Do Facial Exfoliation at Home

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Eng, Lynn and 4 others

The skin on your face is like a delicate flower petal. It will only bloom if proper care is given. On the surface, your skin may appear dull and show signs of premature aging, such as fine lines, uneven tone, and a rough texture. Underneath that flaky, dull surface hides a flawless canvas waiting to emerge. However, it can't get out on its own unless you step up your facial care routine to remove the dead skin cells on the surface. Exfoliation is the cosmetic practice of removing dead skin cells from the uppermost layer of the skin. For ages, many civilizations have used the process as an important part of facial and body treatments.

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Exfoliation is beneficial for removing dead skin cells shed by the entire body on a daily basis. Although these dead skin cells protect the new skin underneath, they can clog your pores and interfere with oil secretion, resulting in dry, dull and blemished skin. As we age, this process gradually slows down and we have to make an effort to restore the youthful skin underneath. An exfoliation routine tailored to your skin type can take years off of your face. It can unclog your pores, minimize fine lines, restore plumpness and glow, and it can even improve acne. You can obtain a smooth, radiant complexion at home without spending a fortune on professional skin treatments or expensive branded products.

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Things to Consider Before You Exfoliate

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Exfoliation can do wonders for your skin, but exfoliating too often and using the wrong method for your skin type can cause irritation or acne and make your skin look worse. Your skin repairs itself overnight, so you may wake up looking dull in the morning. This is the best time to exfoliate. Start with a clean face that's free of makeup so that your skin can get the maximum benefits.

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Chemical exfoliants are best for dry or mature skin. These include low concentrations of acids such as alpha hydroxy, glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid that remove the top layer of skin cells and buildup without the harshness of physical exfoliants. For sensitive skin, fruit enzymes such as papain or bromelain are gentle but effective. These occur naturally in papaya and pineapple, respectively.

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Physical exfoliants, such as fine grains, micro-beads, jojoba beads or sugar are manually rubbed on the face to scrub away old skin cells. These are best for people with resilient or oily skin, as they can be irritating for some skin types. Smaller, smoother exfoliants are best. These work well if you're sensitive to certain skincare ingredients or if you can't find a chemical exfoliant that's suitable for your skin.

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How Often Should You Exfoliate?

The skin typically regenerates itself every 30 days, and you'll need to get rid of the old skin cells to appear renewed and refreshed. Most people need to exfoliate around once or twice a week. However, some people have more sensitive or delicate skin, so they may have to exfoliate in lesser frequency to avoid irritating the skin. On the other hand, those with naturally oily skin or those living in dry climates may need to exfoliate more often to effectively counter the accumulation of dead skin cells. Pay attention to your skin, and if you end up with irritation or breakouts, it's likely that you're exfoliating too much or using products that are too harsh for your skin type.

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How to Exfoliate at Home

To get the most out of your exfoliating routine, you'll need to start by putting your hair up and washing your face with a gentle cleanser. You can also steam your face to soften your skin. Fill the sink with hot water and place your face above it. Drape a towel behind your head to hold in the steam. You may also want to exfoliate your face after getting out of the shower or bath. When you apply a physical exfoliant to your face, use small circular motions in upward strokes. You can also use an exfoliating brush. Focus on the areas of your face that are particularly dull or dry, and take extra care around sensitive areas such as the eyelids. Make sure you have a gentle moisturizer to apply after exfoliating. Most of the products mentioned below are commonly found in many households, and most are more affordable than those sold in retail. Try a different method each time you exfoliate to see which ones work the best for you.

