Facial scrubs are often overrated for causing redness and burning, which is enough to terrify those with sensitive skin. The point is, the best facial exfoliants available can do their job without causing flare-ups and irritation — even in people with reactive skin. Well, you really can have it all.
We know how difficult and intimidating it can be to use new skin care products when you have sensitive skin. You want to avoid skin flare-ups at all costs. But sleeping on an exfoliator isn’t good for your skin. In fact, adding an exfoliator to your routine can do some pretty amazing things, as long as you follow some of the best practices that dermatologists recommend for people with acne. sensitive skin.
Benefits of Facial Exfoliators
Exfoliation plays an important role in helping to remove dirt and dead cells from the skin, helping to promote cell turnover (growth of new, youthful skin cells). Thus, exfoliating helps unclog pores and prevent breakouts, evens out skin tone, and transforms dull skin. Exfoliating regularly can also help prevent wrinkles and make it easier for other skin care products to penetrate your skin’s surface. Avoid exfoliation that can clog pores and reduce the effectiveness of other facial products.
As previously reported by SELF, exfoliants can be divided into two categories: Physical type (e.g. facial scrub or cleansing brush) physical remove dead skin cells and dirt from your face) and chemicals (usually alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid and beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid) that work by dissolving connections between skin cells. Some products, like many that contain salicylic acid, can combine both physical and chemical exfoliants.
Exfoliating tips for sensitive facial skin
Essentially, you can think of exfoliating as your gateway to softer and brighter skin overall, although it can make your skin more sensitive and increase its sensitivity to UV rays ( another very important reason to apply SPF every day). Therefore, dermatologists recommend cutting back if you have reactive skin. That’s especially important if you have a touch-related condition like eczema or rosacea.
Doctors recommend that people with sensitive skin start with caution. “Because people with sensitive or dry skin are more prone to redness, burning, peeling, and irritation from these treatments, it’s important to use them less often and use stronger lower than people with oily or combination skin can use”. Shari Marchbein, MD, assistant professor of clinical dermatology at NYU School of Medicine, tells SELF. “Exfoliating too much can lead to red, flaky, irritated skin, especially on the face.”
It’s best to slowly increase the strength or frequency to help the skin build up tolerance. “Consider once per week to twice per week, working daily for several weeks,” says Melanie Palm, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Dermatologists often prefer chemical exfoliants, as they tend to be gentler and less irritating for sensitive skin. That is not to say that the physical ones are completely out of bounds. Marchbein and Patricia Wexler, MD, associate clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital, both note that when using a physical exfoliant in your skincare routine, people with sensitive skin Sensation should look for gentle ones that use ultrafine particles, as in sugar scrubs. , to avoid irritation.
Dr. Marchbein also recommends always moisturizing immediately after exfoliating, which can help increase tolerability and combat dryness.
Looking for your next sensitive skin-friendly scrub or cleanser and don’t know where to start? According to dermatologists, read on for some of the best face scrubs that are both gentle and effective for those with sensitive skin.
All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn affiliate commissions.