5 min read

Search for exfoliation and you will probably end up with search results of some high selling exfoliating brushes.

You probably remember Clarisonic, they were the first to release a sonic vibration brush in 2004, but the boom didn’t hit for a few years and later they were all the hype around 2010.Shortly after, the brushes became a beauty-world staple, featured in nearly every women's magazine you can think of and selling more than 15 million brushes. Neutrogena, Conair and Olay all got in on the game with proprietary versions at price tags as much as 75 percent cheaper than the original Clarisonic, and home-shopping mega-brand Proactiv came out with one to accompany their celeb-favorite acne regimen. Most of the brands followed the same model of replacing the removable heads every three months (which, let's be honest, few people probably actually remember to do) or offered removable fittings to switch usage between facial skin and body skin.

So many good things are said about these exfoliating spin brushes, how they work, how they remove dead skin cells etc. Reviews on them praise their magic everywhere on the internet. Reading them you would feel as if you are doing an injustice to your skin if you don’t buy a spin brush. One day you give in and you spend your hard earned money to take home one of the bestselling spin brushes for exfoliating your skin. You start using it each day or frequently, and expect some kind of magic to happen and for your skin to get supple, fresh, clearer, fairer and problem-free, right? But, it doesn’t happen.

The skin gets lifeless, drier, and your acne breakouts get crazy making you feel confused about what went wrong. Actually the problem is not in the brush, but your understanding of how it works, how often to use it, and exactly how you should look at the process of exfoliation. If you do not understand how often to exfoliate, and use the wrong methods, then you will be nowhere close to your desirable skin results. So keep reading to learn about the right exfoliation method, the potential problems with spin brush exfoliation, and how you can balance it.

What is exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the process of removal of dead skin cells from the top most or superficial layer of the skin. This is done by physical or chemical exfoliation which will slough off the dead skin cells.

The benefit of exfoliation is that, dull dead skin cells which are heavily pigmented get removed to expose fresh and healthy new skin cells, which are brighter. This is what improves the appearance of the skin and reveals a new set of skin cells. After exfoliating your skin you must wait for a minimum of 2 days (for light exfoliation methods), and for more aggressive exfoliation methods you could be waiting for up to 10-21 days to repeat another procedure of exfoliating. This gives the skin the time to generate new skin cells and push them to the top most layer. Waiting ensures that when you exfoliate next time you have ample dead skin cells accumulated again on the top layer to loosen and slough off and you won’t be over exfoliating your skin which can do more damage than good. Exfoliating can be a tricky game, but could damage your skin if you leave it up to guessing!

What is the role of a spin brush in exfoliating skin?

A spin brush is circular in shape, and contains bristles which physically loosen and remove dead skin cells from the surface by bringing on enough pressure from their spinning effect. The spin brushes operate on a motor. Most times the speeds are adjustable in two to four modes depending on the product. The spinning bristles move very fast on the skin to loosen the dead skin cells and “clean” the skin. This process is an entirely physical process of exfoliation, where pressure is exerted on the skin to rub it and loosen dead cells by pressure which may not always be the best thing for your specific skin type.

Problems with a spin brush use?

When you are exerting force on skin, however nominal the force is, it is a purely physical process of rubbing and rinsing. Therefore the process is definitely not a gentle one for your skin no matter how many ads of spin brushes look convincing to you. They have to sell a product, and they certainly will not clearly reveal the potential harsh effects (besides a tiny disclaimer) on the skin with everyday use, or else the brushes won’t sell. But it’s your job to look after your skin and educate yourself! No doubt you felt the skin clearer after the exfoliation. But if you’ve been experiencing dryness and a sudden acne outbreak you could be over exfoliating and causing more harm than good to your skin.

Most people, in an excitement of using the newly bought cleansing brush, tend to overuse it. Most times the use for someone is everyday to remove makeup or “feel clean.” A lot of the time the brush is being used before, after or during the time chemical exfoliants are applied, these exfoliants could be in your face wash, serums, or even moisturizer. As a result, new cells from the underlying layer take position on the top layer of your skin, and over exfoliation is carried on over the new skin cells which damages delicate and new skin cells before they mature and get firm. Oil glands on the skin also get damaged with such intense and frequent rubbing. The skin will get dry. Dry skin can result in bacterial invasion which also increases as the immunity of the overly exfoliated skin fails, and acne starts to break out.

How to balance physical exfoliation with chemical exfoliation?

Exfoliation is a scientifically proven successful process to keep skin young, healthy, bright and glowing, only when you practice it the right way. And the right way demands a balance in process by adding chemical exfoliation to your regimen too. Chemical exfoliation of your skin by using a face mask or serum containing AHA’s or BHA’s is a much gentler and caring way to exfoliate. The chemicals in the exfoliating mask loosen the dead skin cells without affecting the healthy cells of the skin. And when you rinse it off after keeping it on for the suggested amount of time, your skin gets that bright and clean look.

Let us leave you with this...

Basically running a motorized spin brush on skineveryday can be similar to physical torture on the skin, which must be avoided. If you are using a spin brush everyday, take a step back and balance it by alternating between physical and chemical exfoliation.

The next time you decide to exfoliate, carefully examine your full skin care regimen, choose a chemical exfoliation mask, serum or cream. Using chemical exfoliating will give you impressive results when you maintain the gap to allow healthy skin cells to push up to the surface. Don’t use your spin brush everyday, try for 2-3 times per week and test out what works better for your skin!

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