Winter- Best Time to Exfoliate (& How You Do It Matters)

Exfoliation is essential in any good skincare routine, and winter is an ideal time to do a little deeper exfoliation as the sun is not as strong. Exfoliation helps to slough off dead skin cells that can clog up the pores and contribute to pesky breakouts and dull, flaky skin.

While exfoliation should always be simple, it can seem a little complicated when you’re faced with all the endless options out there. That’s why we have broken it down for you, to help you make the best decision based on your skin type so you can say bye-bye to dull skin and hello to healthy, glowing skin!

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Mechanical Exfoliation

Mechanical is the most common type of exfoliation and involves physically sloughing off dead skin cells. Unfortunately, most mechanical exfoliants often contain harsh abrasives (think: jagged, sharp-edged salt, sugar, nut kernels, etc.) that scratch the skin, creating small, microscopic tears in the skin. Not only is this just plain wrong, it causes inflammation (watch out for post-inflammatory pigmentation) and can create area of infection.

We highly recommend treating your skin with a gentle mechanical exfoliant like Clay. Clay has a rounded edge like a golf ball and provides a gentle mechanical exfoliation (think: how a snowball rolls to gather up more snow) instead of scraping the skin. Do try our CTRL: Soothing Triple Clay Mask at least 3 times a week to control excess oil, gently exfoliate, and provide the perfect dose of hydration, leaving your skin silky soft.

Chemical Exfoliation

Don’t let the name scare you off! Chemical exfoliants aren’t unnatural, but rather rely on natural chemical acids from fruit enzymes such as papaya or pineapple to work at a deeper level to stimulate cellular turnover, clearing out the pores and leaving skin radiant. There are two types of chemical exfoliants: namely AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids).

AHAs are better suited for dry skin, as they help to break down the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. Sounds crazy, but the end result of baby soft skin is well worth it! AHAs are also water soluble, meaning they can’t penetrate too deep into the pores.

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BHAs, on the other hand, are ideal for oilier skin types, as they are oil soluble and can sink deep down into the pores to clean them out and remove old cell build-up. They also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, which is exactly what you want to hear when dealing with sore, inflamed skin prone to breakouts!

The beauty of fruit acids as exfoliants is that they gently remove the dead cells, lift off unwanted sebum, and also help to brighten the skin. They can be used every night as a toner or exfoliant and even layered to do a mini “peel” type of exfoliation. This is ideal in the winter months. Always use sunscreen during the day when using a product that contains fruit acid. 

Try our Clear: Toner and Spot Treatment, which includes all natural BHA from Willow Bark. This spot treatment will help to clear up breakouts fast, without irritating or over-drying your skin.

We hope this helps to clear things up for you, pun intended!

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