Exfoliation is a very crucial step that is often skipped, and it is the most neglected practice, but when actually brought to use, it is beneficial and helps maintain the good health of your skin. The most important question is, should I exfoliate before or after shaving? The answer to that is exfoliation helps when attempted before shaving, as compared to when done after. Facial skin is susceptible and therefore requires a mild exfoliating agent that should be done with light hands. It takes some extra effort for taking care of the facial skin and should be offered atleast some amount of time.
The right way to exfoliate
The skin on the face is soft and sensitive, and thus a bit of extra care must be taken when dealing with it. Firstly, some warm water should be splashed on the skin to open the pores and loosen the dry and dead skin cells of the face. Then take some exfoliating product on your hand and start applying it onto your face in gentle circular motions. It should be kept in mind that the face skin is too sensitive to tolerate loofah or any other scrubbing agent other than fingers which are gentle on the face; different products can cause tearing of the skin. Sometimes while using the exfoliator on sensitive skin, the face turns a bit red, but it is nothing to be afraid of as it is only the new cells that have appeared by the removal of the dead skin cells.
Why exfoliate before shaving
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and any dirt present on the skin, and thus makes the skin smooth and soft, which allows the razor to seamlessly glide over the skin without any skin texture. It also helps in unclogging the pores, removing the blackheads and whiteheads, which will allow a closer shave. An add-on benefit is the agitation of the facial hair which lifts them up from the skin rather than sticking flat on the cheeks which cause cuts. The exfoliating part removes the dirt and oil from the face which makes the shaving cream or any other shaving agent bind properly with the skin, which would have otherwise bound with the dirt if exfoliation were not done.
Exfoliation after shaving is not a very good idea because the skin has minor cuts and is very sensitive at the moment and chances of irritation increases in this situation. It can also cause redness because of the sensitivity factor. The face should be gently washed and pat dry after the shaving session instead of subjecting it to rigorous activity.
The routine does not merely end after shaving and washing the skin. The facial area should be essentially moisturized after shaving, to avoid any redness. The skin also becomes flaky and dry after exfoliating and shaving because all the essential oils have been ripped from the skin, and therefore, the skin should be hydrated and well prepped, before it can to secrete its oil again.