Everyone knows it, redheads have very sensitive skin. When it comes to exfoliating, the skin can easily break out or react badly to the exfoliant. We consulted with Laurie Neronha from Viriditas Beautiful Skin Therapy at the Providence Acne Clinic.

“The truth is, anyone can have sensitive skin, even those with very dark skin,” said Neronha. “And, skin that gets pink or red easily (inflammation), blotchy, burns quickly, never or rarely tans, and may be more prone to skin cancer.”

Here are the top tips for how redheads should exfoliate their skin:

1. Physical Exfoliating 

“There are two methods of exfoliation, physical and chemical. Physical exfoliation is manually or mechanically ‘rubbing’ or scratching the skin. This is a slippery slope for sensitive skin because rubbing and scratching the skin creates inflammation. Many scrubs and home microdermabrasion kits do exactly that, scratch the skin.”

2. Scrub Exfoliant

“If you must use a scrub type exfoliant, look for jojoba beads, rice bran, vanilla seeds, and powdered herbs. Avoid diatomaceous earth, apricot and walnut scrubs. They’ll irritate the skin.”

3. Chemical Exfoliating

“A chemical exfoliation means using enzymes or acids to dissolve dead skin cells from the surface. In general, this would be my choice for sensitive skin, as there is less stimulation, and therefore less inflammation. In my clinic, I prefer to use lactic or mandelic acids (AHA) for drier skin, or salicylic acid (BHA) for oily or combination skin.”

4. Oil Exfoliaton:

“Sometimes in our skincare practice we use a third, hybrid option as well. I call it an ‘oil exfoliation.’ This is ideal for for dry, sensitive, flaking skin. Here is how to do it:

Take about a tablespoon of a good quality oil, preferably jojoba or sunflower (they won’t clog) and apply it all over clean damp skin. Leave it on the skin 5-10 minutes, like a mask. Then take soft cotton rounds, wet them, and move gently in small circles all over the face to remove flakes. Do not scrub! Small gentle circles is all you need to give a mild exfoliation. Move the product, not your skin! We often use this method post peel, or when a client has inadvertently ‘burned’ themselves and is flaking. This can be done several times a week.”

Regardless of your choice of exfoliant, always remember: “Move the product, not your skin.”

If you are find you are making smooshy faces in the mirror while you are using any product you are being too rough. Use enough product to be able to easily and gently smooth it across the skin. In the case of cleanser or exfoliant, add water as directed to permit glide.”

Contrary to internet popularity, do not use baking soda to exfoliate your skin. It is extremely alkaline, and can disrupt the acid mantle (your skins barrier protection) for hours. Just say no.

Will you be exfoliating your skin this fall season? Rock it like a Redhead! 

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  • Jess

    Thanks for this. I got red irritation bumps from an exfoliator I bought. Must be the walnut shells in it. I’m going to try the oil method.

  • This was a most easiest method you shared on this page with the outstanding steps to eliminate the dryness from the Sensitive skin of body in a seven days and increase the beauty of skin by using the hemp seed oil daily according to the period of a time after the recommendations of a doctor and remember the instructions of a doctor which help you to eliminate this kind of skin dryness ,My suggestion is you must go to a doctor one time in a week for starting of proper treatment of eliminating dryness appeared on the Sensitive skin of body for increasing the beauty of skin in a summer season due to the effect of sun rays,keep it in your mind don’t work in the light of sun because the heat of sun with the dust particles of sun rays increase the rough dryness and cracks with lines on the skin due to the demaged of skin layers cells after the working of some time you notice the color of skin become black and cracks with lines are increased on the Sensitive skin of a body this is also a effect of skin cancer . So take care of skin and avoid to work in a light of sun . you also use a mask on the face if necessary to work in the light of sun and also use carrot in the food salad .
    Thanks.