Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest skin cells on the top layer of skin (epidermis) and this is to help maintain healthy skin. There are many ways to achieve exfoliation and the two most popular are mechanical exfoliation (body scrubs including a homemade body scrub) and chemical exfoliation (enzymes and acids etc.)
There are new skin cells being created in the dermis which is the lower layer of the skin (under the epidermis) and these are being created all the time. Over a period of time (usually around 30 days), the cells migrate to the surface on the skin and they start to become more acidic in nature. They then die and are naturally shed to make way for the new fresh cells that are directly underneath them.
For adults, the time for skin to regenerate (grow and shed) is around 30 – 40 days and for teenagers it is around 14 days.
By giving them a helping hand through exfoliation, you can also help your skin in other ways as well. To learn to make body scrub is not hard and using a homemade body scrub regularly is an important part of your skin maintenance,
How do you know that you need to exfoliate? Simply put a piece of sticky tape anywhere on your body and then peel it off. If you see skin cells stuck to it, you know you may need to give your skin a helping hand.
To help with dry skin
In winter, exfoliating is particularly important. Dry skin usually is a result of dead skin cells building up and quite often we will try and compensate with using heavier and more nourishing moisturisers and creams.
This makes sense until you realise that all you are doing is trying to rehydrate the dead skin cells which is not going to work very well. Here, by removing the dead cells you will expose the fresh new cells underneath which you can then moisturise and keep hydrated. Your skin will feel and look more youthful and hydrated.
To help with blemished skin
Quite often after a breakout, you will have a residue of skin which is blemished left on your body especially the face. These blemished cells are on the outer layer of the skin and by exfoliating, you will help the skin slowly turn over these blemished cells and expose the fresh unblemished cells underneath. This is helpful with scarring.
To help with controlling breakouts.
Quite often with a breakout of acne, we use a drying agent to dry the acne out and help get rid of it. It is helpful in getting rid of the bacteria involved with the breakout but it does result in dry skin. This dry skin then traps the oil underneath it and can also be a future breeding ground for more bacteria which can then result in future outbreaks. By exfoliating you will help get rid of the dry skin buildup.
To help with aging skin
The skin’s natural exfoliation process slows as the skin ages, resulting in an accumulation of dry skin cells. By exfoliating regularly, you are helping you skin remove these cells and by exposing the fresh new cells underneath you are helping maintain a youthful looking skin.
To help with clogged pores
Clogged pores are very common and are often seen as blackheads, small whiteheads, and little clogged bumps (congestion) on the skin which can occur all over your body. By exfoliating, you will help the skin unclog these pores so the oil can become unclogged. This helps with giving clearer, less congested skin.
To help increase blood circulation
By exfoliating, you will help the body increase blood circulation which will also result in it bringing more nutrients to the surface of the skin. This can also help in the appearance of the skin, keeping your skin glowing. It also helps slow down the aging process and improves skin appearance.
Exfoliation is also important for men too as it can help with shaving. How it does this is that exfoliation can help expose the hair follicle and will help men get a better shave. Men have usually got thicker skin which can start to appear oily and by exfoliating this will help the appearance of it.
As a rule, you should try to exfoliate with a homemade body scrub only 1 -2 times per week depending on your skin type. If you have got sensitive skin, a good idea is not to exfoliate as often.
If you end up exfoliating too much, it can result in your skin becoming sensitive and can therefore be more prone to sun damage and premature aging.
You should always moisturise after exfoliating as your skin will need moisture put into it to look after those fresh new exposed skin cells. Also, you will find that after exfoliating your skin will absorb the moisturiser more quickly.