First, do you know that the skin sheds off thousands of dead skin cells every minute? Dead skin cells can shed through the normal daily activities we engage in like standing, pulling off our clothes, walking, etc.
What is exfoliation?
Exfoliation is the process through which we get rid of these dead cells from the upper layer of the skin, even faster.
Types of exfoliation
There are two basic ways to exfoliate. These include the Mechanical method and the Chemical method.
Mechanical method involves using a tool, most times objects with slightly rough surfaces to slough off dead cells from the surface of the skin.
This can include sponge, washcloth, face scrub, etc.
Chemical method involves the use of chemicals to get rid of dead skin cells.
2 types of chemical exfoliation
AHA ( Alpha hydroxy acid) : This is derived from sugary fruits. They work mostly by working on the top layer of the skin and gently peels off the dead skin cells.
BHA ( Beta hydroxy acid) : BHAs are oil soluble. This makes them go deep into the skin pores. They have the ability to decongest the pores, while simultaneously fighting the bacteria that can cause acne.
What happens to the skin when you exfoliate ?
- The skin becomes unclogged, giving no room for bacteria to breed
- It boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage
- It gives a more even skin tone
- It allows other products to penetrate deeper and work faster
- It increases skin cell turnover
- It gives the skin a smooth texture
- It stimulates collagen synthesis. This strengthens the skin elasticity, making it look and feel younger
- It prevents acne, whiteheads, blackheads and other blemishes
What happens to the skin when you don’t exfoliate?
- Dead skin cells pile up causing an uneven skin tone
- Acne-causing bacteria will have a breeding space
- Whiteheads and blackheads may develop
- The skin feels rough to touch
- The skin looks dull
Now, no one wants all these bad guys on the skin, hence exfoliation is important.
Exfoliation is advisably done twice a week, as daily exfoliation can damage the skin, cause irritation, breakouts and make the skin too sensitive to touch. This defeats the essence of Exfoliation.
Bottom line, talk to your dermatologist, know your skin type and get the right product for your skin.