Do you know what happens if you skip dusting and cleaning for a few days? The dirt and dust accumulate. If you still don’t get rid of it, it might just start jamming your electronics and even leave you with an uncomfortable dust allergy.
Well, the same is the case with your skin. Although your skin gets rid of its dead cells every 30 days on its own by shedding them off, we’ve got to take charge of keeping it clean as well.
“Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells and excess sebum from the surface of your skin. This can be done with granular scrubs and natural ingredients like coffee, walnuts, and almonds. These days, chemical exfoliation using Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA) is a common form of exfoliation as well. Professional treatments include dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, body polishing, and chemical peels,” says Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder, ISAAC Luxe Skincare Clinic, Delhi.
Not to mention, exfoliation has several benefits such as brightening up your skin, making it healthier, allowing it to breathe, evening out your complexion and keeping signs of ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines at bay. It also allows for better penetration of your skincare products and thus, better nourishment of the skin.
Dr. Mittal recommends:
You can exfoliate your skin up to twice a week unless you are facing a chronic skin concern.
However, the only setback is that you need to avoid stepping out in the sun once you’ve gotten rid of those dead skin cells on your skin’s surface.
Have you ever considered that there could be a downside of getting rid of something as undesirable as dead skin cells? Perhaps, not.
Well, it is time to open your eyes to the fact that dead skin cells on the surface of your skin actually create a protective barrier on your skin.
Besides pulling in moisture from the surroundings, the dead skin cells also lock it into the skin to keep it hydrated. Additionally, it can even keep the harmful bacteria from entering the deeper layers of the skin and basically, just protect the more sensitive deeper layers from any harm that can lead to skin problems/infections.
However, the real danger is from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays that can lead to pigmentation and early appearance of signs of ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines.
“Exfoliation removes the ‘fine protective layer’ on the surface of your skin, which makes the skin more vulnerable, especially to the UV rays.”
How long should you wait before setting your foot out?
Depending on the exfoliation treatment you’ve undergone, you can decide the duration of avoiding the sun. For instance, if you’ve exfoliated using a mild DIY scrub, you could wait out the afternoon and step out on the very same evening when the sun’s gone, and step out wearing sunscreen the very next day as well.
However, if you’ve undergone a more severe treatment such as a chemical peel that almost removes the top layer of your skin, you might have to wait for 2 to 3 whole days to even a week before you can step out in the sun again.
What precautions should you be taking?
“After you exfoliate your skin, make sure you apply a calming moisturizer or cooling ingredients like aloe vera, rose water, and a hydrating, fragrance-free moisturizer. Finish with sunscreen and make sure that you have it on every time you step out in the day,” Dr. Mittal suggests.
Additionally, keep reapplying your sunscreen every 1 to 2 hours to make sure your skin is still protected. Most importantly, nourish your skin by following a suitable skincare routine to boost your skin’s health.
With just a little bit of care, you can ensure that your skin is taken care of after a good session of exfoliation.