Your skin literally never lies! It’s basically the sibling that tells on you when you’ve broken any house rules –– this includes skincare mistakes, eating habits, and bad lifestyle choices. Coupled with pollution, dirt, grime, and using the wrong kind of products, you’ll find that your skin goes through hell and back on a regular basis. Even though it regenerates by getting rid of the dead skin cells and welcoming the new, the old ones don’t leave all that easily. In the long run, they join forces with your natural oils, makeup traces, and sunscreen residue to form a layer that only weighs your skin down. The result? Skin that needs a wake up call. And that’s when exfoliation steps in!
There are two simple ways for you to tell if your skin needs a good scrub –– touch it and observe it, very, very carefully. Watch out for these 7 red flags –– this is when you know your skin is begging to be exfoliated.
#1 - It’s a clogged sink
There are some days when your skin just doesn’t feel as cleansed as you’d like it to be. This often happens after a long day, filled with a whole lot of pollutants. That’s when a quick exfoliation session comes in handy. Exfoliating your skin once a week will help deep clean those pores and suck out all the gunk that accumulates through the week.
#2 - On a bumpy ride
Run your fingers (cleaned and sanitized, please) across your face. Feel any bumps or texture issues? Exfoliation, especially chemical, can help even out your skin and smoothen rough bumps. Do note: If you’ve got active acne, do not run an abrasive physical exfoliator over it –– you’ll simply aggravate the breakout and spread the bacteria across your face.
#3 - A dark cloud looming
Dullness is one of the biggest signs that your skin is begging for you to exfoliate it. When the dead skin cells settle on your face, it creates a layer. This layer can often dim the glow that once radiated from your face. This causes you to constantly look tired or under the weather, even when you’re not. By exfoliating, you’ll slough away that unsightly filter that prevents your skin from beaming like a ray of sunshine.
#4 - Too much fun in the sun
Spent too much time at the beach during your #vacay? Well, your skin tends to thicken when it’s exposed to the sun. Therefore, you’ll find uneven texture across your face and neck. Mild exfoliation in this case will help even things out. However, if you are sunburnt, just hold off for a bit as exfoliating can increase your skin’s sensitivity.
#5 - Waste of products
Have you noticed that your favorite moisturiser or serum has stopped performing as well as it used to? It’s not because your skin has gotten ‘used’ to it. The layer of dead skin cells prevents your products from getting absorbed. This reduces the efficacy of the product and prevents it from showing results. So no matter how much product you slather on, you won’t be getting your money’s worth. By exfoliating you remove that layer and allow for your products to penetrate into the layers of your skin and work their magic, sans any hindrance.
#6 - Spot the patches
Spot some flaky and dry skin around certain areas of your face? This is the point when your skin actively sheds away those dead skin cells and therefore needs a helping hand to push them away.
#7 - Oil spill ahead
If you haven’t exfoliated in a while, it starts to show, especially around your t-zone. If you’re producing more oil than usually, it means your skin is facing issues retaining its moisture. Exfoliating can aid in removing that excess oil, which in turn means you’ll face fewer breakouts in the future.
There are two approaches to exfoliation –– physical and chemical. Both stem from the same principle, it’s just that their mantras are different. Physical exfoliators are the classic ‘scrubs’ we’ve grown up using. These contain tiny beads or grains that help physically remove dead skin cells from your face. Chemical exfoliators, on the other hand, break and melt the glue that binds the dead skin cells to your face.
While you can use both, it entirely depends on your skin type and the skin concerns you’d like your exfoliator to address.
WORD OF CAUTION
Yes, exfoliation is fun! Yes, it makes your skin glow the very next day! However, you need to make sure not to get prematurely excited and over-exfoliate. This can lead to sensitivity, redness, irritation, and basically that’s not a good sign of healthy skin. Always do a patch test before trying out a new exfoliator and ensure that it doesn’t irritate your skin.
Tatiana Dias’ skincare journey began all thanks to her long-standing battle with acne. Then on, she learnt to be comfortable in her own skin, yet give it all the TLC possible — and that’s what started her serious love affair with beauty writing. She’s written for magazines such as Femina, ELLE India, and Vogue India.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this journal are those of the authors and are for information purposes only and not medical advice. Further, they do not reflect the opinions or views of Aminu Wellness Pvt Ltd or any of its directors. Any content provided by the author(s) are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone, or anything.