How to Exfoliate Your Face in 6 Steps
If we had to guess, we’d say your skin care routine probably consists of somewhere between three and six steps (maybe more if you’re really complexion obsessed like us), with some combination of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing thrown into the mix. What you might not take into consideration is that within each of those steps, there are actually even more steps. Exfoliating your face, for example, isn’t its own single-step process. There are a series of smaller, mini steps required to correctly slough your skin. Not quite sure what we mean? Click through to find out the six crucial steps of exfoliating your face.
Decide Between Physical and Chemical Exfoliation
You’re no doubt familiar with face scrubs, but they aren’t your only option when it comes to exfoliating. Before you actually get to scrubbing your skin, make sure that’s the route you want to take. It’s up to you to choose between using a physical exfoliator, like a scrub that’s formulated with beads or grains to help lift away dead skin, or a chemical exfoliator formulated with AHAs or BHA.
Up next, our recommendations for each from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands.
Our Favorite Physical and Chemical Exfoliators
Once you know your exfoliating product preference—physical or chemical—you can more easily choose an exfoliator.
If you prefer physical exfoliation…try the L’Oréal Paris Pure Sugar Nourish & Soften Face Scrub.
Choose Whether to Exfoliate in the AM or PM
Since your skin renews itself overnight (hence the phrase “beauty sleep”), it can be beneficial to exfoliate in the morning. Chemical exfoliators, however, are often an exception to this rule. Because their formulas can sometimes increase sun sensitivity, you may find them better suited to evening use. If you aren’t sure what’s best, flip your product pick over and see what the label suggests.
Get Completely Clean
Exfoliation may help remove lingering impurities from the surface of your skin, but it shouldn’t take the place of cleansing completely. Make note of the fact that exfoliators almost always instruct you to apply to clean skin, so be sure to cleanse your skin prior to exfoliating.
Slough Your Skin
Now it’s time to actually exfoliate. After gently patting your face dry with a towel post-cleansing, apply a small amount of the exfoliating product of choice to your clean, dry skin. If you’re using a physical exfoliator, massage the scrub into your skin in a gentle circular motion.
Rinse Off or Splash with Water
A face scrub will need to be rinsed completely off your skin, while a chemical exfoliator can typically be left on to work its magic. If you still want to get your skin wet (it may come in handy with your final step), splash a bit of lukewarm water on your skin and hold off on drying off.
Lock in Moisture
Once dead cells are removed from your skin, your job isn’t quite finished. Exfoliating should always be followed by hydrating your skin—and according to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best time to apply moisturizer is while your skin is still wet. That means now’s your chance to slather your skin with a nourishing face cream or lotion in order to trap the most moisture.
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