Exfoliation is a vital skincare step for an oily complexion. Not only does exfoliation keep skin looking young and fresh, but it also helps prevent spots and pimples. So just how often should you do it?
When it comes to skincare, exfoliation is king. The removal of dead skin cells makes a huge difference to the health and appearance of your complexion. If your skin has been lacklustre recently, it's likely you've not been exfoliating with the right products ... or at all.
Exfoliation is vital to maintaining the health of oily skin. Increased oiliness makes it harder for your skin to shed cells naturally.
Healthy skin has an average turnover rate of 25 to 30 days. That means every month, you have completely new skin!
Skin cells go through many phases, finally maturing and ending up in the top layers of your skin. Here, each cell gives up its internal fluids to form your skin barrier, leaving the cell as technically dead.
Scientists compare this layer of your skin to mortar and bricks. Dead skin cells are the bricks, and their expelled fluids make the mortar. This tightly packed structure locks hydration in and keeps nasties out.
When you have oily skin, dead cells don't flake off as quickly. This is because your skin is adding more mortar—in the form of sebum—into your skin cell wall. This is the reason oily skin can be prone to breakouts: when dead skin cells hang around too long, they end up blocking pores and feeding acne-causing bacteria.
However, over-exfoliation can be just as bad. Excessive exfoliation accelerates skin-cell turnover way past a healthy rate. This leaves skin feeling tight and sensitive while also leaving it vulnerable to dehydration and, worst-case scenario, infection.
How Often Should You Exfoliate an Oily Complexion?
While everyone's skin type is unique, the average oily skin type that isn't sensitive benefits from exfoliation 2 to 3 times a week. It's best to do this by using a specific chemical exfoliant: salicylic acid.
Although this ingredient is called an acid, it's not the kind that's going to burn your skin. Salicylic acid is a mild acid that gently speeds up your skin-cell turnover by dissolving the mortar that holds those bricks together.
This is actually much better than using a facial scrub, as exfoliating acids don't encourage you to over-scrub the skin. In fact, no scrubbing is required at all.
Many types of skincare acids are available, but salicylic acid (which is a beta-hydroxy acid) is oil-soluble, which makes it ideal for oily skin. Salicylic acid can penetrate oil-filled pores and scout out areas of dead skin that have the potential to cause a breakout. Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel is one of our favourite salicylic acid exfoliators.
It's also worthwhile to know that the maximum legal concentration of salicylic acid in a skincare product is 2%. While not every skincare company states how much of this ingredient they put into their products, this information should help to guide your product selection.
As always, if you need further advice concerning exfoliation or help selecting an appropriate product for your unique skin concerns, then don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9486 7179.