Q: EXACTLY HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO EXFOLIATE?
A: It’s easy to get confused by all the conflicting advice: Should I do it once a day? Or once a week? While the most common derma recommendation is to limit it to once or twice weekly, you can actually up the frequency as long as you take into consideration the type of exfoliator you’re using. Kaycee Reyes M.D., dermatologist at Luminisce Skin and Laser Clinic, Bonifacio Global City, says, “It’s okay to undergo mild exfoliation once a day instead of harsh exfoliation once a week. The key is to train your skin by exfoliating every other day, and then you can work up from there.” Worth knowing: Mild exfoliators include cleansers or topical treatments with a modest amount of alpha or beta-hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid), while grainy scrubs, hand-held brushes, and chemical exfoliants with high concentrations of acids (like glycolic acid) are considered stronger exfoliators, and are best used sparingly.
Knowing your skin type is also crucial. “If you have sensitive skin or have an inflammatory condition like acne, it’s better to limit exfoliation to once a week,” says Dr. Reyes. For those with normal to oily skin, exfoliating on the regular—say, every other day—is fine. Just watch out for signs of irritation or dryness, which may indicate that you’re overdoing it. On the flip side, if skin is looking rough and dull, it’s a sign that you need to exfoliate more.
In caseyou didn’t know: Exfoliators aren’t limited to scrubs.treatments or pads with acids, like glycolic acid, count as exfoliators, too.