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When you have sensitive skin, you know how tricky it can be to properly care for your complexion. That’s because, sometimes, certain skin care products or habits can irritate your skin and cause it to end up looking and feeling worse than it did before. This is especially the case when it comes to exfoliating, which is why it’s so important to use a gentle exfoliator for sensitive skin. So, with all the options out there, from chemical exfoliants to face scrubs, what is the best exfoliator for sensitive skin and how do you use it? Consider this your ultimate guide to sensitive skin exfoliation.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. When these dead skin cells, in addition to excess oil and debris, build up on the surface of your skin for too long, it can lead to skin dullness and breakouts. As such, exfoliating is beneficial for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
When it comes to methods of exfoliating, there are two ways to do it: mechanically or chemically. Mechanical exfoliation involves physically scrubbing your skin’s surface with a scrub or dry brush, while chemical exfoliation uses acids—like salicylic acid and glycolic acid—or enzymes to chemically break down the surface buildup.
While exfoliation has its benefits, how often you should be doing it varies from person to person. Where some people are able to handle exfoliating a few times a week, others may only be able to do so once a week.
When you have sensitive skin, it’s particularly important to pay attention to how your skin responds after exfoliating so that you can determine what works best for you. If it gets bright red and blotchy, you know you’ve scrubbed too hard, or you’ve been doing it too often. Pay attention to your complexion’s reactions to different exfoliants and go from there to determine the ideal skin care routine for you.
First things first, look for the right exfoliating product for sensitive skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), fragrances, soap, and alcohol can all be potential irritants for sensitive skin, so it’s a good idea to avoid these in your skin care products. You may even want to consider visiting your dermatologist, as he or she will be able to help you determine the right exfoliating routine for your skin type.
Regardless of what type of exfoliator you choose to use on your sensitive skin, the AAD recommends being gentle. Use small, circular motions, then rinse off with lukewarm water, as hot water can strip your skin of essential oils.
Looking for the perfect product to exfoliate your sensitive skin with? We love the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, which cleanses skin and removes all traces of dirt, oil, and makeup. Formulated with finely crushed cocoa, coconut oil, and cocoa butter, this face scrub will polish skin without drying it out.
If you’re looking for a scrub that includes a chemical exfoliant, opt for the L’Oréal Paris Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser. This formula contains glycolic acid and fine micro-beads that gently clear off dead skin and make you appear glowy, more radiant and even.
For a chemical exfoliator option, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum which helps slough away dull skin cells and addresses discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Next: 7 Skin Care Rules for Sensitive Skin
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