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In my second post on skincare (you can read my first one on cleansing here), I am tackling the scary world of exfoliating with psoriasis.
Over the years I have heard some horror stories about people exfoliating their psoriasis that really put me off! However, recently I re-reintroduced exfoliating into my skin care regime again and I am so glad I did – my skin feels so much better for doing so!
Below I share some tips on how to ensure you get the most out of exfoliating in your skin care routine and show you that it doesn’t have to be scary!
Why should I exfoliate if I have psoriasis?
Exfoliating may not be for everyone, it is really down to each individual to decide if it suits your skin. From my personal experience I have found that exfoliating has helped my psoriasis, it can help to remove the outer layer of dead skin which can then reduce itching and make your skin feel smoother in the process, but this may not be the case for everyone.
I personally tend to exfoliate my face and my body differently. For my body, I like to take a soak in the bath! Soaking in a warm (not hot) water can help loosen scales and reduce the itching and inflammation caused by psoriasis. I like to add sea salt to the bath instead of bubble bath as this further soothes and moisturises my skin. Sea salts gently remove the scales in a relaxing and non-irritating way.
For my face, I tend to use an exfoliating facial scrub. I went into a local skincare store and explained what I was looking for and that I had facial psoriasis. The server was great and talked me through a few products that would work for my skin, testing them on my hand and giving me a sample of the product to try before I fully committed! This was great as it meant that if my psoriasis didn’t agree with the product I wouldn’t have wasted my money! I would definitely recommend going in and speaking to them about your specific skin needs.
How often should I exfoliate?
This really is down to you and what is best for your psoriasis! With my psoriasis, I tend to exfoliate my skin once or twice a month depending on how bad my skin is. If I am having a bad flare up I tend to exfoliate my face once every two weeks and have a bath once a week too, in order to remove the scaly and dead skin.
When exfoliating it is important not to use a product that is too strong. Using an exfoliator that is gentle enough for your psoriasis is so important – you don’t want to cause additional irritation, redness or pain. Natural products are also great to use on the skin if that is what you prefer to use!
It doesn’t have to cost a small fortune
Finding products that suit your skin and work for you can be tricky. There are loads of products out there for exfoliating, some cost a lot of money and others don’t!
Most of my exfoliating products are from the high street, are gentle enough to use on my facial psoriasis and most of the products are £5 or under! When it comes to my bath sea salts, I like to pick mine up from the local grocery store! They are usually around £10 for a big bag and a little of this product really does go a long way!
Remember, everyone’s psoriasis is different and what works for one might not work for another. Always patch test products and trial them before using fully. If you are unsure of a product and do not want to fully commit to it, ask for a sample and consult your doctor / nurse - better to be cautious than irritated!
Skincare and exfoliating can be hard to navigate, especially if you have a condition such as psoriasis. Hopefully this article will help you and give you some good tips for the next time you go skincare shopping.
If you are unsure of anything I recommend you ask your dermatologist or other healthcare professional who will be able to give you advice tailored to your skin.
UK/IE MAT-20663 Date of preparation: October 2018
Article developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.