Let me start this blog by saying I’m a beauty fanatic or beauty junkie, I’ll own up to either one. I pride myself on having a strict skincare regime and live by it. I also work in a day spa and have a beauty channel on YouTube, so it’s safe to say that my face (even more my skin) is somewhat my money maker. I am constantly asked if I have any beauty secrets/tricks/tips. Well I have many, however I have one that is easy to do, and better yet, everyone can benefit from it. My secret is exfoliating my skin on a weekly basis.
Exfoliating is the process of removing dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin’s surface. Using an exfoliator on a weekly basis allows the skin to breath, and appear more youthful and radiant. There are many factors that can contribute to the buildup of dead skins cells such as sun exposure, illness, fatigue, stress, as well as time.
How Do You Get Dead Skin Cells?
Let’s look at the science behind why everyone needs to exfoliate. Skin cells are created in the lower layer of skin, which is called the dermis. In a 30-day period, these cells grow and mature as they start to move to the surface of the skin (Epidermis). When the cells reach the surface, they flatten out, and die out. When the surface layer of skin is covered with dead skin cells, it causes the skin to appear dull and lifeless.
How is Exfoliation Performed?
There are two different types of exfoliation: Mechanical Exfoliation and Chemical Exfoliation. Mechanical exfoliation is by far the most popular. This method is done by creating friction on the surface skin with a type of abrasive material such as beads, salt, seeds, etc. This friction helps the dead skin cells to break off from the surface skin and be easily removed with warm water. Microdermabrasion treatment is a professional representation of a mechanical exfoliation.
A chemical exfoliation usually contains some type of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy acids (BHA), or fruit enzymes. These acids breakdown or dissolve the glue-like substance that holds the dead skin cells together. Depending on the strength of the acid or enzyme this type of exfoliation can be anywhere from mild to intense. A professional method of chemical exfoliation would be a Chemical Peel.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
For dry skin, I recommend doing a thorough exfoliation once a week; for oily or combination skin, twice per week.
Benefits of Exfoliating:
· Minimizes clogged pores
· Softens skin.
· Increased reproduction rate of new skin cells
· Allows the beauty products that you are already using to work better, by allowing them to penetrate deeper into the skin
· Evens skin tone, and minimizes hyper-pigmentation
· Boosts circulation
Some things to keep in mind regarding exfoliation:
· Avoid exfoliating while in the shower, because the exfoliating does not work as thoroughly if the skin is moist.
· After exfoliation, the skin is very receptive to the nourishing, hydrating, and stimulating ingredients. Applying a mask after exfoliating is a great way to enhance the effects of your exfoliator, giving the skin more radiance, glow, and energy.
· If you choose not to use a facial mask after exfoliating, then always use a moisturizer following exfoliation.