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IMG_0860Is dry, red, itchy winter skin preventing you from exfoliating? You may think that with these winter skin conditions you should hydrate only, but that’s only one part of the equation. Even in the winter time, you should be exfoliating!

In the winter the type of exfoliants you use can make all the difference on your skin. Your skin’s protective barrier must stay protected and can be in more jeopardy from harsh winter conditions. Thus, harsh chemical peels should be avoided. Rather, when getting a facial ask your esthetician about a gentle yet effective enzymatic peel for you skin. Enzymes work by digesting the dead skin build up on the surface of the skin without interrupting the protective layer.

At home, the type of exfoliant you use on your face will make a difference as well. If you are an AHA lover, look for exfoliators with less than 10% of a combination of alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid, citric acid, and malic acid. This will work to give your skin a gentle, gradual exfoliation, and won’t compromise your skin’s barrier. Another option is granular exfoliators. Oatmeal, almond meal, and rice bran wax are some examples of safe granular exfoliants that work to slough off dead winter skin. Opt for exfoliators containing these ingredients and avoid ones that contain plastic microbeads, pit fruit seeds, nut shells or jagged edged pieces, at all causes!  Plastic microbeads are not biodegradable and are bad for the environment, while nutshells and pit fruit seeds can be too abrasive on the skin and lead to tears and scratches, causing redness and sensitivity. Exfoliating your face and body twice a week (no more than this as you do not want to over exfoliate!) is going to help get rid of the flake (aka dead skin cell build up) on your skin and encourage proper cell turnover.  As we age, this is especially important. Slower turnover and excess dead skin cell build up is what causes dull, wrinkled and lackluster skin.

Of course, whether you’re exfoliating your face or body, you should be following up with a moisturizer! Especially after coming out of the shower, moisturizing from head to toe is a must – unless you want rough, scaly skin all-over. Moisturizing is going to help lock hydration into your skin, and have your skin smooth and supple for the winter time!

What are your go-to exfoliators in the winter time? Tell us in the comments below!

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