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Benefits of Exfoliation

exfoliate-acne.jpgCleanse, Tone, Moisturise… Aren’t you forgetting something?

If you are over 28, the idea that you ‘don’t need to exfoliate’ is a myth. Exfoliating needs to be considered a ‘must do’ part of each persons’ skin routine. Why? Using the correct exfoliant slows down ageing and keeps your skin singing the ‘I feel happy’ song.

Simply put, exfoliation involves the removal of the dead cells on the skin’s surface through mechanical and chemical means as well as a combination of both methods.  It is usually provided in spas and salons although in-home treatments are also popular for maintenance purposes.

So why you need to exfoliate as you age?

The skin’s lower layers are responsible for the creation of new skin cells, which migrate to the surface of the skin while becoming more acidic in the process.  The journey from the lower to the upper skin layers takes approximately 30 days, which is characterised by even growth and shedding of the skin cells.

As we age, shedding becomes an uneven process that leads to dry, dull and uneven rough skin. Exfoliation is necessary to effectively remove the dead skin cells evenly so that an even skin tone can be achieved. In turn, you will enjoy the benefits of a fresh, glowing complexion.

But exfoliation is not just for shedding dead skin cells.  Its other notable benefits include the following:

* It prepares the way for the skin to better absorb other skin care products such as active ingredients like retinols and vitamins.

  • * It exposes the hair follicles, thus, allowing for a closer shave in both men and women.
  • * It boosts blood circulation and lymph flow.
  • * It helps in the reduction of fine lines since dead skin cells are removed from the outer layers.  (Just make sure that you do not over-exfoliate as it can lead to dry skin, which aggravate said fin lines).
  • * It brightens the appearance of dull, pigmented, devitalized skin.


Indeed, as much as your skin needs nourishment, it also requires exfoliation so as to eliminate the old to make way for the new skin.

However, Not all exfoliants are the same:

The actions of an exfoliant depend on its type.  On one hand, a physical exfoliant uses mechanical actions like rubbing, scrubbing and polishing to remove dead skin cells.  These types of exfoliants may use ingredients such as beads and granules although even a simple washcloth or loofah will also do the trick. Care should be taken not to over use these products and create too much friction on the skin, which could lead to irritation and sensitivity.

On the other hand, a chemical exfoliant uses acids or enzymes from plants and other synthetic substances.  The main purpose of these products is to dissolve the bonds between the dead cells in the skin surface, which will make it easier to shed them either by its natural process or with the help of physical exfoliants

What doses of ingredients should my exfoliant contain?

Exfoliants usually contain varied formulations of the above-mentioned ingredients.  The trick is in choosing the best one that best fit your skin type, which will also mean trying out many brands before settling on the exfoliant with the best results in the shortest time possible.

For dry skin, aging skin I suggest going for the chemical exfoliants with AHA such as glycolic acid while oily skin works well with BHA exfoliants such as Salycilic acid.

As with most skin care products, you have to ensure that the exfoliant chosen is suited for your skin type, is priced reasonably and is safe for long-term use.  It does pay to do your research on the best exfoliants before purchasing a few of these products and trying them out.

And always remember: Different skin types require different frequency of use, such that dry skin should be exfoliated once a week, normal and combination skin two times a week and oily skin every other day.