Exfoliation seems to be all the rage lately as new products pop up on the TV almost daily. If you didn't know better, you'd think your life might depend on a proper exfoliation regimen -- and you hardly know what exfoliation is. Worry no more. We're here to help guide you through the ever-changing skin care landscape.
First off, what exactly is exfoliation? Basically, it's like taking an old piece of furniture and buffing off the ugly surface to expose the fresh and handsome layer underneath. In your case though, you'll be ditching the dead skin cells to expose the healthy skin below. In addition, exfoliation deep cleans pores and helps reduce ingrown hairs. It produces clearer skin and allows you to get a closer shave.
Keep in mind, however, that a lot of exfoliating products are made for women -- and a man's skin is a lot different than a woman's. Men's faces have much more hair and wider pores. In addition, the oils on a man's face react differently to various products than a woman's, a fact that's important to keep in mind when you're deciding what cleansers and scrubs you should use and how often.
Many products use a combination of acids to help cleanse the face, and will often have an element involved that will actively break up the dead skin for easier removal. Often these elements will be small and bead shaped, and will hopefully clear away the impurities.
The best way to exfoliate is to use a bit of your scrub and some lukewarm water. Typically a nickel-sized portion should do, and since your face is a sensitive area, it's best to rub it in, using your hands and fingertips. After rubbing your face for a couple of minutes, let the product set for a minute or two. It'll give the product a chance to break down all that dead-skin and dirt. Once you're finished, rinse your face and pat it dry.
How often you exfoliate your face depends a lot on what you're comfortable with. Start by exfoliating your face once every three days or so. You may discover that oils are building up on your face pretty quickly in between sessions. If that becomes the case, increase the number of times you exfoliate. If you feel that your skin is drying out, simply reduce the frequency.