Regular exfoliation should be a staple in any healthy skin care routine.
The top most 15-20 layers of the skin are dead cells. These skin cells are part of the skin’s protective function, traveling from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer, before being shed off.
When you do not exfoliate, there will be an unnecessary build-up of dead skin cells because shedding becomes difficult. Skin pores will be clogged and beneficial ingredients will find it difficult to penetrate and heal the skin.
When the skin’s protective function becomes impaired this way you could end up with acne prone, dry, flaky skin that is susceptible to infection.
Exfoliation will get rid of any unnecessary build up and maintain healthy skin.
Some of the Benefits of Exfoliation
- Smoother skin.
- Unclogged pores resulting in clearer skin – especially if you have acne.
- Improved moisture barrier resulting in hydrated and healthier skin.
- Makes it easier for beneficial skin care ingredients to penetrate the skin.
- Skin tone evens because damaged layers are removed.
Types of Exfoliation
The plethora of exfoliating products on the market calls for discernment. Whether you exfoliate your skin daily, every other day or weekly, you need to properly use a gentle exfoliant that will get rid of the dead skin accumulation while keeping your moisture barrier intact.
The countless scrubs, enzymes, lotions, serums, toners, sonic brushes etc are categorized into:
Mechanical exfoliation is the physical rubbing of dead skin cells off your body. This usually involves the use of sonic brushes or scrubs with tiny beads in them e.g. sugar, crushed nutshells, synthetic beads.
Mechanical exfoliation can sometimes be harsh on the skin. When skin is aggressively tugged, it will tear or crack. These tiny tears can irritate skin even more. If the tears get infected, it will result in acne.
Chemical exfoliation is the use of enzymes like alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, fruit enzymes and retinol. Chemical exfoliates work by softening the bonds between the dead skin cells, making them easier to remove.
Chemical exfoliation does not tug the skin as much, which I prefer.Whatever method you choose, do not over exfoliate the skin. Over exfoliation will result in irritated skin. Patch test and find the right exfoliating product for your skin, your skin will end up healthy, refined and polished!