Exfoliation helps to reveal smoother skin and the absence of the layer of dead skin ensures that your skincare will sink in better. With that said, there are different types of exfoliation, chemical and physical. Physical exfoliation is usually in form of scrubs with crushed nut shell, sugar/salt granules, or microbeads. Nut shells are hard and can scratch the skin and cause abrasion while sugar/salt scrubs usually melt too fast for my taste. Microbeads are usually preferred since they are gentle on the skin, but turns out they are actually bad for the environment. According to NYTimes:
The beads appear in the tens of millions in the Great Lakes, according to scientists’ estimates, with high concentrations along the New York shores of Lake Erie. They become coated with toxins like PCBs and can be eaten by fish and other marine life. Scientists suggest that those toxins could be working their way back up the food chain to humans.
The beads and other bits of tiny “microplastic” debris slip through wastewater treatment plants and have also been found in the Los Angeles River and in the Pacific Ocean. Antipollution activists argue that limiting the use of cosmetics, which can have hundreds of thousands of beads in a bottle, can help limit the environmental risk.
There’s more detail in that article, but basically look for polyethelene or nylon. Here’s a list, not comprehensive, of most scrubs that contains microbeads.
Fortunately, there are a couple others I like that aren’t on the list (Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion, Philosophy Microdelivery Dual Phase peel). Or you can always use a salt/sugar scrub (note: some of them do contain microbeads in addition to the salt/sugar), or go for chemical exfoliation (enzyme masks, peels etc), or something like Konjac sponges. I still have some of the microbead stuff left, but once I used those up, I will be purchasing the alternatives. For now, skincare journal…..
Skin condition: Cate Blanchett quality. And by that I meant I finally decided to use the one SK-II sheet mask I have. I love the way it feels on my skin, and it is calming and actually made the acne/whitehead bumps on my skin feel less noticeable. Anyways, skin is not too oily or dry, just it normal combination self. My face still is a bit red on days when I use retinol, but not as red as last week, so I guess it’s adjusting. There are still a bit of red marks from the acne month ago, guess it’s gonna take a while, but as long as there’s progress, it’s fine.
Products: Aside from SK-II mask, Clinique 7 day scrub cream and Origins Charcoal mask, the rest of the routine stayed the same. Oh, but since retinol can make the skin sensitive to sunlight, I started using an eye cream with SPF in the morning, too.
- Boscia Purifying cleanser
- Etude House Wonderpore toner
- PTR retinol PM serum
- Origins Plantscription eye cream
- Nude ProGenius oil
- Supergoop eye cream with SPF
- Origins Brighter by Nature moisturizer with SPF35
And I’ve also got samples of GlamGlow thirstymud and Fresh Black Tea to play with this week. =)
Other influences: I did tone down the spicy food a bit this week, normal semi-healthy stuff like oatmeal, apple pie, white rice and eggs and stuff. While work has picked up, the snow days thankfully granted me a couple extra hours of sleep in the morning so I’m good there. And I realize what an exercise noob I am this week. While the yoga I did previously are mostly just stretching really, I started doing some pilates video that are pretty tough on the arms and stomach. When I woke up the second day, my stomach hurts a bit and I freaked out. It feels like the precursor to menstrual cramps I have every month, but I just had it a couple weeks ago!?!? isn’t it too early? *panic*panic* but by the afternoon, my arms start hurting, too, and my arms never hurt that time of the month. Then it dawns on me, oh, my stomach is not hurting cuz of *that*, it’s hurting cuz I haven’t done any real exercise in FOREVER. *cough* false alarm. I guess the pilates videos are working, so I will be continuing them.