I often get complimented on how nice my skin looks. While I could certainly incorporate more helpful practices, there is one routine that I feel contributes to having healthy (looking) skin – EXFOLIATION.
Do you exfoliate your skin? Many experts agree that skin exfoliation is an important part of your self-care regimen. If you are not exfoliating, your skin may not be as healthy as it could be.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. It can be performed mechanically 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. I am more of a proponent of using natural, organic options over chemical alternatives for obvious reasons.
As we age, the process of cell regeneration slows down, which means we shed and regenerate skin at a slower rate. Old skin cells can start to pile up on the surface of the skin, leaving skin looking dull, rough, and dry. Build-up of dead skin cells can also result in excess oil and clogged pores, leading to blemishes and/or acne.
Proper exfoliation removes the surface dead skin cells clogging the skin and uncovers fresh new cells below. This opens allows your moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, resulting in more effective use. Suffice to say, a regular regime of skin exfoliating can leave your skin looking fresh and healthy.
When choosing exfoliation products consider your complexion, the health of your skin and your sensitivity to products. If you have extremely sensitive skin or severe acne, research exfoliating products and methods carefully. There is nothing worse than having a face or body rash from choosing the wrong product for your skin. A professional (esthetician) can help you choose products and methods more appropriate for you.
For healthy, glowing skin, it is widely agreed you should exfoliate at least once a week. But be careful not to over-exfoliating, which can leave your skin dry, irritated, and possibly damaged.
As for exfoliation technique, I prefer manual exfoliation. And while some say it can be a good practice every once in a while, I tend to be cautious about chemical exfoliation products (alpha or beta hydroxy acids), which, if you do use them, should only be used occasionally – best to consult your qualified professional for advice here. Those with sensitive skin might consider natural products that contain fruit derived enzymes.
If you want to use a manual exfoliating scrub, choose one with smooth, round granules rather than jagged, rough particles so you don’t irritate or injure your skin. There are many natural, plant based products out there. An effective approach is to scrub gently with a light touch – that’s all that is needed to slough off dead skin cells.
Exfoliating leaves your skin looking and feeling soft, smooth, and healthy. And if you make a lifetime practice of it, you will find that your skin tends to stay comparatively young looking as you age. Take care of your skin and it will shine and glow for the world to see and take notice.