How to exfoliate: Your 5-step guide to silky smooth skin

Scrubbing skin until it squeaks is never a good idea. There is a right way (and a wrong way) to slough away that rough outer layer. This is how you do it.

Nothing jumpstarts skin like a deep clean that removes dirt, debris and dead skin cells. And that, in a nutshell, is why exfoliation is king when it comes to clearing the clutter, preventing clogged pores that can turn into breakouts, and brightening the complexion.

Another benefit of regular exfoliation is that skincare products are better absorbed, meaning active ingredients can better penetrate skin to go about their business of boosting skin health.

Exfoliation also helps to increase cell renewal – something that slows with age – to keep skin vibrant. Long-term exfoliating can also help boost production of collagen, the protein that supports skin and keeps it firm.

1. How to choose the right exfoliant

There are two main types of exfoliant. Mechanical exfoliants come in the form of a scrub, typically with granules, and remove dead skin cells via friction. Chemical exfoliation is a gentler alternative that uses chemicals such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to loosen and dissolve the rough outer layer.

Keep in mind that mechanical exfoliants can be too aggressive for sensitive, dry or inflamed skin, while chemical exfoliants tend to be gentler on skin. Formulated for all skin types, Mx Skincare Cosmeceutical Exfoliate+ is a chemical exfoliant that uses lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, to break down dead surface cells while also reducing pigmentation, softening the appearance of lines and improving skin texture. Lactic acid attracts moisture as it exfoliates, plumping skin as it dissolves dead skin cells, never drying the skin.

2. How often you should exfoliate 

If skin becomes red, irritated, peels or flakes following exfoliation, there is a good chance your exfoliant is too harsh for your skin, or you are exfoliating too often. Skin experts recommend exfoliating face, neck and décolletage on a weekly basis for best results. As a general rule, the more aggressive the type of exfoliant treatment, the less often you would need to do it.

3. When to skip exfoliating

Never exfoliate if skin is sunburned or you have open sores or cuts as exfoliating could further irritate the skin and cause scarring. The same goes if you have chronic, inflamed acne. Also avoid exfoliating if you have cold sores as the infection could spread. 

4. How to exfoliate for best results

After cleansing, apply a small amount of exfoliant to skin and massage in small, circular movements. Finishing your application with some gentle strokes of a facial fan brush will ensure the product is applied evenly over face and neck. 

If it is a product designed to sit on skin, follow the directions for how long to leave it on before rinsing off. Remove with lukewarm water and pat skin dry.

5. The important last step

Once you have gently dried skin after exfoliating, apply serums, facial oil and moisturiser as the final steps. By removing the dead outer layer, you are ensuring skin is ready to receive the maximum benefits of serums, facial oil and moisturiser, and skin will positively glow!

Are you ready to see a real difference in your skin? Discover your ideal exfoliation routine with Mx Skincare Cosmeceutical Exfoliate+.

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