Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer surface of the body. Exfoliating allows for more silky and radiant skin to be visible as tired, dull, dead skin is sloughed away. As with most things, too much of a good thing can be actually bad for you. Overexfoliation can cause skin sensitivities and inflammation.
Exfoliation can be done in two ways by either physical or chemical exfoliation.
- Physical exfoliation involves using pumice stone, loofah sponge or a naturally abrasive ingredient like jojoba beads, almond meal, or raspberry seeds that will buff away dead skin cells. It is necessary to physically or mechanically exfoliate the skin by using a circular upward motion to remove the dead skin cells.
- A chemical exfoliant uses acids or enzymes (AHA, or BHA) to remove dead skin cells that are on the skin. Glycolic, Lactic and Salicylic acids are examples of chemical exfoliants used in skincare to remove dead skin cells.
Generally people in their 30’s and older would see the greatest benefits of regular exfoliation. Teens and those in their twenties who have good skin do not need to exfoliate as often. Since their skin is rapidly rejuvenating, it is likely that they would not see the benefits of regular exfoliation.
It is best to exfoliate at least once a week. If you have particularly oily or congested skin, you may need to bump up your regimen to twice a week. If ever your skin becomes overly dry or irritated, discontinue use or exfoliate less frequently. Always remember to pile on the sunscreen after you exfoliate. Newly exposed skin is more sensitive to the sun and chemical exfoliatants such as AHA and BHA’s increase your likelihood for sunburn. As always…read your labels before you slough away
Here, a few of our favorites:
Kimberly Sayer’s Gentle Almond & Lavender Face Scrub
Sweet Almond oil and grains, luxurious jojoba beads and organic French lavender oil provide gentle cleansing and exfoliation. Skin is left feeling silky smooth and radiantly vibrant. A must have for the most sensitive skin.
Red Flower’s Bioactive Berry White Peat Exfoliate
Rich mineral sea salts, soothing aloe vera and coconut oil and bioactive white peat moss create a delicious treat for the skin. Skin will feel rejuvenated.