The Secret To Glowing Skin

Who doesn’t want glowing, youthful skin—right? The good news is it may be easier than you thought to keep your skin nourished and healthy. Exfoliation may just be the answer you’ve been looking for. By exfoliating your skin, you are removing the dead cells from the surface of the skin, allowing new, radiant skin cells to emerge.

However, exfoliating can do more harm than good if you don’t pay attention to your skin type and the products that you’re using. In fact, it can actually damage skin causing increased redness or even acne breakouts.

So instead of searching through an endless number of skin care products that promise to improve your skin’s appearance, utilize these tips to safely exfoliate your skin.

Before exfoliating, consider your skin type:

Sensitive skin: Burning or stinging is likely after using of skin care products, especially if they’re scented.

Normal skin: Clear and hydrated.

Dry skin: Often flaky, itchy or rough.

Oily skin: Often shiny and greasy.

Combination skin: Partially oily and partially dry. You may have to utilize spot treatments.

Understanding your skin type will help you choose an exfoliation method that best suits your skin. There are two ways to exfoliate at home. Dead skin can be removed with a mechanical tool, such as a brush, scrub or sponge. It can also be removed gently with chemicals, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

These steps will help prevent damage:

Consider any medicines and skin care products you already use. Some may make your skin more sensitive, such as prescription retinoid creams or products containing retinol or benzoyl peroxide. Exfoliating while using these products can trigger acne breakouts or excessive dryness.

Choose a method suited to your skin type. People with dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin should consider using a washcloth and mild chemical exfoliator. Those with oily, thicker skin may prefer stronger chemical treatments or mechanical exfoliation. Those with darker skin may not respond well to harsh exfoliators.

Be kind to your skin. Scrubs or chemical exfoliators should be applied gently in a small, circular motion for about 30 seconds. Rinse with lukewarm water. Never exfoliate if your skin is broken, cut or sunburned.

Apply moisturizer immediately after exfoliating.

Don't overdo it. In most cases, the more aggressive the exfoliation, the less often it should be done. Exfoliating too often can leave skin red and irritated.

While exfoliation is an important part of caring for your skin’s health, it is also vital that you nourish your skin from the inside out. Eating a balanced diet rich in antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E), as well as and vitamins A and B, will help promote youthful, healthy skin.

Keep in mind, though, that caring for skin can be complex. To learn more about the health of your skin, utilize the extensive resources of Gwinnett Medical Center’s Health(e)Library. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Work with your doctor to help determine the health of your skin and what may be beneficial for you.  

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