We invest a lot of time and money into our skin care routines, all for the sole purpose of beautifying our skin, to keep it looking young and fresh. But what if something as simple and mundane as an exfoliator, is actually worsening your complexion and bringing about more lines and wrinkles? As with many products, if you are exfoliating incorrectly then you may very well be doing more harm than good!
First you must ask yourself the question; how often should I exfoliate and what with? Your skin type and skin issues will ultimately depend on how often and which type of exfoliator you should be using. For example, over exfoliating oily skin will activate the sebaceous glands into producing excess oil, if your skin is oil prone make sure to exfoliate no more than 3 times a week. Those with sensitive skin on the hand, should be careful not to over-irritate the skin and use a very gentle exfoliator with a washcloth once a week.
So how exactly could exfoliating bring about more wrinkles?
Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD. Explains that “While the exfoliator itself won’t cause wrinkles, some can irritate or over dry your skin, which can increase the appearance of wrinkles,”. This all comes down to the type of scrub you use as well as the ingredients. If using a scrub that is too aggressive, it could over dry the skin as the scrub strips the skin of its essential oils. Skin dryness can then turn into noticeable ‘lines of dehydration’ – think about how much more noticeable the lines are on your hands when they are dry, it’s a simiar case here. On the plus side, these lines are not permanent but will be sure to age your appearance when present.
So what’s safe to use?
Make sure that the exfoliator you use is correct for your skin type (be it acne-prone, sensitive, dry or oily etc.), there is an exfoliator out there for everyone. But most importantly, generally it should have gentle ingredients; enzymes or botanical-based ingredients for example will do the job of removing dead skin, but not too excessively. The key is not to over-exfoliate or scrub too aggressively. Just like anything, a balance is needed, and too much of anything isn’t necessarily a good thing!