Is there a right way to exfoliate the body?
You may have a naturally glowing complexion, but the chances are you’ve experienced times when you wish your skin looked better. Dullness and dry skin can be caused by a build up of dead skin cells. Exfoliation is a process whereby dead skin cells are removed from the surface of the skin. This is an automatic process in a healthy body, and keeps your skin looking fresh and young. The process slows down considerably as you age, so it becomes beneficial to give nature a helping hand by exfoliating your skin regularly. (1)
There are several different methods you can use to exfoliate your skin. If you’ve never exfoliated before – or never even heard of it – now is the time to get started.
Why exfoliation is important
Your skin constantly renews itself, with the newest cells being deep under the surface. As time goes by, these cells move towards the top layer, and eventually end their life in the open air. If the cells remain on the surface of your skin after they have died, your skin will begin to look dull and dry.
Your skin may also become rough, and moisturizing alone will not help. In fact, the dead cells may clog up the pores in your skin, leading to excess oil, along with spots and blemishes.
Therefore, removing these dead cells is important for the way your skin looks, and its overall health. Your pores will be less likely to be clogged, and the fresher skin cells below will be exposed. This is the time to use a moisturizer as it will be better able to penetrate your skin and therefore be more effective.
You can consider exfoliation to be preventative maintenance. It is easier to remove the dead cells before they cause a problem than it is to heal blemishes after they have developed.
The top 6 methods for exfoliating your skin
Scrubbing your skin with a brush or sponge will help to remove the dead cells. Special brushes are available for this purpose, as are “exfoliating gloves”, essentially a rough glove to wear and rub over your skin, loosening the dead cells. Make sure not to over-do it, as you may damage healthy cells with heavy scrubbing. (2)
2. Exfoliating Scrub Creams
An exfoliating scrub is a cream that contains small granules (often “microbeads”) to agitate the top layer of the skin. As you spread it around your skin, the granules push the dead cells around with them, causing them to detach. Different products contain different types of granules, some natural, some manufactured, and often in different shapes. (3)
3. Chemical Exfoliation
Creams, peels, and masks are used in chemical exfoliation. Rather than using small granules to remove the dead skin cells, the cells are taken away by hydroxy acids. Of course, the acids are generally more aggressive than exfoliating scrubs, and so should not be used as frequently. They do tend to provide a higher level of exfoliation than standard exfoliating scrubs.
Cleansers are usually used on sensitive skin, and are less harsh than chemical exfoliation or even exfoliating scrubs. If you know you have problems with using products on your skin, limit yourself to using a cleanser, and always follow the instructions. You may find that your sensitive skin benefits from exfoliation, as some of your problems may be caused by the presence of dead skin cells. Removing theses cells will help clear your pores and allow your skin to naturally regenerate itself.
5. Home-made scrubs
You can make your own scrub at home, but the results will vary depending on your ingredients and your skin type. The basic method involves putting an abrasive agent – for example, sugar – in to a carrier liquid – for example, olive oil – and using it as an exfoliating scrub cream. In most cases this will not be as effective as manufactured products, as those products are specifically designed to tackle dead skin cells.
Wax is usually reserved for the removal of hair, but during this process some of the top layer of skin will also be removed, taking dead cells with it.
The Benefits of Skin Exfoliation
Aside from the already mentioned benefits, exfoliation can also help your skin to repair itself after a break-out has left a mark on your skin. Dry skin and in-growing hairs can be repaired with regular exfoliation, and the appearance of wrinkles can be lessened with a good exfoliation routine. Exfoliation can make you look younger, better, and healthier, and will make you feel more confident in your own skin as the best of it will be on show.
Exfoliate within reason
Whilst exfoliation is good for your skin, excessive exfoliation can be damaging. Constantly stripping away the top layer will take good cells with the bad, and can leave your skin dry and irritated. As with all things, moderation is the key. A sensible exfoliation routine will however leave you looking young and fresh, every single time!
APOTHECARY 27 Loves these scrubs!
Jason Natural, Brightening Apricot Scrubble, Facial Wash & Scrub
This naturally gentle, soap-free foaming scrub polishes away impurities, oil and makeup for a clean, comfortable feel. Brightening Apricot Oil and triple refined Walnut Powder gently wash away dead skin cells, revealing a smooth, glowing complexion. Mild enough to use everyday, it's a gentle way to wake up your skin, with no pore-clogging residue.
Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator
Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator contains avocado oil and jojoba beads, that marry to lift away lifeless skin, leaving a fresh complexion that feels reborn. Healing calendula oil works to nurture and repair, while carrot seed extract helps clear and revitalize skin's surface. Exotic essential oils of sandalwood, sweet orange and tonka bean calm and balance your skin's appearance.
- Cleanses and exfoliates gently without irritation
- Helps to nurture and repair the skin
- Natural extracts of fragrant cedarwood & sweet orange
- Leaves skin feeling fresh, renewed and rejuvenated
Optiat Coffee Scrubs
A range of four natural exfoliating coffee scrubs made from repurposed coffee grounds collected from cafes and restaurants across London.
Influenced by the thoughtful care and attention we put into making our scrubs, "For the Love of Scrub" is a range of coffee scrubs inspired by real-life events and experiences. Whether that's before a date, after a big night out, after a workout at the gym or just for a quiet night in, we have you covered!
Learn more about Optiat Coffee Scrubs in PUT DOWN YOUR COFFEE AND START SCRUBBING
VISIT APOTHECARY 27 AT 71-73 WEYHILL, HASLEMERE, SURREY, GU27 1H TO PURCHASE YOUR Natural & Organic Skincare products.