Skin Exfoliation Methods that Help Reset the Clock!
Skin exfoliation needs to be done on a regular basis if you like having great looking skin! This is true for anyone over twenty years of age, but gets even more essential as time goes by.
It’s one of the very easiest and simplest ways to keep your skin clear and fabulous!
Skin exfoliation takes so little time, but does so much good! If you aren’t getting rid of the old, dead skin, your new skin, hidden underneath, never has a chance to really shine through!
Your skin consists of multiple layers of tissues that protect underlying structures and act as a storage center for water and lipids (fats). Water and fat content are the very foundation of youthful skin because they plump your skin and keep it smooth!
The epidermis (outermost layer of skin) is divided into several layers where cells are formed through a process called mitosis. As they move up through the different layers of the skin to the surface (epidermis), they change composition and shape and become filled with keratin. When they finally reach the top layer, (called the stratum corneum, consisting of between 15-350 layers of dead skin cells), they are strengthened and made water-resistant by keratin in a process called keratinization. Dead cells are then sloughed off over a period of weeks if everything goes according to plan.
However, if dead skin cells are not removed or expelled regularly through natural processes, they can build up on the epidermis and make your skin look old. Your skin may also feel rough to the touch.
This process happens naturally, time and time again throughout your life, but the rate of cell turnover slows down immensely as you age. That’s why its important to speed up the process and make sure you get rid of the excesses regularly. The more you slough dead skin cells, the more you force cell turnover and regeneration.
Regular skin exfoliation can improve age spots, acne, wrinkles, and dry skin problems.
Skin Exfoliation Methods for Your Face
Salicylic acids, found in most astringents, help remove dead skin cells from the surface.
There are many lotions and creams that aid with chemical exfoliation. They contain food based acids or other exfoliating agents that assist with renewing your skin.
- Products that contain collagen (retinols) increase cell turnover and assist in exfoliation.
- Chemical peels help smooth and regenerate your skin at a rapid pace but should be used sparingly. They contain strong acids which help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
There are many abrading kits on the market to choose from and they vary in price and efficacy. Some of the least expensive brands contain a rotating brush with bristles. They also come with a creamy exfoliator, similar to a facial scrub. The more expensive diamond point micro-dermabraders are generally used in an office setting by an aesthetician or Dermatologist, but some brands are available for home use. The fine points target troubled skin and improve the surface of the skin at a fast rate.
Facial scrubs contain tiny particles that help exfoliate and moisturizing ingredients that help plump up your skin.
Microfiber cloths are often overlooked. I stumbled upon their use a few years ago and love the cost and the results. They really do work well but you've got to use them correctly for them to be effective. Check it out:
Loofah sponges can also help deep clean pores on the face. However, be very careful not to use them too vigorously. Facial skin is very delicate and sensitive so apply gentle pressure around the nose, upper lip, cheeks, forehead, chin, and neck.
Dead Sea clay masks are the least invasive method because they do not abrade the skin. They are only capable of removing surface dead skin cells but they can still improve and smooth your skin.
Skin Exfoliation Methods for Your Body
Exfoliating body lotions most often contain acids and are a great way to exfoliate your skin over the long term. They can be used all over or to target patches of dry skin.
Body scrubs consist of the same exfoliating ingredients as facial scrubs. The size of the scrub tends to be larger than facial scrubs because most of the time, the pores on your body are larger than on your face.
Skin brushing is a great way to exfoliate. There are a variety of problems that can occur when you have sluggish lymph so practice dry brushing regularly.
Loofah mitts used with a moisturizing body wash are a fantastic way to boost cell turnover and improve circulation.
One skin exfoliation method that often gets overlooked is shaving. When you regularly shave your legs, you also help slough the surface of your skin so shaving does have merits other than hair removal! NEVER shave your face though. Use other products to gently get rid of unwanted facial hair.
The Best Time for Skin Exfoliation
The best time for manual skin exfoliation is in the morning. This is because your skin gets to work repairing itself overnight, which makes morning the perfect time to remove dead skin cells.
However, it's clear that the best time for chemical exfoliation is at night. Reason? You don't want to expose your skin to UVA or UVB rays when you use products that slough your skin because they heighten sun sensitivity.
The Best Season for Skin Exfoliation
Manual exfoliation is suggested year round to prevent dead skin build up. However, if you use chemicals to exfoliate your skin but then get out in the sun regularly during the summer months, you may undo all of the efforts you’ve made to clear up your skin. Chemicals increase sun sensitivity to the Nth degree!
Therefore, the best seasons of the year for chemical skin exfoliation are the fall, winter, and spring, when you’re less apt to be out in the sun for extended periods of time.
Remember, moderation is KEY when it comes to exfoliation. Excessively red, taut or dry skin is a sign of inflammation, which is good indication that you have overdone! Immediately decrease the frequency (or strength) of your exfoliation regiment.
The more you focus on dead skin cell removal, the better your skin will look and feel! Simple and effective, skin exfoliation is a quick and long lasting way to build a glowing, positive self-image.