Can Exfoliators Improve Your Acne?
Learn how exfoliators can work to help prevent acne
To win the war against acne, you have to attack it on many fronts. One new weapon you might want to add to your arsenal is exfoliators. Learn the difference between exfoliates and how to choose the right one to help prevent future breakouts.
Exfoliators for Acne
Exfoliators work to help improve the condition of your skin. Using exfoliators can remove dead skin cells and remove excess oil giving your fresher, brighter skin that is less likely to break out. Choosing the right exfoliator can help clear up your skin. Choosing the wrong exfoliator can make your complexion worse.
There are two main types of exfoliators - physical and chemical. You're probably most familiar with physical exfoliators. These exfoliators are washes and scrubs that have grains of some type in them that that rubs off dead skin cells.
These are inexpensive and easy to find but cause some problems for acne-prone skin. If you have problems with acne, your skin is probably too sensitive for this type of exfoliator and it may cause redness, dryness, irritation and burning.
Chemical exfoliators are the second type of exfoliators. These different strength acids loosen the bond between the dead and live skin for easy removal without injuring the skin.
There are several different types of acids used for exfoliation. The weakest is Vitamin C. It is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, which makes it good for rosacea and other sensitive skin types.
Salicylic acid, the same acid used to make aspirin, and glycolic acids are the next strongest. Glycolic acid is made from fruit acid and is the next strongest. The strongest exfoliate are the Vitamin A acids. These require a prescription.
The strongest exfoliant is Trichloracetic acid or TCA and is actually a chemical peel. This is applied by certified dermatologists. TCA works deeper than the others and kills the bacteria that lie underneath the surface of the skin.
If you're interested in exfoliating your skin without the expense of more acne products or a trip to the dermatologist, make natural exfoliants at home. An easy exfoliant to make is to grate enough apple to make one cup. To the grated apple, add five tablespoons of honey.
Apply the exfoliant to the areas affected by acne and leave for ten to fifteen minutes. Gently wash with cold water.
If you're interested in trying over the counter exfoliators, you can buy them at any drug or department store. You can buy glycolic exfoliators online but you must get a prescription for Vitamin A and TCA peels. It's best to start with the weakest exfoliators and gradually work your way up in strength. This way, you can find the best strength to treat your acne without causing more irritation to your skin.