Exfoliation refers to the removal of the dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. It can be performed mechanically, by using abrasive scrubs on the skin or chemically, by using scrubs that contain special kinds of acids that dissolve and remove the dead skin cells without scrubbing.
As we age, the process of cell regeneration slows down. This means that the body is slower to shed skin cells and generate new ones. When old skin cells start to pile up on the surface of the skin, it can leave skin looking dull, rough, and dry. Furthermore, the build-up of dead skin cells can result in excess oil and clogged pores, leading to blemishes and acne.
Proper exfoliation removes the barrier of dead skin cells clogging the skin and uncovers fresh new cells below. This opens the way for moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective. In short, a regular exfoliating routine will leave your skin looking fresh and healthy.
The best type of exfoliation depends on your complexion and the health and sensitivity of your skin. If you have extremely sensitive skin or severe acne, you will want to choose an exfoliating product and method carefully. A professional esthetician can help you choose the method most appropriate for you. As well, shopping at a natural health retailer is your best bet for finding a wide selection of natural and organic exfoliating products.
Most women use manual exfoliation on a regular basis (once a week) and reserve chemical exfoliation for more intermittent use.
If you use a manual exfoliating scrub, choose one with smooth, round granules rather than jagged, rough particles to avoid injuring your skin. Be gentle with the scrub --- a light touch is all you need to slough off the dead skin cells. Any more than that and you're likely to irritate your skin.
If you choose chemical exfoliation, peels and masks that contain alpha or beta hydroxy acids provide a deep level of exfoliation. If you have sensitive skin, you may wish to look for more natural peels that contain fruit derived enzymes.
- Smoother skin: Since exfoliating helps to slough off dry and dead skin cells, it can result in smoother, softer skin.
- Even skin tone: Many people find that exfoliation can help brighten their skin tone and remove the dullness and dark spots that are caused by a buildup of flaky patches.
- Increased circulation: By massaging the skin, exfoliating can help improve blood and lymph circulation, providing an instant pick-me-up for our complexions
- Fewer ingrown hairs: If you're prone to ingrown hairs, you may find that regular exfoliation can help prevent pesky ingrowns from developing in the first place, as well as lessen the appearance of dark spots and thickened skin that ingrown hairs can cause.
If you want healthy, glowing skin, regular exfoliation is a must. Limit your exfoliation routine to once a week -over-exfoliating can leave your skin dry, irritated, and damaged. Take good care of your skin and put your best face forward.