Unfortunately, a lot of men have no idea what exfoliation is. It’s a shame since it should be a part of any men’s skincare regime. We’ve developed this Q&A to help bring you up to speed.
Q: What’s exfoliation?
A: Exfoliation is the accelerated shedding of dead skin layers. Relax, your face isn’t going to melt off. With the right men’s skincare products, you can speed up the removal of debris and dead cells,so that all that’s left is healthy skin. Regular exfoliation has a number of benefits. It can help slow down aging signs as well as control acne breakouts and pesky ingrown hairs. So in short, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be exfoliating.
Q: What are some common exfoliating ingredients?
A: The first one you should look for is glycolic acid (also known as AHA or alpha hydroxy acid). It dissolves bonds between cells for a thorough cleaning. By dissolving these bonds, dead skin cells and other debris are much easier to remove. The acid also boosts production of new skin cells for a healthier look.
Biological exfoliators are also important. These particles physically buff away dirt on your skin’s surface. Look for products that contain particles that are small or in bead-form, so they won’t dig into your pores and cause redness, swelling and irritation. You want gentle cleansers, not something resembling sandpaper. Exfoliating tools like Body Buff Gloves and Face Buff Brush can also help take exfoliation one step further.
Q: How do I exfoliate my face?
A: Wet your face with water and apply a small amount of exfoliating product into your skin. Gently massage the scrub into your skin for 1-2 minutes with your fingers. If possible, allow the scrub to sit on your face for a a few minutes — that way, the scrub will really reach deep down into your pores. After a few minutes, wash away the scrub and pat dry.
Q: How often should I exfoliate?
A: While many scrubs (like our Microfine Face Scrub) are gentle enough to be used once a day every other day, your best bet is about three times a week. Of course, your skin type plays a huge role in determining the right amount of times to exfoliate. Oily skin needs more frequent exfoliation, and sensitive skin needs less. Play around with the frequency and see which is the right schedule for you.
Q: What are AHA and BHA?
A: AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids and BHA stands for beta hydroxy acids. These acid groups have been used by dermatologists for years to boost new skin cell growth, help make skin smoother, and minimize acne breakouts and ingrown hairs.
A word of caution: Although AHA is great at removing dead skin cells, these dead cells also act as a protective cover to healthy, sensitive cells underneath. These new cells that are revealed are more likely to be affected by sun damage, so it’s important to wear an SPF 30 sunscreen when outdoors. Also, try not to exfoliate a day or two before you head out into the sun to avoid the risk of burning.