Redness, itching, tenderness, flaking, or peeling, also known as retinization, is enough to the most confident want to hide away for days. Skincare should never hurt, but anyone familiar with retinoids already knows that it can.
Desquamation, or the shedding of the outer most layer of skin (stratum corneum) is a natural body process. Occurring throughout the day and mostly undetectable, this cellular turnover makes way for newer cells and improved skin texture. The entire life-cycle takes 14 to 28 days and a vital process of healthy skin.
When desquamation advances too quickly, it can trigger an inflammatory response - think sunburn, rapid retinization, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, or aggressive peel. This is where a good thing goes very wrong.
Exfoliating fragile skin is tempting, but only extends the sloughing period or further inflames sensitive skin. Moisturizers ease tenderness, but do little more than plump the flakes. Forget any foundation, concealer, or BB creams, unless you want to accentuate any textural challenges. So, what’s the solution? Oil Exfoliation, a technique that gently removes the flakes while improving circulation using your favorite cleansing oil. Yes, it really is that simple.
- Apply 1 to 2 teaspoons of cleansing oil to dry, clean skin.
- Leave it on the skin for 1 to 3 minutes.
- Using dry hands and fingers, gently massage the flakiest areas using circular motions.
- Apply more cleansing oil for sufficient slip, if necessary – move the oil, not your skin.
- While flakes may ball up immediately, continue massaging for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once complete, rinse skin thoroughly with lukewarm water – avoid any abrasive cloth or aggressive rubbing.
- Before skin dries, liberally apply moisturizer. Niacinamide is a great choice as it helps to improve barrier function while reducing redness and inflammation.
- Immediately following moisturizer, press a few drops face oil to help protect your skin – no rubbing.
- Repeat daily or as tolerated.
- Don't forget mineral sunscreen. The zinc oxide will help to speed healing while protecting vulnerable skin from sun damage.
Whether experiencing retinization or post-procedure skin, oil exfoliation is a game changer – reducing flakes without additional inflammation. I wished that I had learned the secret years ago, but it has become part of my daily routine. Please feel free to share your comments or experience with oil exfoliation. As always, cheers to better skin.