Do you exfoliate your skin? And if you do, do you use natural ingredients? Exfoliating your skin is super important for skin health – yet many people skip it! And if you’re thinking, “Well, I exfoliate twice a day, so I must be doing something right!” you’re probably as guilty as those who don’t exfoliate. Why? Let’s take a look!
What is Skin Exfoliation?
The skin is the largest organ in the body, yet it so often gets overlooked when it comes to selfcare. One of the most important steps of skincare is exfoliation. So, what exactly is exfoliation?
Simply put, skin exfoliation removes the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This helps your skin to “breathe” more easily again and function correctly. Yes, dead skin cells do shed naturally but some need a helping hand to make room for the new cells. If you have dry, flaky skin patches or you find that your pores are clogged, you’re probably suffering from dead skin cells which are hanging around. Exfoliation will help them on their way!
Benefits of Skin Exfoliation
Before we jump into how to exfoliate, it’s a good idea to understand more about the benefits of skin exfoliation. Skin exfoliation can:
- Improve the overall appearance of your skin and smooth it out
- Make skin appear brighter and glowing*
- Help your skincare products, such as hydrosols and oils, work even better because exfoliation helps to improve absorption
- Lessen the risk of clogged pores.
*Long-term skin exfoliation can stimulate cell production and actually increase collagen production. What does collagen do? It’s responsible for that bright, glowing skin because it improves skin elasticity, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and firms up the skin. Who knew you had such an amazing method at your fingertips to combat anti-aging?!
The Sweet Spot of Exfoliating Your Skin
However, don’t get too carried away. Exfoliation, although an important part of your skincare routine, should not be part of your daily skincare routine. Once or twice weekly is good.
When it comes to exfoliating there is a sweet spot – some don’t exfoliate at all while others over exfoliate. Over exfoliating is very bad idea – it can leave your skin both damaged and unbalanced. It also does not allow your acid mantle layer (located in the stratum corneum, above the epidermis skin layer) to protect your skin and keep your pH levels balanced.
We recommend exfoliating at least once every one or two weeks or book facials monthly for a deep exfoliation (more on that below).
Natural Ingredients for Exfoliation
Natural ingredients are the way to go for skin exfoliation (see below).
There are two types of skin exfoliation: Physical and chemical.
- Physical Exfoliation: Ingredients such as salt, sugar, oatmeal, honey, yoghurt, and even fruit can be used to physically exfoliate your skin.
- Chemical Exfoliation: Ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acid and enzymes can be used to exfoliate your skin naturally.
PRO TIP: Don’t get carried away and exfoliate too harshly as it may irritate your skin. You can still use a coarse face wash but apply it gently.
How to Exfoliate Your Skin
- Sugar: Pure cane sugar is a good source of glycolic acid which boosts new skin cell production and breaks down skin cells. Just mix the sugar crystals in a carrier oil to make a paste. Apply on your face in a circular motion and wash off.
- Oatmeal: Substitute sugar with oatmeal if you have sensitive skin. Again, mix a small amount of oatmeal with a carrier oil to make a paste. Apply on your face in a circular motion and wash off.
- Fruit: Fruit such as lemon, papaya, grapefruit, and pineapple contains alpha hydroxy acids. Alpha hydroxy acids promote all of the benefits of skin exfoliation already mentioned in this article. So, go ahead: Crush a pineapple and apply it to your face for ten minutes just before your shower! Who said skin exfoliation can’t be fun?!
Facials Instead of At-Home Exfoliation
Alternatively, if your budget and schedule allow, go get a facial. Facials provide regular exfoliation and deep cleansing. A good esthetician will also incorporate effective facial massage.
PRO TIP: Unfortunately, not many spas work with natural ingredients. Most spa staff are trained to used commercial products and follow step-by-step facial instructions involving no intuition.
Check out our spa menu for a natural alternative!
So, now you know what skin exfoliation is, why it’s good, how to do it, and what to use! In case you’re still wondering if it’s all worth it, consider this: Your skin will thank you – with a brighter, shiner you!