The benefits of exfoliating have been lauded across the beauty industry and beyond, and it’s easy to see why – exfoliating helps shed dead skin, even your skin tone and improve the overall appearance of your skin, among other benefits!
But how should you exfoliate if you have dry or sensitive skin? If your skin is prone to redness, breakouts or dryness then read on to discover our top tips to exfoliate dry and sensitive skin.
What Does an Exfoliator Do?
First things first, what is exfoliation and why should it form part of your beauty routine?
Exfoliation is the process of using a scrub, exfoliation tool or chemical skincare product to remove dead skin cells from your skin.
There are a wide range of exfoliators on the market. To find the best product for your needs, look for exfoliators according to your skin type and body part. Face exfoliators are usually formulated with your face’s sensitive skin in mind, whereas body exfoliators normally come in formulations designed to remove the coarser skin on arms and legs.
But why use an exfoliator in the first place? Whilst your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells roughly every month, sometimes it doesn’t shed completely, leaving you with flaky dry patches that make your skin look dull. That’s where exfoliators come to the rescue!
But the benefits of exfoliating don’t end there, here’s a full list of benefits you will enjoy if you include exfoliating as the first step in your beauty routine:
Removes Dead Skin Cells
As mentioned, exfoliators are great for removing dead skin cells that get trapped on your body or face. By using exfoliators, you can help remove flaky, dry or even old suntan, leaving you with smooth and even skin.
Stimulates Cell Renewal
Exfoliating boosts the circulation by stimulating blood flow to the area, helping your skin look radiant. But boosting your circulation doesn’t just make your skin appear nicer, it also helps stimulate cell production which helps your skin look young and fresh in the long-run.
Evens Your Skin Tone
Another benefit of exfoliating is the overall improvement of your skin tone. If you suffer from an uneven complexion, spot scars and hyperpigmentation, then exfoliating regularly will help shed dead cells, making your skin appear more even over time.
Helps Combat Breakouts
If you suffer from breakouts or get the occasional spot here and there, exfoliating using a gentle scrub, chemical product or exfoliating tool can unclog your pores, helping you prevent blemishes. Over-exfoliating can irritate your skin, aggravating your skin condition and giving you the opposite desired effect.
Allows Skincare Products to Penetrate Your Skin
Exfoliators help remove dead skin, making them the ideal first step in your beauty routine. By exfoliating first, your skin is now primed and ready for other skincare products to penetrate more deeply, helping your moisturisers, serums and body creams work more effectively.
Face Exfoliators for Dry and Sensitive Skin
The benefits of exfoliating the face are many, as previously mentioned it helps improve and even out your complexion, leaving you with glowing blemish-free skin. Plus, it also helps face moisturisers and serums penetrate your facial skin deeper, enhancing their effects.
But compared to the skin on your body, your face is naturally more sensitive. As such, you should only use exfoliators designed to be used on the face.
Oily or Combination Skin with Blemishes
A common mistake people with blemishes or breakouts make is over-exfoliating the skin in the hope it will renew faster. This is not recommended – scrubbing too aggressively may cause irritation, redness and even soreness. To exfoliate sensitive skin that’s oily or blemish-prone, start exfoliating once a week with a scrub and introduce chemical exfoliators alongside the scrubs slowly, gradually using them up to three times a week alternating between the two products.
Dry Facial Skin
If your skin is dry and sensitive, over-exfoliating may deplete your skin of that all-important sebum, contributing to making it even drier. The best face exfoliators for dry skin are gentle and mild and designed to be used on your face. When exfoliating dry skin, make sure the products you use contain nourishing ingredients that keep your skin smooth but also moisturised. Start by using mild chemical exfoliants and then gradually introduce gentle facial scrubs up to twice a week.
Facial Skin Conditions Like Eczema or Rosacea
If you suffer from skin conditions like eczema or rosacea it’s always best to consult your dermatologist. Exfoliators for sensitive skin may still cause irritation, so perform a patch test on your hand before trying any product on your face. We recommend using natural scrubs like oatmeal for a delicate exfoliation.
No matter your facial skin type, we always recommend you patch test before using any exfoliator and introduce it to your cleansing routine slowly. So, if you’re wondering how often to exfoliate sensitive skin, the answer is to start by exfoliating once per week, seeing how it affects your skin, and if the results are positive, building it up gradually to two-three times per week.
Body Exfoliators for Dry and Sensitive Skin
Many of us know about the benefits of exfoliating our faces, but some forget just how important it is to exfoliate our arms, back, legs and bikini too! Just as with the skin on our face, our body also benefits from regular exfoliation, helping clear dead skin cells, combat those pesky back spots and improving our circulation. Plus, body scrubs feel like an instant spa session, aiding relaxation and stress-reduction – sign us up!
However, the skin on your body can also be sensitive and dry, so look out for products with gentle or mild formulations.
Exfoliators for Blemish Prone Back
Scrubbing your back can feel like a relaxing massage, but exfoliating this body part doesn’t just make us feel good, it does good to your skin too! Ever heard of ‘backne’? That’s acne or spots on your back, which is quite a common skin condition. As blemish prone skin can be sensitive, we recommend you scrub using gentle exfoliators for sensitive skin that contain salicylic acid or the all-natural tea tree oil which has antibacterial properties.
Scrubs for Ingrown Hairs on Legs
Unfortunately ingrown hairs get the best of us. But if you’re prone to getting them, a mild exfoliator can do the trick. In fact, body scrubs can help unclog your hair follicles, which may be getting blocked by a build-up of dead skin cells. Exfoliating can help clear your skin, so you can say goodbye to those annoying ingrown hairs!
If you’re shaving your bikini line or pubic hairs, then you’ll know this area is particularly sensitive. Exfoliating bikini areas regularly can help keep the area smooth, ingrown hair free and ready to be shaved. Our Gillette Venus Skin Smoothing Exfoliant is dermatologically tested and gynaecologist approved, so it’s safe to use on your body or pubic area. Plus, with its gentle PH balanced formula, it’s ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Gentle Exfoliators for Dry Body Skin
Dry skin on our body can often get neglected until it becomes excessively apparent. Therefore, it’s important to look out for a gentle exfoliator for dry skin to avoid it becoming flaky and itchy. The best exfoliators for dry skin are designed to scrub and nourish at the same time, leaving you with smooth and even-looking skin.