Is it safe to exfoliate the skin before sun exposure?
Yes, it is safe to exfoliate before sun exposure. However, I recommend gentle exfoliation so the skin will not get too irritated and not do it right before heading out to the sun. The exfoliation will help make your tan look more uniform and not blotchy. Also exfoliating helps the sunblocks absorb evenly.
Does dead skin protect your skin?
Dead cells or corneocytes are the top layer of your skin and yes they do help seal in moisture in the skin. Also, since it is the top layer of your skin, it gets the most exposure from the outside toxins and elements first thus protecting the cells underneath.
How often should you exfoliate during the summer?
In the summer I suggest exfoliating less often this means 1-2 times a week at the most.
What types of exfoliants are safe to use during the summer (please explain what each one is and why it’s safe)?
There are 2 types of exfoliants – physical vs chemical. Physical exfoliants use a scrub, scalpel or brush to physically exfoliate the skin. Chemicals use chemicals such AHAs and BHAS to remove the dead cells. Both are safe to use during the summer. I do like the physical exfoliants for areas such as the feet which become very dry during the summer. A pumice stone followed by lubricant can work nicely for the heels of your feet. AHAs and BHAs can make your skin more vulnerable to the sun so I suggest using these ingredients more sparingly.
When is the best time to exfoliate during the summer months (morning, night, etc.) and why?
Because exfoliants can leave your skin more sensitive, I suggest exfoliating at night and sealing it in with a moisturizer.
How do you take care of your skin post exfoliation?
After exfoliating, it is important to use a moisturizer to help seal in the moisture. Also wait 3-5 days after exfoliating to restart any acids such as retinoic acid or vit C back into your skincare routine. If you notice any excess dryness or peeling, do not pick or peel the skin instead add more moisturizer.
When should you not exfoliate during the summer (after sun exposure, if you have a sun burn, etc.)?
Do not exfoliate your skin if you have a rash, acne break out, sunburn, right after sun exposure.
Is there anything else we should know about skin exfoliation and summer/sun exposure?
Exfoliating in the summer can be helpful to help remove the sweat, oils, bacteria that builds up from the heat and humidity. The key is to do it less often and use lighter products during the summer.