Exfoliation is the name given to the process of removal of dead cells and surfacing of the new layer of cells. It is an integral part of skincare and if applied correctly, will lead to young, glowing skin.
Need for exfoliation
Our skin has an inbuilt process of removing dead cells which are replaced by new cells. But with age or due to some skin issues this process slows down and the skin becomes dull and problematic. To regain the same shine and youthful appearance, exfoliation is a mandatory regime. If it is done on a regular basis, it will improve the skin renewal process. It will also minimize the bad effects of sun rays, dirt and dead cells on the skin.
Benefits of exfoliation
The exfoliation process removes the grime and old dead cells from the skin. It helps in removing and preventing blackheads and whiteheads. The process declines the aging process and counters the ill effects of external factors. In the process, the blocked pores of the skin are opened allowing them to breathe. A new layer of skin then appears which is refreshing, healthier and radiant.
Types of Exfoliation:
Enzyme Skin Exfoliation
It is a manual method of cleaning and scrubbing the skin. For facial skin, a gentle washcloth is the right thing or over the counter exfoliating scrub kit which is soft on the skin. Choose the scrub which has finer grains so that skin is not irritated or damaged.
The facial scrub can be made at home which will reveal the same effect. Oatmeal is a good substitute to exfoliate the skin.
Those who prefer modern tools over homemade tools may buy electric face brush or exfoliating gloves or exfoliating pouches which contain face cleanser.
Exfoliation of the face should be done not more than twice a week. Manual exfoliation tools are suitable for normal skin. Acne-Prone skin may get worse if these tools are used. Also, manual tools are not suitable for sensitive skin. It is better to take a patch test before using.
Chemical Skin Exfoliation:
The chemical skin exfoliation is suitable for acne-prone skin. It can also cure sun-damaged skin. The normal skin types need not rely on chemical exfoliation. However, dry skin will benefit from this type of exfoliation.
The chemical exfoliation uses acidic chemicals such as alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) and beta hydroxyl acids (BHA) to treat the sun-damaged skin, dry skin, and acne skin. The acids remove the useless dead cells and leave the skin cleaner and healthier.
These acids may be aggressive at times. Therefore the normal skin types and sensitive skin types should give it a miss. Exfoliation, especially the chemical ones should be conducted by a dermatologist or esthetician.
Enzyme Skin Exfoliation:
Sensitive skin types can also reap the benefits of exfoliation. The enzyme skin exfoliation is the right choice for such skin. Like chemical exfoliation, it does not involve scrubbing as this will worsen the skin. Here, proteolytic enzymes which are found in pineapples and papayas are utilized to break up the dead cells and impurities. The result is the younger-looking radiant complexion of the skin.
Essential information on exfoliation:
For different parts of the body, there are different tools to exfoliate. Never use bodies exfoliate for facial skin. It may cause damage to the face. For chest and back, one can opt for loofah or body scrub to get a new layer of skin. But do not rub vigorously. Body parts like feet, elbows, and knees have hard skin and require something more abrasive like pumice stone.
It is better to consult the various options of exfoliation with the dermatologist and then proceed.
The home recipes of exfoliation:
1. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2. 1/2 teaspoon finely ground coffee
3. Sprinkle of salt
4. 1 teaspoon (or so) of freshly squeezed lemon, orange or lime.
Mix well all the ingredients and stir briefly to moisten all ingredients. Use the scrubby massaging into the skin in a gentle upwards circular sweeping motion. Rinse the face well with warm water. You may get more such facial home/ natural recipes at Natural skincare guide and homemade recipes
A word of caution is required to be added that over-exfoliation can cause harm to the skin. While daily exfoliation is recommended for other body parts, the frequency of face exfoliation depends on the skin type.
The dry skin must not exfoliate more than thrice a week. The normal skin and combination skin needs exfoliation twice a week. However, oily skin should exfoliate only once a week.
Last but not the least, moisturizing of skin after exfoliating is must in order to lock in the moisture. Besides exfoliation, follow a healthy lifestyle to keep your body and skin healthy and young.