Finding the right exfoliation for your skin type: why it matters

There is something satisfying about exfoliating; I look forward to it, and I certainly notice if I don’t do it! My pores start to feel blocked and congested, and my skin starts to look dull when it’s overdue for a good exfoliation.

My patients often ask me if exfoliation is right for their skin, and my answer is that anyone who cares about preventing premature ageing, maintaining a clear complexion and supporting skin. health needs to do it! But everyone’s skin is different, and your skin type will determine which exfoliation technique will suit you best. That’s why so many people have bad experiences with over the counter exfoliants or cookie-cutter treatments; they haven’t been chosen specifically for their skin type.

Our dead skin cells are turning over every 27-30 days. Those who have an oily skin have a faster cell turn over, which can be every 15-20 days! And lastly as we age, our skin cells turn over a lot slower, meaning it can take as long as 60-90 days to turn over. Taking this all into consideration, you can understand why you would treat skins differently.

So before you get excited and reach for that apricot scrub, Let me talk to you about how much we need to exfoliate, and what exfoliator is best for your skin?

There are two types of ways to exfoliate- with a physical exfoliant, or with a chemical exfoliant. I have always been a fan of both and like to alternate to get the best results.

Most skins are generally fine with both, with the exception being if you had an extremely sensitive skin, or had any underlying health condition that thins the skin or where it breaks/bruises easily, an acne prone skin that has inflamed angry pustules, or if you had a skin that lots of visible capillaries. Using an exfoliant, especially a physical one could really aggravate it. Be very cautious as always check with your skin clinician.

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Exfoliation for sensitive skin types

Try and avoid harsh exfoliants all together (especially apricot scrub!), and no chemical based exfoliants. Instead I would opt for: Synergie Luciderm (above). This is 100% acid-free and uses natural enzymes to break down dry rough skin on even the most sensitive skins. Safe enough to use once a day under moisturisers and fine to be used with Synergie Vitamin A & B serums.

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Exfoliation for oily skin types

Some people with an oily skin feel that scrubbing their face everyday with a physical scrub makes their skin feel ‘clean’ but I can assure you, all this is doing is over stimulating their cells and they will in turn be producing MORE oil! I would stick to a physical exfoliant like MediScrub 2-3 times a week max. If you are also finding you constantly get loads of congestion that never shifts and that leads to breakouts, I would mix it up and use a chemical serum exfoliant like Reveal  which is an 13% AHA  and 2% BHA combination that really helps to clean out the pores, resulting in smoother fresher skin. Use this 3 times a week, or daily until skin is clear.

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Exfoliation for mature or dry skin types

As a mature skin has a slower cell turnover, I would alternate and use the MediScrub once a week, and the Reveal 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the tolerance levels of the skin.

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