Cleanse, tone, moisturise – you’ve finally got the routine of all goddesses down to a tee, only for us to come and remind you of the importance of exfoliating. We’d say sorry, but we aren’t because exfoliation is not a process to skipped. We get it, it’s time consuming but a few minutes is a small price to pay for the benefit of newly generated skin, reduced blemishes and acne. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn more.
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. It can be performed both mechanically, through the use of abrasive scrubs, or chemically with specially formatted acids to remove dead skin cells without the need for scrubbing.
Why is exfoliation so important?
You probably know the importance of removing makeup and washing away the traces of day, but not everyone stops to think of the lingering skin cells preventing new cell growth. The fact is, as we age, the body is slower to shed skin cells and regenerate new ones and the result is old skin cells piling up on the surface, leaving skin dull, dry and rough. And, it’s not just the appearance of the skin that is affected; built-up skin cells cause very real problems including clogged pores and excess oils which lead to blemishes and even acne.
Correct exfoliation removes this barrier against beauty by getting rid of dead skin cells and unveiling beautifully fresh cells, ready to receive the benefits of your moisturising products which can deeply penetrate the skin. What’s more, exfoliation offers an even skin tone best compared to the skin that new-born babies are born with.
“On the contrary, a chemical exfoliation is spot on for increasing cellular turnover”
What is the best type of exfoliation?
As we said, there are two types of exfoliation – abrasive and chemical and one of them is actually more beneficial to the skin than other. Believe it or not, your home abrasive exfoliator, while better than nothing, isn’t overly effective and can actually be detrimental in leading to conditions like milia and other symptoms of blocked pores. “On the contrary, a chemical exfoliation is spot on for increasing cellular turnover”; leading to clearer skin with a smooth and consistent texture. Remember, scrubs can only remove what’s on the surface of your skin, whereas chemical exfoliates get deeper to shed more dead skin cells and promote healthy cell regeneration.
How do chemical exfoliates work?
There are two types of chemical exfoliates; AHA, or alpha-hydroxy acids, and BHA, beta-hydroxy acids. The two most popular AHAs are glycolic acid and lactic acid. In the industry, BHA refers specifically to salicylic acid – an ingredient you should already know and love! The most popular way to work AHA/BHAs into your skincare routine is an exfoliating toner, many of the big cosmeceuticals (Harley street formulations & neostrata) offer one – so don’t be put off by the concept of ‘chemical’. Of course, if you are new to exfoliation, and want to journey to the best skin you can – book an appointment with a professional cosmetologist who can bring you to speed in no time.
How often should I exfoliate?
Take note that over-exfoliating can cause chronic skin irritation and inflammation and stick to a two to three times a week for normal and combination skin, and once a week for sensitive skin.
Now, remember beauty doesn’t stop at cleansing, toning and moisturising. . .but it’s oh so worth it!