Exfoliation is a method we use to remove dead skin cells from the most out layer of our skin. Our skin naturally exfoliates itself. Living cells graduate from our deepest layer to the top layer. They start off as healthy, bouncing living cells and begin to die off as they reach the end of their life span. As they reach the surface, they are dead, flattened and ready to be shipped off to the mortuary. This whole process keeps renewing our skin and takes approx 28 days from start to finish.
As a result of this constant cell turnover, young skin is healthy, vibrant and luminous. Think of how amazing a baby’s skin is – because it is literally brand new!
As we all start to get older, the process of cells renewing themselves, slows down. They say it takes an extra 10 days per decade once we reach 30, in order for the exfoliation process to be completed! This is the reason people start saying “My skin is dull, grey and lifeless..” – there is a layer of dead skin cells sitting there. People are lathering their skin with lotions and creams, which aren’t going amywhere. Just sitting on top of all those dead skin cells.
We can help our skins exfoliation process, and speed it up so our skin looks and feels younger. It can be done either two ways:
This is what most people are used to and most have used one. A scrub is a product that uses an abrasive material to physically remove dead skin cells by a rubbing and scrubbing action. Jojoba beads are the most common along with sugar, salt apricot kernal and aluminium oxide (which is usually the main component in micro-dermabrasion)
You can use this method a couple of times per week at most. Many people over do it, literally scrubbing their face until it is red and sometimes tender. Many of these beads used in scubs can cause micro tears in the skin and can permanently damage the skin, so be careful!
I know people love the action of scrubbing because they feel like it is working better, but you need to avoid causing the skin to flush, go red and friction that is too vigorous. It will contribute to irritation & broken capillaries on the cheeks.
*Make sure to look for scrubs with micro-spherical beads so they don’t scratch your skin.
Not recommended for:
– Red, irritated or extremely fair skin can respond with irritation
-Older, fragile skin
-Active acne with pustules and cysts
When people hear the word chemical, they think the worst! But in actual fact, chemical exfoliation is sometimes safer and more effective than the mechanical method and they do a lot of the work for you, rather than the physical action.
Chemical exfoliation is deep cleansing and involves the use of fruit acids otherwise known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s), enzymes and vitamin A – or known as retinol/retinoids in the skin care world. There is a glue like substance or “celullar cement” that holds dead, hardened skin cells to living skin or the skins surface layers. Fruit acids and enzymes dissolve and remove this substance. They also prevent and remove blocked pores – as blackheads are a combination of dead skin cells and oil. They most commonly come in cleansers, creams and serums and can help to reduce cell “build up” at the lower levels of the skin. They can be used daily.
*Chemical exfoliation can be used for rosacea sufferers or a reactive/sensitive skin because it won’t irritate the area, cause flushing, or make broken capllaries worse.
Not recommended for:
– Pregnancy – not an issue with enzymes and fruit acids, but retinol (Vit A) is not to be used.
– Sun worshipers – fruit acids will make your skin more sensitive to UV light. So SPF will need to be worn daily.
– Anyone using Roaccutane or Retinoic Acid
– Broken/sunburned skin
Exfoliation will leave skin feeling smooth, soft and improve your complexion. You have removed that build up of skin which was previoulsy prohibiting your serums and moisturisers from penetrating and working to their full potential!
Emer @SK x