When you think about exfoliants for the face, images of grainy scrubs and abrasive chemical peels may come to mind. These products definitely have a place in the pantheon of facial exfoliators; however, exfoliants are only one part of the puzzle. After you slough away the oil, dirt and dead, dull skin cells, your skin needs a little encouragement to replenish them with healthy new cells. That's where moisturizer comes in. Think of it as the yin to facial exfoliants' yang.
Moisturizer is a must -- even for the oiliest skin types. Need convincing? If your facial cleansing regimen consisted of just washing and scrubbing your face, your complexion would be a red, raw, flaky mess. When you wash your face, you're essentially drawing moisture out of your skin. Your skin depends on that moisture to stay plump and hydrated. Applying a moisturizer guards against the loss of moisture in two ways: by sealing water into the skin before it evaporates, or by drawing it upward from the inner dermis to the top layer of skin [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. So before you apply that facial scrub or slough away at your dermis with a facial brush or washcloth, make sure you've got moisturizer on hand to (literally) seal the deal.
Related HowStuffworks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cosmeceutical Facts & Your Skin." (August 28, 2009). http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/general_cosmeceutical.html
- Granger, Kelly. "Spa & Salon Secrets for the Home." Chronogram. July 30, 2009. (August 15, 2009).http://www.chronogram.com/issue/2009/8/Beauty+and+Fashion+Supplement/Spa-and-Salon-Secrets-for-the-Home
- Hertzing, Alyssa Kolsky. "Summer Beauty Tips." Seattle Post Intelligencer. August 3, 2009. (August 15, 2009).http://www.seattlepi.com/health/408599_goodhouse337325.html
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Chemical Peel." (August 15, 2009).http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Patients_and_Consumers/Procedures/Cosmetic_Procedures/Chemical_Peel.html
When it comes to exfoliating your face, you need to proceed with caution. The skin on your face is sensitive! Try these tips for exfoliating your face