Exfoliating* is when you remove dead skin cells from the surface of skin using a chemical, granular substance or exfoliation tool. It can be your skincare BFF because sometimes dead cells don’t shed completely after the 28-day cycle, which causes dry, flaky patches.
Exfoliating keeps your skin silky smooth, soft and calm, giving your skin a chance to breathe again. It lightens acne scars, prevents clogged pores, and results in fewer breakouts. It could even boost collagen production and we all know collagen is key to glowy skin!
But everyone can feel good and look good in their own way.
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Two main methods to exfoliate at home: physical and chemical
Physical exfoliants are any product or method that involve manual scrubbing or rubbing. Think: salt or sugar cleansing scrubs, body brushes and loofahs. The best part: you’ll see immediate results after a DIY scrub. The downside? Physical exfoliation can irritate the skin and speed up water loss, leaving your skin vulnerable to bacteria. To prevent or resolve this, it’s important to moisturise!
As for chemical exfoliation, this involves chemicals such as alpha, beta and polyhydroxy acids – otherwise known as AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs – to gently dissolve dead skin cells. They provide a deeper exfoliation without scratching the skin.
Ideal for anyone with dry skin, AHAs help brighten your skin tone and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. AHAs are water-soluble acids derived from plant sources such as sugarcane and fruit. The most common AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acids are also very hydrating.
BHAs on the other hand are better suited for oily, combination or acne-prone skin types. If clogged pores have got you down, BHAs might help. BHAs are oil-soluble which means they can not only dissolve dead skin cells but also make their way into your pores and get rid of the excess oil and build-up stuck inside. The most popular BHA salicylic acid, can help calm redness and inflammation too.
Last but not least, PHAs are the gentlest of the lot. Giving you a very mild exfoliation, they’re here to make you happy if you have dry and sensitive skin, including rosacea and eczema. They work similarly to AHAs but have a much larger molecule size so they don’t penetrate skin as deeply.
A beginner’s guide to exfoliating safely
If you’re new to exfoliating, go easy on your skin. Stronger isn’t always better; if you’re new to using acids, try a lower percentage before working your way up to something stronger to see how your skin tolerates it. Start by exfoliating once or twice a week, then adjust based on your skin’s needs.
Be careful not to over-exfoliate because it could weaken your skin’s protective barrier, leading to inflammation, breakouts and even infection. Balance the effects depending on the rest of your skincare routine, especially if you are using strong actives like retinoids and vitamin C.
Whether you’re using physical or chemical exfoliates, moisturising is your skincare routine MVP! This boosts skin strength and resilience to prep you for your next IPL session. So make skinbooster™ your daily skincare routine, regardless of your skin type.
skinbooster™ is available for purchase at counters in-store and online for $28.
*Before you incorporate physical or chemical exfoliating products into your routine, we advise you seek a dermatologist or healthcare provider for guidance.