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Exfoliation is a very important yet often overlooked step in the beauty regimen. It is the key to loosen and remove a dead layer of skin cells, while speeding up the skin's process of shedding (which slows with aging or mature skin). Exfoliation also helps to stimulate the blood circulation, brighten the complexion by improving color and texture, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and prevent build-up that can lead to break outs.
Without exfoliation, skin can take on an uneven tone, looking dull, patchy or even ashy. After exfoliation, skin serums and moisturizers are able to penetrate more effectively, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate more successfully and thus leading to better beauty product results.
As a general rule, you will want to exfoliate at least once per week. You can adjust your schedule according to your needs. The texture of the exfoliant may also factor in the frequency of usage. A finer grained exfoliator might be tolerated well and could be used more often if desired. If your skin becomes irritated or flaky, reduce the frequency of exfoliating or switch to one with finer texture.
Sometimes exfoliating ingredients are added to toners or also come in the form of masks. These products provide more options to incorporate exfoliating ingredients into your regimen.
How to Choose an Exfoliator
Choose an appropriate exfoliator for your skin type. Sensitive, fine or aging skin will need a finer abrasive ingredient than other types of skin. The best way to select one is to read the label description to determine the item's abrasiveness or strength. Salt, sugar, plant fiber, nut hulls, jojoba beads, apricot seeds, kernels, oatmeal, and bamboo beads are all common ingredients used in abrasive exfoliators.
Enzymes, retinols, alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid and salycilic acid preparations are referred to as chemical exfoliators. They are typically available in varying strengths in the form of a gel or serum. They can also be used once per week, or as desired after cleansing and before moisturizing to attain the same effect. They exfoliate with less irritation, and are especially recommended if your skin is on the sensitive side.
How to Exfoliate
After cleansing and rinsing the face, apply the exfoliator to your wet face. Using your fingers or a soft cloth, scrub using gentle circular motions. You will want to avoid the delicate eye area and scrub gently on the areas bordering it like the cheek bones and temple area outside of the eyes. Rinse your face and softly pat it dry.
Everyone can benefit from using a moisturizer after cleansing. The key is finding the appropriate moisturizer based on your skin type. Moisturizers seal moisture into the skin, so the effect is hydrating while also inhibiting evaporation. Many moisturizers contain active ingredients that deliver vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and skin supporting compounds to provide therapeutic benefits that sooth, protect and ultimately delay the onset of early aging.
Eye creams are optional, but may be desirable for those with dry or aging skin as a welcome addendum to a moisturizer. Some individuals have very delicate eye areas that are more susceptible to wrinkling, dark circles and puffiness. An eye cream can help address these specific concerns with intense moisture and a high concentration of active ingredients.
How to Choose a Moisturizer
The oilier your complexion, the lighter and more liquid your moisturizer should be. Some moisturizers even have oil free ingredients that still serve to moisturize the skin without adding oil. Conversely, dry or aging skin requires a more moisturizing-nourishing preparation. Use a moisturizer labeled with your skin type or specific skin concern. If you live in a particularly harsh climate, consider wearing a more moisturizing face cream during the winter and switch to a lighter formula during warmer months.
Night creams tend to be thicker and more moisturizing than day creams. It is generally recommended to have separate moisturizers simply for the fact that you will want a day cream with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF). This will provide you with added protection from sun damage that ultimately leads to premature aging.
Based on the amount of time you spend outside on any particular day, you might want to wear a moisturizer designed for outdoor use with a significantly higher SPF. You must also factor in how easily your skin burns and take precautions to protect your skin with a sufficient SPF. As a general rule, it is recommended that your day moisturizer should have at least 15-20 SPF, and if you spend more time outdoors, consider a moisturizer with 30+ SPF.
How to Use Moisturizer
After you wash your face and apply toner or a serum (optional), scoop out enough moisturizer to comfortably cover your face and neck area. Using your finger tips, rub it in using upward strokes, making sure to moisturize the neck, décolletage and earlobes. In order to prevent streaks, allow your moisturizer to penetrate before applying foundation.
Creme Extreme Body Lotion: Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycereth-26, Stearyl Alcohol, Oleth-20, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Canola Oil, Myrica Cerifera (Bayberry) Fruit Wax, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide (Matrixyl), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai), Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit, Xanthan Gum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Bassia Latifolia (Mowrah) Seed Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Pistacia Vera (Pistachio) Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg 100 Stearate, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Polyacrylate, Chlorphenesin, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Oil.
Sweet & Smooth Body Polish: Sucrose (Cane Sugar), Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Trihydroxystearin, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Pistacia Vera (Pistachio) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Bassia Latifolia (Mowrah) Seed Butter, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Natural Fragrance, Chromium Oxide Green (Ci 77288).