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  1. 1
    Plain yogurt is not only good for the body, but for the skin as well.
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    Yogurt has lactic acid, the same alpha hydroxy acid used in prescription skin care treatment. When applied to your skin, yogurt does its work in hydrating, exfoliating, soothing, and smoothing your skin tone. It is gentle enough to be used on any skin type and body part. Just massage it on, and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and moisturizing.{
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  2. 2
    Honey makes a perfect addition to your facial care routine.
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    Even Cleopatra was said to have used honey and milk in her baths to achieve soft and healthy skin. Honey is full of antioxidants that can help the skin protect and repair itself. Its humectant properties draw moisture into the skin and help to protect it from dryness. Honey also has antibacterial properties that may help with acne, too. Combine a small amount of it with other exfoliating ingredients to soothe your skin during the exfoliating process. Honey can also be used on its own as a moisturizing mask. Apply a thin layer to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
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  3. 3
    Fruit juice makes a great chemical exfoliant.
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    Many fruits contain natural alpha hydroxy acids that can remove the protein that adheres dead skin cells to the epidermis. This is a great alternative to expensive alpha-hydroxy treatments that you can buy at the store. Squeeze the juice from a lemon, orange or grapefruit, cut a grape in half, mash a few strawberries or grate an apple. You only need a small amount to exfoliate your face, about a tablespoon or two. You can add a bit of sugar or honey to the fruit before applying it to your face for extra moisturizing and exfoliation. If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute the citrus juice with a small amount of water before applying it to your face. Apply the juice or fruit to your face with your fingers or a cotton ball. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and moisturizing.
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  4. 4
    Sugar is one of the safest and most effective physical exfoliants.
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    It works well on both the body and face. It won't irritate or damage your skin like some rougher physical exfoliants can. You can use white or brown sugar, and mix it with equal parts olive or coconut oil. You can also add a bit of sugar to your facial or body cleanser. Gently scrub your skin and rinse thoroughly.
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  5. 5
    Coffee makes a great exfoliant for your body.
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    Keep it away from your face, though, as the granules can scratch and irritate your delicate facial skin. Some people believe that the caffeine in coffee can temporarily tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Try it out in the summer before putting on your shorts, tank top or swimsuit for smooth, glowy skin. Mix coffee grounds with enough warm water to moisten them, and add a bit of olive or coconut oil for moisture. It's a great way to make use of your old coffee grounds. Scrub it on your body in the shower before rinsing thoroughly.
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  6. 6
    The enzymes in pineapple and papaya make excellent gentle exfoliants.
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    The fruits have to be fresh, though, as the enzymes are destroyed by heat and processing. Just cut a piece of pineapple or papaya and rub it over your face. Leave it on for about 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse.
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  7. 7
    Brown rice flour makes an effective physical exfoliant.
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    The ceramides in brown rice can help restore your skin's natural barrier, as well. Mix a bit of warm water with some rice flour to make a paste, and gently rub it on your skin. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
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  8. 8
    A soft washcloth makes a great exfoliant when your skin is sensitive.
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    If you just can't seem to find any products that agree with your skin, a soft washcloth can help to gently remove old skin cells. You can even find washcloths made specifically for exfoliating the face. Gently rub your face with a washcloth while washing your face with a gentle cleanser, and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
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  9. 9
    Salicylic acid, or beta hydroxy acid (BHA), can deeply exfoliate your skin and reduce inflammation and breakouts.
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    This common ingredient in facial cleanser and acne treatments is also a great anti-aging treatment, as it can plump skin and increase cell turnover. Stick to using only one product with BHA in it, such as a toner, lotion or cleanser. Using too much can be irritating to your skin. Also, avoid products with BHA if you're allergic to aspirin.
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  10. 10
    Oatmeal works great as a gentle exfoliant, and it also soothes irritated or itchy skin.
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    Mix 1 tablespoon of regular oatmeal with 3 tablespoons of hot water. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the oatmeal to absorb the water. Rub it on your face for a minute or two before rinsing thoroughly.
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  11. 11
    Microdermabrasion products can save you a lot of money and time compared to a visit to the dermatologist's.
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    There are many kits to choose from on the market at various price points. These physical exfoliants are effective at removing dead skin cells, treating fine lines and clearing clogged pores to improve the tone and texture of your skin. They typically use very fine crystals to remove the uppermost layer of your skin. Microdermabrasion kits often consist of a few steps, which may include a serum, cream, lotion and even an electric exfoliating brush. If you purchase a microdermabrasion kit, always follow the instructions exactly, and do not use the products more frequently than the manufacturer recommends.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Before applying any new products to your skin, test them in a small area first. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin. In the case of citrus juices, you may need to add a small amount of water to buffer the acidity before applying it to your face.
  • Do not use harsh exfoliants on your face, such as coffee grounds, salt, grains, walnut shells or baking soda. Baking soda and salt can be too harsh for your skin, and scratchy exfoliants can cause small, invisible cuts in your skin. Smooth, rounded exfoliants such as jojoba beads are best.
  • Do not over-exfoliate. More than twice a week is probably too much. Apply only gentle pressure when exfoliating, and do not over-scrub. If your face ends up red and sore, you've likely overdone it.
  • After exfoliating, your skin is better able to absorb any products you put on it. This a great time to use serums with active ingredients.
  • Always moisturize well and apply sunscreen, since your skin is more sensitive to the elements after exfoliating.
  • Do not use chemical and physical exfoliants at the same time unless it's part of a system or recommended by a dermatologist or aesthetician. This could irritate your skin and leave it red and sore for days.
  • If you do happen to over-exfoliate, do not use any acids, washcloths or other exfoliating products on your face for at least a week, even though your skin may be flaky or peeling. Wash your face with a gentle, soap-free cleanser only, and follow with a plain moisturizing lotion for sensitive skin. Aloe vera gel and vitamin E can help soothe your sore skin.

Questions and Answers

How do I do a diamond peel facial?

Diamond peel facials must be done by a skilled professional. The procedure removes dead skin cells using real diamond chips to vacuum the skin away. The top layer of the skin is removed to rejuvenate the skin. A session will last 20 minutes or more (depending on the needs of the skin). They also use different wands for a specific area on your face. They cost around $100 to $200 per session. Prices also depend on your location and establishment. Go around town and ask which establishment gives the best diamond peel facials, this way, you will know which establishments already has a positive feedback.

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How to prevent my Dry skin problem during winter?

Hi, Although my skin is normal but during the winter season some areas of my face become rough and dry. Don't know what to do? I use a mixture of Rose water, Lemon and glycerin in routine but it doesn't work too!. I have tried: A mixture of Rose Water, Glycerin and lemon. Besides that I often use honey and lemon Mask. I think it was caused by: The dry weather is the main cause.

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

What makes diamond peel expensive?

When I went to facial clinics, centers etc. to have a diamond peel I wonder why it is so expensive, what will be the benefits from it and how long its effectiveness will last, how often I should do diamond peel? Thank you

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Categories : Beauty & Aesthetics

Recent edits by: Biozee, Melissa Rae, Angela

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