We all know that exfoliating your face is the fastest way to spruce things up in the skincare department by way of removing dermis-dulling dead cells, improving texture and tone, unclogging pores and helping skin lap up all of those lovely moisturizing creams and serums. It's also a great glow boosting technique, encouraging cell turnover and prompting healthy, younger-looking skin. But — and there's always a but — are you overdoing it? Are you scrubbing your face into submission or using a formula that's all wrong for you skin type? Why Exfoliate? Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin's outermost surface, or epidermis. Exfoliation is an important part of both facials and body treatments. The main reason skin becomes dull is due to a build-up of dead skin cells and changes in texture, so if you see your skin starting to lose its brightness, buff away! Just don't overdo it. When done correctly, exfoliation leaves the skin feeling smoother and fresher looking. Exfoliation also makes it easier for expensive facial products like serums to pentrate. Avoid over-exfoliation and unnecessary irritation If you have sensitive skin, always perform a patch test to test compatibility prior to using any new products — especially exfoliating acids. The best place to patch test acids is on the side of the face near the ear, so if there's a negative reaction, it can be hidden easily. Over-exfoliation can result in redness, flaking, or peeling of the skin, so unless you're using an extremely gentle formula that recommends daily use, restrict exfoliating to two to three times per week. Try to exfoliate at night instead of in the morning as exfoliants increase sun sensitivity significantly and can therefore lead to severe skin woes if exposed to UV rays for too long. Extra's: Moisturize immediately after exfoliating to soothe the skin and lock in hydration. Reach for formulas with calming ingredients like algae extract, white tea, or grape seed extract. Use a hydrating serum to feed the new cells with nourishment is also important. Stick to serums that will boost new cell formulation by use of performance ingredients. We'd love to know: Do you exfoliate? XO Kimberley
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