Cleansing & exfoliating - why they're not the same
Don’t get us wrong – both are essential parts of every thorough skincare routine, but let’s establish one crucial rule before moving on: These wonderworkers can’t replace each other. Here’s why:
Your cleanser works on the outermost layers of skin, ridding the surface of build-up, oil, residue make-up, and skin-pollutants to leave your top skin fresh and clean. While one cleansing daily is sufficient for most skin types, oily and breakout-prone skin can benefit from incorporating this ritual in both their AM and PM routine – just make sure you're always using a non-stripping, gentle cleanser with natural ingredients and that you aren't over-cleansing.
Your exfoliator works deep within the skin layers to decongest clogged pores and cleanse the skin from within. Meanwhile, your exfoliator removes dead skin cells to reveal a healthy, radiant surface. This step should be applied to your routines 1-2 times a week, depending on your skin’s needs.
And before we dig into the what, when and why’s of exfoliation, remember: Every skin type is unique – meaning, there won’t be no one-fits-all answer, but there’re general rules to exfoliating that should be considered. But rule no 1#: Always listen to your skin and console a dermatologist if you experience any uncomfortable reactions.
Should sensitive skin be exfoliated?
Again, this is not a yes or no question, but let’s inspect it.
Though immensely effective, exfoliations can be one of the ‘rougher’ treatments for the skin – which is why it’s essential to take your skin type into account when choosing one.
If you have sensitive skin, our Skin Perfector SeboClear might be your perfect match. Formulated with the natural and active ingredient seboclear, this gentle leave-on exfoliator deeply cleanses the skin and decongests clogged pores to leave the skin smooth, even-toned, and balanced.
If you do however deal with severely and easily irritated skin, we advise that you implement an exfoliator slowly and steadily – and if your skin refuses to work with it, stick to a gentle but effective cleanser instead, like our Daily Foaming Cleanser with 100% natural cleansing actives.
Can I combat blemishes and impurities by exfoliating?
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to determine the cause of blemishes and impurities, which can make battling (and overcoming) them even harder. However, implementing an exfoliator to your routine is a great way to find out if your impurities are caused by your pores being clogged up.
If you’re generally dealing with oily and breakout-prone skin, we would recommend that you begin your search in exfoliators containing BHA, a.k.a salicylic acid: a fat-soluble ingredient that provides the skin with a deep peeling treatment to prevent and remove impurities before they get to develop on the skin.
And that’s exactly what our leave-on exfoliator Skin Perfector 2% BHA is composed to do. Formulated with cleansing BHA and lactic acid, this super-product effectively leaves the skin carefully rinsed and glowy.
Mostly, oily skin can tolerate being exfoliated up to 2-3 times a week, which can even be beneficial to this specific skin type, as it’ll help the skin stay clean inside out.
What's the difference between using an exfoliating scrub and mask?
Exfoliators come in various shapes, sizes, and types – so when should you reach for which one? Words to begin with: Most exfoliators do the same, just in different ways.
A facial scrub is a great initiative when you don’t have all the time in the world, as they’re most often rinsed off immediately, but still do an effective job at cleansing the skin. Simply scrub in circular movements to help the tiny grains remove dead skin cells and other debris, then rinse afterwards.
We love to use our Deep Cleansing Scrub in the shower to make sure our skin is perfectly damp before massaging the enriching ingredients in. While micrograins of volcanic rhyolite deep-cleanse the skin, Nordic oils and antioxidants leave the skin both nourished and protected.
Exfoliating masks, however, are to be left on for longer, giving the product more time to penetrate deep into the skin for a more intense treatment. Let’s present two of our favorites, categorized by the skin-goal they can help you reach:
Achieve pure and impurity-free skin
Containing both AHA’s and BHA’s, our Deep Cleansing Mask leaves the skin thoroughly cleansed and radiant while effectively minimizing the appearance of enlarged pores to leave an even-toned and glowy appearance. This one has a permanent spot in our beloved #SelfcareSundays.
Minimize premature signs of aging and dull skin
Composed with both lactic and glycolic acids, our Intense Peel Mask provides the skin with an effective peeling treatment to fight dullness, diminish premature signs of aging, and boost the skin’s cell renewal. The result is tightened and rejuvenated skin – what more could we honestly ask for?
Are there any other ways to exfoliate?
We weren’t kidding when we implied that the world of exfoliators seems endless. A washcloth can be an effective exfoliator – and can go from a gentle to an intense treatment, depending on the material. An exfoliating glove is also a great way to remove dull and dead skin to reveal a brighter and fresher layer. And the list goes on…
If you wish to explore more about the ingredients of woods_’ exfoliators, and how they can benefit your skin, the journey doesn’t have to end here, as our blogpost ACID TRIP: YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SKINCARE ACIDS dives into the powers of our beloved acids. And remember: The more you know, the better your chances are of making the right choice for your skin – first time around.
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