How To Exfoliate Your Face
As written for AskMen: Aging is inevitable, and as a result, it takes a toll on our skin. One effective way to help the facial skin renew itself it is through exfoliation. The shedding process of scrubbing off dead skin cells reveals and exposes fresher, more youthful skin. The process keeps the skin clean as too many dead skin cells can clog pores and cause acne, ingrown hairs and wrinkles.
Exfoliation is important for clear skin, but also for a smooth shave, says Alex Grogan, the co-founder of ManCave. “By scrubbing off dead skin, you not only unclog pores and brighten the complexion, you are also exposing hair follicles, allowing for a closer shave and eliminating ingrown hairs.”
How To Exfoliate:
Before exfoliating, Grogan says to first splash some water on the face so the skin can better absorb the product you’re applying. “Do not exfoliate skin dry; it’s too rough and will ultimately irritate the skin. Warm water also opens up the pores, so you can get a good, deep clean.”
Also, go easy on yourself while scrubbing. Men sometimes think that the rougher and tougher the scrub, the better says Madison Ruggieri, the co-founder and Editorial Director of The Motley (the LA-based e-commerce of unique grooming brands and their own original label of products). “This is definitely not true.” She adds that men should want a face scrub that does the job but also doesn’t tear up the skin. “Exfoliating shouldn’t be painful. So remember to go easy on your face and use light pressure while scrubbing.”
While applying an exfoliator onto wet skin, massage it on your face, neck and beard areas in small circular motions, suggests Grogan, then rinse with warm water. A face scrub unclogs pores and raises hairs, allowing your razor a clear passage. For best results use twice weekly, he adds. “You don’t want to overdo it — but stick to a regimen where you’re regularly renewing the skin and you’ll see less blackheads and ingrown hairs over time.”
“Men should use a scrub two to three times a week as part of their normal grooming routine,” Ruggieri adds. “We recommend exfoliating before shaving to reduce ingrown hairs and get a smoother shave. If you shave every day, consider blending your own exfoliating cocktail with scrub and cleanser mixed. We like mixing the Port Products Skin Renewing Face Scrub with Urth Skin Solutions for Men Face Wash.” After exfoliating, be sure to use a moisturizer to lock in hydration and nutrients to the skin, she adds.
For a few extra things to keep in mind when planning to exfoliate, Nate Nagy, Editor at Birchbox Man, says, “If you’re using a daily cleanser (and you should), don’t double up, but use the exfoliator in place of the face wash.” He adds that in most cases, a nickel-sized amount of product will do, and he recommends exfoliating once a week to start, and then building up to two to three weekly cleanses over time to see how your skin reacts. Also, he says if your skin is especially sensitive, a physical exfoliator (one that uses beads, pumice, or crushed seeds/shells) might be too rough for your skin to begin with. “Instead, try a chemical exfoliator that uses glycolic acid or papaya enzymes to break down the bonds between cells, sloughing away dead skin without the use of force.”
As originally written for AskMen by yours truly.