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Exfoliating Safely

Young woman exfoliating her legs with a brush

Exfoliation is a great way to get rid of dead skin and generate new skin cells, but it’s important that you don’t overdo it. That’s because if you scrub too often you make your skin more prone to microorganisms, bacteria and infection. In general, it’s best to exfoliate no more than two to three times a week. To make sure you’re treating your skin right, here are some tips for exfoliating safely.

1. Consider your skin type. Not every exfoliator is the same. For those with sensitive or dry skin, or skin prone to acne, it’s a good idea to stick with a washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator. If you have thicker or oily skin, you could benefit from stronger chemical treatments or a mechanical exfoliator. But this option isn’t recommended for people with darker skin tones, as it can lead to dark spots on the skin.

2. Go easy. You don’t want to damage your skin by exfoliating too aggressively so if you use a chemical exfoliator or scrub, be gentle. Apply the product using small, circular motions for approximately 30 seconds before rinsing with lukewarm water. And use short, light strokes when using a sponge or brush.

3. Always moisturize. Applying moisturizer goes hand in hand with exfoliation. When you exfoliate, you can dry out your skin. Moisturizing right after exfoliating is a must for hydrating your skin and keeping it healthy.

4. Decide on a routine. Your skin type and the tools you use to exfoliate should dictate how often you should treat your skin. If your skin type warrants a more aggressive technique, you shouldn’t exfoliate as often as someone who uses a gentler method.  Just be sure to not exfoliate more than is necessary because it can leave your skin irritated and red.

To learn more about cleansing and caring for your skin the right way, or if you’re interested in any of the other dermatologic services we provide, contact Westerville Dermatology online or by calling 614.895.0400 today to schedule an appointment.

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