How to Exfoliate Intelligently

A couple weeks ago I wrote a Tip on the truth about exfoliation. Here are some things to help you exfoliate intelligently. There isn’t a “formula” because we all have different skin types, we live in different climates and we engage in different sports and activities.
  • Daily mechanical exfoliation like scrubs, peels (even home ones), and microdermabrasions are TOO much, unless you have super oily, super thick, super clogged skin. Even then it might be too much irritation.
  • Daily exfoliation with cream can be okay if you let your skin adjust to it over several weeks, and moisturize as much as you need to. Keep your skin in moisture balance –  not oily and not too dry. Here’s a gentle exfoliating polishing scrub that’s creamy that I recommend using twice a week. I tested it among many other scrubs and found it to be the best for my patients and myself.
  • You need to adjust cream exfoliants to your weather. Use LESS or stop temporarily (like a sunny vacation)  if you’re out in the sun more.  Increase your sunscreens at the same time.
  • Watch your skin carefully for signs of irritation. These will NOT always be obvious. Your skin may just seem dry and dull, it could be a little flakey, it could be a little red, it could be a little itchy.  Learn what your skin does when you’re overdoing it so you can adjust.
Dr. Irwin
Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
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