We don’t know about you but as soon as the heaters are turned on and the temperature drops below 70 our skin starts to see and feel the repercussions of low humidity levels and dry air. The moisture in our skin immediately feels like it's physically being sucked out, and soon enough our skin develops flaky, cracked and irritated patches. What’s worse is that chronic irritation from the changes in temperature irritate our skin more causing the formation of acne and clogged pores.
One common way to combat dull and flaky skin during the winter is regular exfoliation but the problem is that there are tons of ways to exfoliate and most of the time it’s hard to figure out just where to begin. Luckily, you aren’t the only ones asking the right questions about exfoliating.
We’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions about exfoliating so you don’t have to worry about dull and dry skin during the winter.
Why exfoliate in the winter?
Colder weather brings in lower humidity levels and dry air that may result in a compromised skin barrier, with tight and cracked areas of the skin along with irritated and inflamed patches of breakouts. These dry patches still need to be sloughed off to reveal smoother and clearer skin underneath as long as you remember not to overdo it. This brings us to our next questions: How often should you exfoliate?
How often should you exfoliate?
Exfoliation should be done at least once a week and not more than three times a week, but if you have dry or sensitive skin, once a week with a gentle exfoliator will do. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, exfoliating 3 times a week using a gentle chemical exfoliator should suffice.
What happens if you exfoliate too much?
If you exfoliate too much you will put your skin at risk for a damaged skin barrier, which may lead to more breakouts, irritation, inflammation, and dryness. To repair this we recommend stripping down your routine back to the basics. This means that in the morning all you need is a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen and at night all you need is a cleanser and a moisturizer.
To calm down sensitized and inflamed skin, we recommend using a lightweight but reparative moisturizer like the Avene Xera Calm Cream or the Sente Dermal Repair Cream.
When should I exfoliate?
In general, Dermatologists recommend exfoliating in the morning because our skin repairs itself at night leaving a layer of dead skin cells in the morning ready to be removed.
Should I use a chemical or physical exfoliant?
Generally, chemical exfoliants are safer and gentler than physical exfoliators because they do not involve rubbing the face with a brush or sugar particles, but both methods of exfoliation are still efficient and effective. It all just really depends on how you use each product.
When choosing a chemical exfoliant, look for products with salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid. We always recommend the SkinKure Micro Peel Pads for anyone with oily, acne-prone or combination skin. Otherwise, a gentler option would be to use an exfoliating treatment like the iS Clinical Active Peel System once a week or every other day.
If you’re looking for a weekly treatment, we recommend using the Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask for a revitalizing peel to clear pores and remove impurities for a healthier glow. Another Derm-favorite option is the SkinKure Vitamin C Peel Kit which is a two-step system that provides instantly smooth and bright skin.
Get more dermatologist-recommended exfoliators here