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Anyone who knows anything about skincare knows that exfoliating is an essential part of any skincare routine. It can eliminate a rough skin texture, help even the skin’s tone, improve clarity, and also reduce the risk of clogged pores and breakouts. As crucial as exfoliating is, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there for the people who need it most: people with acne prone skin. If you’ve been searching high and low for information on exfoliating acne prone skin, your search ends here.
Exfoliation involves removing the topmost layer of skin to reveal the softer, smoother, brighter cells underneath. There are two types of exfoliation, physical—which involves manually scrubbing away dead cells—and chemical—which involves dissolving dead cells with a skin care acid—to choose from and there’s been much debate over which one is better. That answer won’t be the same for everyone, and will largely depend on your skin type and tolerance levels. Whether physical or chemical, choosing an exfoliator is not a decision you want to make in haste. Above all else, consider your skin type to ensure you don’t cause unnecessary damage or irritation with your exfoliation routine.
Can You Exfoliate on Acne-Prone Skin?
The answer is yes, you can exfoliate on acne-prone skin. In fact, regular exfoliation on acne-prone skin can help reduce the likelihood of breakouts! But wait, there’s a catch. You want to make sure you follow the proper exfoliation routine for acne-prone skin, especially if you are dealing with an active breakout.
How to Exfoliate Acne Prone Skin
If you’re looking to exfoliate on acne-prone skin, follow these tips to help ensure the best results.
Tip 1: Be Gentle
The key to successful exfoliation, regardless of your skin type, is being gentle. Many exfoliators already have chemical exfoliants, tiny beads, or sonic technology that already does the action for you. Scrubbing rigorously or forcefully won’t help you achieve better results; in fact, it could set your progress back tremendously. If you are exfoliating with the Clarisonic Sonic Exfoliator, let the exfoliating brush glide over your facial contours with ease. Don’t add any extra pressure. If you have an acne breakout that is sensitive to the touch, it is okay to skip that sensitive area. Once the inflammation has calmed, exfoliate the area to help boost cell turnover.
Tip 2: Read Your Labels
Chemical exfoliants can sometimes be harsh on the skin and if you’re already using acne-fighting products with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide in them, applying more chemicals to your face may wreak havoc on your skin. If you decide to use a chemical exfoliant, be sure to read the ingredients to ensure they won’t adversely react to the products you are already using on your face.
Tip 3: Choose Your Exfoliation Tool Wisely
Instead of using a harsh scrub which can aggravate acne, exfoliate your acne-prone skin with the Sonic Exfoliator, our gentle exfoliating brush. It can act as a 60-second scrub replacement to help you achieve soft, smooth, and radiant-looking skin without damage. Pair it with our glycolic acid peel cleanser, Skin Renewing Peel Treatment, for results comparable to a professional glycolic acid peel, including decongested pores, improved skin clarity, polished skin, a boost in cell turnover, and better absorption of subsequent skin care products. It’s gentle enough for all skin types to use, including sensitive and acne-prone!
Tip 4: Don’t Overdo It
How often one should exfoliate is an ongoing debate amongst industry professionals. Some experts agree that once per week is sufficient for most skin types, while others recommend a more frequent routine of 2-3 times per week. Follow an exfoliation routine that works with your skin’s tolerance levels to avoid over-exfoliation, which manifests as uncomfortable, dry, and irritated skin.
Tip 5: Moisturize Afterwards
All skin types must moisturize after exfoliating. As long as you don’t over-exfoliate, exfoliating shouldn’t make your face feel dry. But because you must wash your face before exfoliating, you should always complete your skincare routine with a moisturizer. For acne-prone skin, we recommend a lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic face cream to reintroduce any lost moisture. Bonus points if it’s formulated with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to target existing blemishes.