Gentle, effective way to lighten blemishes and brighten your skin.
Can you believe it’s almost February? Where did January go?? Well, we are wrapping up the January posts on New Beginnings where beauty is concerned. In February I’ll share some ideas and thoughts on Loving Yourself Inside and Out. But we’re not there yet! Let’s talk about the easiest way you can brighten your skin while revealing a fresh new layer.
The Benefit of Exfoliating
Being a woman of color, having a little natural protection from the sun may be great but it doesn’t help when it comes to getting hyper-pigmentation – aka those dark spots caused by overexposure to the sun and picking pimples (Raise your hand if you’re guilty of either. I am).
Notoriously guilty of picking at my face, I know it’s wrong. I know it but I do it anyway. It’s like I just can’t leave a pimple sitting there on my freakin’ jawline! It annoys me to no end. Therefore, what do I do? I find myself pushing at it and squeezing at it. I don’t use my nails though because, after all I’m trying to prevent a nasty blemish.
Wouldn’t you know it. You can still get a blemish from picking at a pimple even when you don’t use your nails. I can’t win!!
You’ll notice that blemishes will fade some naturally, but it takes FOR-E-VER! So what can we do to brighten it all up a little faster while also revealing a fresh layer of skin? You guessed it. Exfoliate. (because, of course the subtitle isn’t that transparent ha ha!)
Exfoliation is the best way to brighten your face and reveal a fresh new layer of skin. It’s the process of removing old, dead skin cells that seem to want to hang onto your face for dear life. Those little bastards – I mean skin cells. They’ve got to go. When you notice your skin blemished or looking dull and lifeless, try exfoliating.
How to Exfoliate
The most common way to exfoliate is to use a gentle facial scrub – one that won’t scratch up and destroy the new skin. “Gentle” is the operative word here. I’ve tried some scrubs that were so rough, I felt like I was running a cheese grater across my face. No bueno!
For gentle exfoliation, look for a product with microfine particles. I really like MyChelle’s Fruit Enzyme Scrub. You can also make your own facial scrub with a little olive oil and finely grained sugar. (Google “home recipe for exfoliation.” There are tons out there).
Whatever product you choose to exfoliate with, I wouldn’t recommend just rubbing it onto dry or dirty skin. When I exfoliate I like to:
- Wash my face with a sulfate free cleanser
- Rinse thoroughly
- Allow my skin to air dry 85% of the way (don’t ask where I got that percentage. It just sounded good. You get the picture.)
- Apply dots of my exfoliating product to my chin, cheeks and forehead
- Work in circular motions, avoiding the eye area.
The results of a good exfoliating session is brighter, smoother skin (as noted in the pics at the top of this post). Blemishes will also appear lighter and with persistence, can disappear altogether. If you want to kick it into high gear, add a natural Vitamin A serum to your skin care regimen. It can be applied right after you exfoliate. Vitamin A helps refine your skin. It’s an antioxidant that improves the texture of rough skin. My Vitamin A serum of choice is also from MyChelle.
I prefer exfoliating over the use of blemish fading products. Most of these products contain a chemical called “hydroquinone.” This chemical has been found in studies to act as a carcinogen in lab rats. Carci…who? AKA, it can cause cancer. Hey, if it’s no good for the rats, I’m certainly not using it! (Read more about hydroquine here.)
Do you regularly exfoliate (at least weekly)?