Exfoliation is a process by which the dead cells (read skin) are gently cleared from the skin. Sometimes, due to improper care or carelessness, the dirt and the dead cells mix up together and stick to the pores of the skin resulting in clogging of the pores. This can make the skin look dull and spotty.
Sensitive skin: Given the importance of exfoliation, it is of immense importance to clean up the skin; normal or sensitive. Dealing with sensitive skin exfoliation can be a lot more challenging as compared to a normal one. As the name suggests, sensitive skins are very ‘sensitive’ to any type of rubbing, chemicals or vapours. They have a tendency to irate or redden quickly. Hence it is of great importance to use the right technique along with the right cream/scrub/gel to avoid any harm to the skin.
While shower or steam bath: During what is known as manual exfoliation, an abrasive object or material is used to exfoliate the skin. This can be done easily while having a shower or after a steam. The pores open up after a steam thus easing the process of exfoliation. Extra care must be taken while exfoliating a sensitive skin this ways as over-steaming or the abrasive object might redden the skin in no time. Always use small circular strokes for a longer time over the long high pressure strokes for a short time when dealing with sensitive skin.
If you have a dry-sensitive skin, then a sugar scrub comprising equal parts of mild oil and sugar can help. There are various natural home-made packs which are made using oatmeal powder, sesame seeds, yoghurt or honey along with a little water can be used on a damp face or body. It is always recommended to do a patch test before using any skin exfoliation product on face or body. If using an exfoliation product for the first time on your face, trying using that product on the side neck right behind your ear-lobe for five to ten minutes approximately and then monitor the skin for the next twenty four hours. If there is no irritation or reddening then it’s a go-ahead for that particular product.
Products to be used: Using a mild cleanser followed by a toner and a moisturiser daily takes good care of the dead skin cells and in-turn eases the process of biweekly exfoliation. There are quite a few organic, chemical free products in the market which are great with sensitive skin types. Products containing aloe, almond, honey, jojoba seeds, and oatmeal are generally good to go. It’s preferable to use a gel based face scrub rather than a cream based as the cream based ones usually have a drying effect.
And above all it’s important to know that dead cells are usually formed every twelve to fifteen days and hence the use of a scrub or steam should be restricted to a biweekly pattern only. Too much of scrubbing might aggravate the sensitivities of the skin. The exfoliation process should usually be followed by a toner and then a soothing moisturiser.