Most dermatologists advice against harshly exfoliating acne prone skin. Contrary to popular belief, exfoliation can be harmful, since it aids the spread of acne-causing bacteria. Find out what you can do to exfoliate acne prone sensitive skin.
On acne prone skins, cells die off faster and when they're not removed, they can lead to more blemishes and whiteheads. The problem can't be solved with most exfoliating products, since they can be too harsh and scrubbing actually hurts acne prone skin.
In order to exfoliate acne prone skin, you should avoid physical exfoliants and opt for the chemical ones. If you absolutely must use a scrub, either let your dermatologist choose one or make yourself a gentle one at home.
How to Exfoliate Acne Prone Skin Naturally
All homemade scrubs include an exfoliating agent, from salt and sugar to coffee grounds or oatmeal. Keep away from scrubs with salt, sugar or other rough crystals, like baking soda. Ground oatmeal is the softest option and the best for acne prone skin.
An oatmeal scrub can be soothing when the ground oatmeal is mixed with water. You can also add ground aspirin to the mix, since salicylic acid also helps fight acne. Don't mix the oatmeal with oils which may be comedogenic and clog your pores, especially when you want to exfoliate oily acne prone skin. Honey is a good option, but sticking to water and aspirin may be the best choice if you don't want to take any risks.
Apply the mixture on your face very gently, in circular motions and let it sit for 10 minutes. Clean your face with lukewarm water and pat it dry with a soft towel to get the best benefits of this natural exfoliating solution.
Best Products to Exfoliate Acne Prone Sensitive Skin
The chemical option is the right choice when you want to exfoliate oily acne prone skin. AHAs and BHAs are the chemical exfoliants which work best for acne prone skin. Try to avoid classic scrubs and opt for special products like the Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel and the Murad Acne Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel. Mixing salicylic acid with other AHAs and retinol, like the Murad gel does, is the right way to exfoliate acne prone skin.
Other chemical exfoliants include chemical peels, but they should not be used without the consent of your dermatologist in order to prevent damage to acne prone skin or even encourage the spreading of acne.