There are so many things we should be doing in terms of a beauty routine; it can all get a little overwhelming. When it comes to taking care of our skin, we are aware we should exfoliate, but how often should we do this? The purpose of exfoliating is to remove dead skin, either because it has become flaky or dry or just because it has reached the end of its life. However, it is more than possible to over-exfoliate your skin and cause irritation and new skin problems that you did not have before so just how often should you be exfoliating?

Not Too Often

Although there are varying schools of thought on exactly how many times you should exfoliate the skin on your face, it is suggested that you do not do it more than three times in any one week. Over exuberant or too much exfoliation can actually damage your skin, creating micro-abrasions and cuts to the surface of the skin, which in turn can create inflammation and dry patches. This defeats the object of the exfoliation process, so you need to take care that you don’t do it too often. So, once you have created your exfoliation schedule, you need to decide on the products that you are going to use.

Be Gentle

Again, there is no point scrubbing at your skin like you’re trying to remove it. The best thing you can do is be very gentle and stay away from harsh chemical products. There is actually no need to use products that contain things like glycolic acid or Retin-A as these can be too harsh. You probably have the best ingredient in your kitchen cupboard. You can make your own exfoliator with sugar really easily. You also do not need to exfoliate vigorously over all of your face but rather focus your attention on areas of problems, whether your chin or around your eyes and forehead. Basically, you are looking to create a paste that has a mild abrasive nature and sugar is gentle and will help remove any dead cells without irritating your skin. Of course, you can purchase natural ingredient gentle exfoliators, and these will do the same job.

Just Cleanse

On the days when you are not exfoliating the skin on your face, it is perfectly acceptable to just use a cleanser to ensure that you have removed any traces of makeup and grind from the day leaving the pores nice and clean. It also helps to ensure that they aren’t clogged and therefore develop into blackheads or spots at a later date. Soap and water are actually the best way to just clean your face. Remember never to sleep in makeup and always take the time to remove it before you go to bed.

Body Exfoliation

The other thing to remember is that there are areas on the rest of your body that can also benefit from being exfoliated occasionally. All skin has a life span and dies off with new growth coming up from underneath. So, exfoliating the dead skin away helps to keep your body soft and smooth. A body brush can be used on larger areas of skin, but it is too harsh for the face. It is however perfect for the thighs, legs and bottom. Again, you do not need to spend lots of money on expensive products as sugar will do perfectly. You also want to avoid any products that contain the plastic microbeads as these are incredibly damaging to the environment and do not decompose. They have only been around for a few years and are already causing problems in the eco climate and for fish and other animals.

A Whole Routine

Of course, exfoliation is just one part of a beauty routine, and once you have exposed the new layer of skin by exfoliating, you need to protect it. This means you should follow your exfoliating session with a good moisturiser. Shea butter and coconut oil are both really good natural alternatives. If these are too greasy for your face, you can use something later, but they do tend to be perfect for the body. If you are going to use fake tan, you should also be exfoliating before you start this process as it’s much easier for the tanning solution to work when the skin has been prepared in this manner. If you do feel like you have exfoliated your skin too often the simple thing to do is take a break for a few days and let your skin rest and heal. Remember that although the skin on your face is always being exposed to elements, it is some of the more delicate skin on the body and needs to be treated very gently in order to avoid damage.