Dry skin is one of the most common winter skin woes, and it’s easy to understand why. With cooler temperatures and less humidity, our skin is deprived of hydration, which leads to itchy, flakey skin. No, thanks! When you hear dry skin, you may think that all you need to do is lather up with moisturizer — but that’s not all! Exfoliation is key to keeping your skin moisturized and dewy all winter long.
During those dry months, skin cells dehydrate and die faster than they do in the summer humidity. Without exfoliation, those dead skin cells sit on top of skin, leaving your complexion looking dull and dry. Exfoliation, whether chemical or physical (we’ll get to that later), will help to slough off those dead cells and reveal newer, more healthy skin. This also helps your skin be more receptive to your moisturizer — win, win!
There are two types of exfoliating treatments — physical and chemical exfoliators. Physical exfoliants use small beads to scrub off those dead skin cells. While plastic microbeads have been banned from use in physical exfoliants, other natural particles are utilized to remove that top layer of cells. Because of their rough tendencies, physical exfoliants can be irritating and even cause micro-tears in the epidermis (top layer of skin).
Chemical exfoliants use chemicals — most commonly Alpha Hydroxy Acids — to resurface skin. These AHAs are derived from natural ingredients and work by dissolving the connections that are holding onto those dead skin cells. While it may not feel like you’re doing much exfoliating, those chemicals are hard at work! Because they tend to be gentler on the skin, many people, especially those with sensitive skin, prefer to use chemical exfoliators. eb5’s AHA Cleansing Lotion is the perfect soap-free cleanser that uses Lactic Acid to exfoliate and resurface.
This depends on the type of exfoliator you’re using. Because physical exfoliants are rougher on the skin, it is only recommended that you use scrubs 1-2 times per week. Harsher chemical exfoliants should also be limited to 2-3 times a week, depending on your skin sensitivity.