Exfoliation. You've been doing it since the days of St Ives Apricot Scrub, because it's just one of those skin things you know you're supposed to do... but are you doing it right?
You might not be, you know. It's kinda tricky.
So we thought we'd conduct a cute lesson on all the mistakes you're probably making when you're exfoliating.
Watch: Before we reveal all our juicy secrets, check out another easy way you can improve your skin. Post continues below.
Before we get into it, it's probably worth a quick refresher on what exfoliating actually is, no?
By way of introduction (in case you never properly met), exfoliating is a step in your skincare routine that involves sloughing off old skin with either a physical or chemical exfoliator.
Or, as *actual* dermatologist Dr Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists puts it, "Exfoliation will remove dead skin cells and also stimulate increased skin renewal, revealing more luminous skin."
Sounds much better when she says it, tbh.
"Exfoliation can be done physically, with a buffing mechanism, or by using a keratolytic - a skincare ingredient which breaks down the bonds between dead cells. This process, using keratolytics such as alpha-hydroxy acids, is known as chemical exfoliation," adds McDonald.
"Those with blocked pores and congestion, or those with older, dull and sluggish skin will see most benefit."
Now we're not trying to over-complicated things, but exfoliation is a little more than scrubbing your face and calling it a day.
For people of certain skin types, it can make or break their skin health - so you're going to want to make sure you're doing it right.
That's why it's important to understand not only what type of exfoliation is best suited to your skin type, but also the best way to incorporate it into your skincare routine.
Here are some common mistakes Dr McDonald said you might do when you exfoliate.
1. You're scrubbing too hard.
Your skin. She's delicate.
While it may feel like you're doing your skin a solid by scrubbing the absolute s**t out of it, a gentle approach is best. Especially for those with younger skin (damn you, apricot scrub!).
"Young, healthy skin needs only gentle exfoliation to improve skin texture," said Dr McDonald.
If you're going in too hard, you'll not only end up irritating the hell out of your skin, but you'll make conditions like acne, rosacea or sensitive skin a hundred times worse. Sad face.