The primary purpose of exfoliation is to remove dead skin cells. When our skin is functioning as it should be, usually, around every 28 – 30 days, our body will naturally shed dead cells as new cells will replace the old cells. However, overtime, an excess of dead skin cells accumulates. Giving us the appearance of a dull, dry and a hardened complexion.
Environmental factors, like UV damage, extreme heat or extreme cold and air-conditioning all create our natural oils to deplete, creating further dryness and therefore increasing the amount of dead skin cells. Further exasperating the buildup of dead skin cells is the use of make-up. There are also harsh chemicals in certain skin care (not ours!).
Having a buildup of dead skin cells is the culprit for many skin conditions. If we don’t treat the buildup with exfoliation, we are prone to congestion, breakouts and larger pores. Overtime, our complexion can become uneven in tone with a rough surface.
How to exfoliate the face
The ways in which to exfoliate dead cells away can be done in a few different ways:
Making sure that we are cleansing our face every morning and night is a sure way to assist in getting rid of dead cells. There are many cleansers available on the market, and it is important to choose your cleanser carefully, making sure that you are avoiding all the nasties that are in so many ranges out there.
Depending on the severity of your dead skin cell buildup, there is a cleanser to suit everyone. For those with younger skin, or have looked after their skin, a good everyday cleanser is all you need. Something like Osmosis MD Purify is a great cleanser that is enzyme based. Having enzymes in your cleanser will ensure that not only you are removing dead skin, you are also helping dissolve the ‘glue’ that sticks these dead skin cells together.
For those who require a deeper exfoliation, Société’s AHA Cleanser contains Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, which will accelerate the exfoliation of dead skin cells and works really well for oily, problematic skin. Also Medik8 have a cult-favourite with Surface Radiance Cleanse.
Exfoliation is a sure-fire way to remove the debris of dead skin cells. But before you jump in and purchase an exfoliator, make sure that it is not a harsh, abrasive product. Using exfoliants that contain hard granules that feel like small pebbles, only traumatise your skin as they rip over your epidermis. When they contain microbeads they can also pollute our waterways – ending up as fish food and even mixed in our table salt.
There are two ways to use an exfoliator – chemically, with the use of AHA’s and retinols (vitamin A), or naturally, using enzymes, usually derived from fermented fruits. Both works very well and the option that you choose will depend on the amount of buildup – just like when choosing a cleanser.
For younger skins, or those who don’t require such a deep exfoliation, a product that is used nightly such as Société’s Clear Skin Boosting Pads contain salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and works in a similar way to enzymes. They are in a convenient pad that is wiped over your face. Alternatively, Aspects Fruit Enzyme Mask or Société’s Superfruit Enzyme Exfoliator are both very popular products as an at-home treatment. Used weekly, you will literally feel the dead skin peel up under your fingertips as you massage it over your face.
Leaving you soft and glowy with a more even complexion.
If you have a more mature skin, or have quit a bit of sun damage and dead skin buildup, an AHA may be the best option for you. If this is the case, I would recommend the Société Refinishing Plus Complex as it contains higher percentages of retinol (vitamin A) and AHA’s. This serum is used nightly, and although you do not use it like a traditional exfoliator, it is left on the face overnight and gives a deep exfoliation achieving brightening and evening out your complexion.
The benefits of Exfoliation
By incorporating exfoliation into your skin care routine, your skin will be brighter, clearer and have an overall healthier appearance. Your makeup will glide on easier, and look lovely and even. You will also find you use less products such as moisturisers and serums, a great money saver really!
How often should you exfoliate?
How often to exfoliate depends on your skin. For normal skin types, we suggest a weekly exfoliation using one of our suggested products. Something we like to do is add it into our ‘self care Sunday’ routine. Or, before an event when you want to be looking your best! If you skin is a little thicker, you can exfoliate twice a week initially, then drop back to once a week.
Your face isn’t the only thing that can get the benefits of exfoliation! Take some time out, perhaps while enjoying a soak in the tub, to exfoliate from head to toe! Using the same principles of exfoliating your face, you should never use anything harsh, however, you can use a gentle granule exfoliator on your body like Organic Nations Black Rice Scrub. This exfoliator is an absolute favourite. It has small, gentle rice granules that have been infused with ginseng and gingko. So not only will you feel silky smooth, you will also smell delicious!
Still not sure?
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