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Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Spring Exfoliation Routine

Bioelements Quick Refiner & Dry Brush
Over the past few months, I've shared my self-tanning routine going into spring and summer. But there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to prep for a faux glow, and I would argue that it's almost as important as the tanning itself. That's right, I'm talking about exfoliation!

For those of you who might not know, I am an intern for Bioelements. In my time working there, I've become familiar with more means of exfoliation (among many other skincare processes) than I ever knew existed. As a result, I've come up with what seems to be an ideal exfoliation combo and schedule to help maintain a streak-free, evenly wearing faux tan. On a related note, working for a skin care company has also driven home the importance of getting your tan from a can/bottle and NOT from the sun or a tanning bed, but I digress.

Let's start with the face. My go-to facial exfoliant is Quick Refiner - a leave-on gel that uses a combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) to chemically exfoliate. Because AHAs can make skin more sensitive to sunlight, I like to apply it at night so I can avoid sunlight directly after application. Coincidentally, I also prefer to apply self-tanner to my face at night so it has as much time to penetrate my skin, and develop, as possible before I go washing it off first thing when I wake up. The combo is perfect! The gel evenly exfoliates skin all over my face so it's primed for the tanner.

For self-tanning the rest of my body, I rely on daily (well, I try to do it daily) dry brushing. I've been neck deep in beauty blogging for almost two years and only recently started seeing the benefits of dry brushing pop up in various articles. I'm kicking myself for not having tried it sooner because it not only provides relatively quick all-over exfoliation, but it also touts a few detoxing properties too. I'll Dry Brush before I hop in the shower so that when I step out, I'm ready to apply self-tan lotion that way my skin reaps both the moisturizing and tanning benefits. A word to those with sensitive skin: don't dry brush legs on the same day you shave. Shaving exfoliates too so a double dose of skin sloughing might irritate your skin. If I find my knees or elbows are super scaly and need some extra TLC, I'll apply some Quick Refiner to them to make sure self-tanner doesn't get concentrated in either place. Few things have looked weirder on me than having orange knees and elbows. (Oh yeah -  it happened.)

Do you have a self-tan exfoliation routine?