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The benefits of a regular exfoliation and why we should use an exfoliant.
An exfoliant essentially copies the skin’s natural renewal process of desquamation. It involves the loss and replacement of the top skin to keep the skin’s protective barrier working at its best.
The cells move upward from the deeper layers to the outermost layers of the skin and cells get weaker. Enzymes found only in skin and hair follicles accelerate this weakening action, allowing the cells to shed.
It sounds a bit complicated, but it is not, what it means is that our cells move upward to the surface which we call cell renewal and it gets weaker and die, that’s why we have flaky skin causing the skin to shed. Ufff! Very simple.
All skin conditions benefit from regular exfoliation. A relatively normal skin will benefit by maintaining good skin health function. Ageing skin benefits because exfoliation will boost cell turnover and renewal, which naturally slows as we age and that’s why lines and wrinkles appear.
Congested and acne skins benefit from the decongesting effect in the follicles, freeing them of excess dead skin build-up that contributes to breakout formation. Pigmentation can be lightened by the removal of hyperpigmented cells, and even sensitive skin can benefit from mild exfoliation to encourage barrier renewal and formation. The trick is to select the correct type of exfoliant for each skin condition.
Regular exfoliation should be part of our skincare routine to achieve and maintain healthy skin.
We have to ensure our routine includes either daily or weekly exfoliation. A product that targets more challenging skin conditions might be needed. Our natural cell renewal process slows from the age of 25. So the older we get, the more we’ll need exfoliation to keep our skin looking great.
There is also the danger of over exfoliating. If skin becomes tight, flaky and sensitised, it must be eased off a bit until the perfect balance is in place.
However we have to be cautious when introducing a new exfoliant to our skin. Any tightness, flakiness, sensitivity are signs that the skin is sensitive so it might need a good cleanser and moisturiser before introducing an exfoliant. Never use an exfoliant right after facial waxing or sunbed use.
Lastly but not least it’s advisable to wear SPF 30-50 daily, especially if using products with retinol, as sun sensitivity is increased.
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Resources: Salon Magazine and Guild News.