How to get a smooth, radiant and glowing skin at any age
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What are the benefits of exfoliating?
Exfoliating helps refine the surface of the skin by removing dry and dead skin cells. It helps unclog pores, boosts facial circulation and helps stimulate collagen to help firm the skin and keep it flexible. It also helps any product you put on afterwards penetrate better.
Should I exfoliate or cleanse first?
Definitely cleanse! If you exfoliate without cleaning off your makeup you are just pushing makeup into your pores. Even if you don't wear makeup you still have grease and dirt on your skin from the day along with dead skin cells. You should thoroughly cleanse the face before exfoliating.
How often should I exfoliate?
If you are using a scrub exfoliator, then about once or twice a week, but ensure you are using a gentle scrub with even shaped particles that won't scratch the skin. A chemical peel exfoliator should only be used occasionally (depending on strength) but the more gentle types of exfoliator such as sponges and cloths can be used more frequently if your skin does not react by getting irritated or dry.
What age groups should exfoliate?
It is good to start a skin care regime including exfoliation in your teens. At this age it will help with oily skin and remove the dead cells that can cause spots and acne. There is no upper age limit to exfoliating as long as you are using the right products for your skin. As you get older, the skin cell turnover slows down so exfoliating is key to helping you keep radiant, smooth and glowing skin.
I see the benefits of exfoliation on my skin but having sensitive skin I use products that have even shaped particles in them and make sure that I don't rub too hard. If you have extra sensitive skin you can try putting your exfoliating product on top of a cream cleanser after you have previously thoroughly cleansed your skin.
I am always on the look out for new and natural products and recently spotted a konjac sponge by Beauty Kitchen.
How do you use a konjac sponge?
I have been trialling the Abyssinian Oil Facial Cleansing Konjac Sponge from Beauty Kitchen. One of the things I love about it is that it is extremely eco friendly. It's 100% natural, being made from edible vegetable roots and is infused with rose. Once you have opened it the packet can be composted which is a nice touch. When you have finished with it both the string and the sponge are also compostable, or you can use the sponge as a water reservoir for houseplants (although I haven't tried this yet).
The sponge arrives very hard as it has been freeze dried and not had any preservatives used on it which is a bonus. You just rinse the sponge in warm water until it goes soft (almost instantly) and it's ready to use with your cleanser (never use it dry). I use it with a cream cleanser and slowly massage my face, applying just a little pressure, in a circular motion. I have very sensitive skin but this sponge is extremely soft and gentle yet still manages to exfoliate my skin to leave it feeling soft and smooth without being dry or irritated. (That's a big thing for my skin!). When you have finished with it you just rinse it in warm water and hang it up by the handy string to dry until next time, and it should last about two to three months.
What do you do after exfoliation?
Moisturise! Rinse your face with warm water and pat (don't rub) your face dry with a soft towel. You need to apply your moisturiser whilst the skin is still damp to lock the water in. If you exfoliate at night the product you use on your face will get chance to work better. If you exfoliate in the morning then you will find that this sponge gives you a gorgeously smooth surface for makeup. I alternate when I use it depending on what I am doing, but I use it daily and am getting great results with it.
At night I often use Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil after exfoliating (see The Happy Sage review on Cell Repair Night Oil HERE). You can wake up with soft plumped skin after exfoliating and using this fabulous face oil at night.
One word of caution, if you exfoliate on a regular basis make sure you wear a moisturiser or foundation with SPF in it to protect your skin against the sun.
I am really pleased with this sponge, not only does it hit my eco and green requirements, it only costs £7 which I think is an absolute bargain.
You might also be interested in the Baie Botanique dual action facial cleansing cloth, one side a soft terry-like material made from bamboo and the other a cotton muslin for exfoliating. You can read my review of it HERE.
If you fancy giving this exfoliating sponge a go, you can buy it HERE.
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