Cleansing vs. Exfoliating: What’s the Difference?
When you’re reading up on how to improve your skin, you’ll come across a bunch of new terms. A lot of them may seem interchangeable, but to get the brightest, healthiest skin possible, it’s critical to learn the difference.
That’s why you need to learn the pros and cons of cleansing versus exfoliating. They each accomplish something different, and ideally, you’ll incorporate them both into your skincare regimen.
What is Cleansing?
The most basic aspect of any skincare routine is cleansing. This is the process of removing dirt and debris from your skin. It removes impurities and dust so that your pores are clearer.
It’s paramount to clean your skin frequently, even if you don’t think it needs it. Your skin may look fine, but particles can agitate your pores without your knowing, resulting in a myriad of skin issues.
Benefits of Cleansing
The most obvious benefit of regularly cleansing your skin is that it looks and feels so much better. Your skin comes across as clearer, smoother, and more youthful-looking.
It also sweeps away dead skin cells, preventing them from getting caught in your pores by sebum. This is how acne forms, so regular cleansing lowers your risk of a breakout.
Rubbing on a high-quality cleanser or facewash also stimulates blood flow to the face, resulting in glowing pores.
What is Exfoliating?
Meanwhile, exfoliating specifically targets dead skin cells. It’s the process of removing such cells off the surface of your skin to showcase a healthier, younger inner skin layer.
Your skin naturally removes skin cells from the surface once every 30 days or so. However, you want to exfoliate a lot more often than that in order to take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer.
Benefits of Exfoliating
Exfoliating can enhance your skin’s appearance in multiple ways. First, it leaves your skin looking brighter and improves the effectiveness of other topical skincare products that should be part of your regimen.
The removal of dead skin cells lowers your risk of acne. And it can even increase collagen production, which is essential for having glowing, vibrant skin.
What is the Difference Between Cleansing and Exfoliating
The primary difference between the two is the goals. Exfoliation is generally the set-up to cleansing. You want to start with a fresh canvas, which entails removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
From there, you add in a high-quality cleanser, which should only contain the best, most natural ingredients, to provide your skin with greater nourishment.
Which Should You Use First?
Honestly, it doesn’t truly matter which one you do first. If you’re doing both in your regimen, then you’re fine. But it’s worth going over what generally happens depending on the order so that you can stay informed.
Cleanser Before Exfoliate
Many people suggest using the cleanser first so that you do away with more of the debris. Cleansers better target dirt and debris so that your skin is primed for the exfoliation.
However, you should be aware that cleansing can be aggressive, and as a result, the exfoliation may feel too intense for some.
Exfoliate Before Cleanser
Some people prefer exfoliating before cleansing. This removes dead skin cells so that the cleanser can focus on other impurities.
Additionally, it can get down deeper into the pores so that it does a better job of cleaning the skin. You’ll want to follow up regardless with a moisturizer and potentially an eye serum.
In the event your skin still feels dry after a moisturizer, speak to your dermatologist about other products you may need to implement.
“How to safely exfoliate at home.” www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/exfoliation
“Face Washing 101.” https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/face-washing-101