If you’re after radiant, glowing skin on your face and body, you’ll want to know how to exfoliate. Summer, with its more revealing clothing styles means you need to up your skin care game. In this blog post, we break down the main points about exfoliation ensuring you know how to exfoliate the right way.
Our body produces new skin cells about once every 28 days with the process slowing as we age. New skin cells are pushed to the surface, forcing the older ones to the top. Exfoliation is the process of removing the dry, dead skin cells that sit on the skin’s surface. Removing this top layer not only helps to brighten one’s, it also allows topical treatments to absorb better, thereby increasing their efficacy.
Exfoliation is important and here’s how to exfoliate this summer, and all year round…
- Mechanical or Chemical Exfoliation? When it comes to choosing how to exfoliate, there are two main routes to choose between. Physical exfoliation relies upon pressure, from a washcloth or a scrub to help whisk away dry skin cells. The skill of the practitioner is important here – rub too hard and you risk going too deep and causing skin irritation. Rub too lightly and you may not achieve any results. Chemical exfoliation, on the other hand, relies on ingredients that help to break the glue that holds skin cells together thereby assisting their removal at the skin’s surface. Chemical exfoliants include ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) or Vitamin C/L-ascorbic acid (as found in our Bespoke Vitamin C Serum). Serums, toners and moisturizers can contain chemical exfoliating agents. If you prefer a wash off product, a cleanser like our AHA-Mazing Clean Cleanser includes a triple combination of lactic, malic and tartaric acids to deliver softer and smoother skin.
Treatments designed for at home use don’t penetrate any deeper than the top layer so there is little risk of damaging skin. For this reason, we tend to recommend sticking with chemical exfoliants for facial use. When it comes to your body, however, the less sensitive skin can usually tolerate mechanical exfoliation. There’s nothing like using a great body scrub in the bath or shower to help deliver soft, smooth legs and arms. Have you tried any one of our body polishes including our Bamboo Lemongrass Foaming Body Polish?
- Don’t Overdo It. When it comes to exfoliation, less is more. Aggressive exfoliation may result in redness, stinging and irritation. The goal is a glow and not a burn! Keep in mind your skin’s sensitivity and consider exfoliating between one to five times a week. If your regimen includes other active treatments such as retinoids or acne products you may want to space them out to avoid damaging skin.
- When to Skip Exfoliation. If your skin is red and inflamed, if you have open cuts or wounds, an infection or a sunburn, hold off. In these cases, the increased skin irritation will do more harm than good. Inflamed skin needs TLC above exfoliation. Wait for skin to heal first and above all, go slowly and be gentle.
Beyond delivering softer, smoother and radiant, glowing skin, exfoliation can help to remove ingrown hairs, improve the results of your fake tan (by making it appear less splotchy and more even) and also help to minimize clogged pores/blemishes. Have we convinced you about its importance?