone. Health + Beauty offers PCA Peels which are great for all skin types.
Scrubs are best used for the body and not the face, period. They are simply too abrasive, they cause microscopic tears in the skin and can keep pigmentation spots firmly planted on your face. There is one exception, very mature skin or seriously sun damaged/smoker's skin. Like Magda from "There's Something about Mary". Even then, I wouldn't recommend St. Ives for her. Instead i'd tell her to use it on her bathroom tiles if they need a good scrubbing- keep that stuff away from your face.
Then there's the one exfoliator that is the best for everybody, sensitive skin, dry skin, combination skin, acneic skin. That's the enzyme exfoliator, this one does what a chemical peel can do without the downtime, it does the job more gently and it's simply not possible to over exfoliate with it, leaving you with skin that is supple, renewed and less likely to develop acne.
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