The key to taking care of your skin is balance.
Balancing stress is key. A balanced diet is too. And striking a balance between more intensive skin care methods and a more gentle approach is absolutely vital.
You could be using the most natural skincare possible, free of unnecessary chemicals, but if you’re doing it with a heavy hand or exfoliants that are too abrasive for you, you may still be setting the stage for skin problems.
If your skin is extremely sensitive, physical exfoliation (as in, with an electronic exfoliator, grainy lotion or “scrub”) can hurt more than help – especially when used on the face. The skin of the face is more sensitive to touch than the skin of your body, so facial physical exfoliation requires extra caution.
I know! It’s hard to touch, do, and cleanse less. But sometimes it’s necessary!
I talk about this in the Purely Primal Skincare Guide: while I recommend gentle exfoliation of a few different kinds, it’s important to recognize that it’s not for everyone. The skin responds to every touch by generating new cells, so if you’re exfoliating to RID yourself of “extra” skin cells and being too aggressive for YOUR skin’s unique needs, you may be causing the opposite effect from what you’re looking for!
I’m guilty of this: I used to think I was “gently” exfoliating with my homemade scrub. But I was really just making the sensitivity worse.
If your skin is easily irritated, red, or has a muddled texture, or immediately becomes inflamed even when gently pressed or scratched, you MUST exfoliate gently – if you exfoliate at all. Exfoliation, done improperly or too aggressively, can actually hurt more than help certain skin types.
Picture rubbing your face with steel wool. That’s how sensitive skin feels when it’s overly exfoliated!
That’s why, when people ask me if I like electronic exfoliators or brushes like the Clarisonic, I have to say it depends. They don’t work for everyone – because some people need a more gentle approach. It all depends on skin type. And only YOU can tell what type you have!
(Note: I never recommend “scrubs” made of apricot or almond hulls or shells. These jagged pieces can REALLY irritate your face!)
Many skin types require an incredibly gentle approach for a prolonged period of time to initiate healing. Again, if your skin is easily irritated, red, or has a muddled texture, or immediately becomes inflamed even when gently pressed or scratched, you MUST exfoliate gently – if you exfoliate at all.
Instead, using gentle oils, soothing toners (homemade or store-bought) and a thinly layered mask several times each week to your own skin tolerance should do the trick. To prevent the mask from drying out completely and having to rub too aggressively to remove, add a drop or two of jojoba oil to the mix.
Thanks for reading – here’s to calm, happy skin!
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